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Abe McGregor Goff (December 21, 1899 – November 23, 1984) was an attorney and Republican politician from the U.S. state of Idaho, most notably as a one-term congressman from 1947 to 1949. He served in the U.S. Army in both world wars.[3][4]

Abe Goff
c. 1947
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Idaho's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1949
Preceded byCompton White, Sr.
Succeeded byCompton White, Sr.
Personal details
Abe McGregor Goff

December 21, 1899
Colfax, Washington
DiedNovember 23, 1984(1984-11-23) (aged 84)
Moscow, Idaho
Resting placeMoscow Cemetery
Moscow, Idaho
NationalityUnited States
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Florence Letitia Richardson Goff   (1892–1987)
(m.1927–1984, his death)[1]
ChildrenTimothy R. Goff (1932–72)
Annie M. Goff (b. 1935)
ResidenceMoscow, Idaho
Alma materUniversity of Idaho,
LL.B. 1924[2]
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUS Department of the Army Seal.png U.S. Army
Years of service1918
RankUS-O6 insignia.svg  Colonel
Battles/warsWorld War I (training),
World War II

Early yearsEdit

Goff was born and raised in Colfax, Washington, in the Palouse region, the fourth son of Herbert W. and Mary (Dorsey) Goff. After graduating from high school in 1918, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and underwent preliminary officer training at the University of Idaho in Moscow during the last weeks of World War I. Discharged from the military in December, he entered the law school at the UI in January 1919 and graduated in 1924.[2] He was also the center on the Vandal football team.[4][5] and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.[6] His older brothers attended Washington State college in nearby Pullman.

Early careerEdit

Goff commenced practice in Moscow the same year and was the prosecuting attorney for Latah County from 1926 to 1934.[7] He also worked as a special lecturer at the UI law school from 1933 to 1941. In 1940, he was made president of the Idaho Bar Association. In 1941, Goff was elected to the state senate.

World War IIEdit

Later the same year, he was activated as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves as a major, and served in the Mediterranean, European, and Pacific theaters. Goff was on General MacArthur's staff at the end of the war and was discharged as a colonel in 1946.[4] While in the military, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.[8]


In 1946, Goff was elected to Congress as a Republican, defeating seven-term incumbent Compton White of Clark Fork.[9] He served only one term, as White defeated him in 1948 and reclaimed the seat for a term.

U.S. House elections (Idaho's 1st district): Results 1946–1948
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1946 Compton White (inc.) 36,509 49.4% Abe M. Goff 37,326 50.6%
1948 Compton White 46,846 51.8% Abe M. Goff (inc.) 41,404 45.7% Thomas B. Wood Progressive 2,176 2.4% ^

Source:[10]    ^ 1948 election included 93 votes (0.1%) for Socialist Party candidate Richard M. Shaefer.

After CongressEdit

After leaving the House, Goff served has Idaho Republican Party Veteran Committee chairman in 1952.[11] Groff then took a number of government posts in Washington, D.C. He was general counsel of the Post Office Department, and later served on the Interstate Commerce Commission, from 1954 to 1967. After his terms ended, he retired to the Palouse in Idaho, working as a writer and lecturer in Moscow until his death in 1984.[4]


Goff married Florence Letitia Richardson (1892–1987) of Moscow in 1927. They were married for 57 years and are buried at Moscow Cemetery, east of the city. They had two children: Timothy Richardson Goff (1932–72) and Annie McGregor Goff (b. 1935).[1][7]


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

  1. ^ a b "Florence R. Goff, long of Moscow". Idahonian. Moscow. October 31, 1987. p. 5A.
  2. ^ a b "Seniors". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1924. p. 36.
  3. ^ "Abe Goff, former congressman, dies". Spokane Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. November 27, 1984. p. 3.
  4. ^ a b c d "Abe McGregor Goff, 84, Idaho political leader". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. November 27, 1984. p. 2B.
  5. ^ "Football". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1924. p. 108.
  6. ^ "Beta Theta Pi". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1924. p. 236.
  7. ^ a b "Abe Goff certain of one opponent – his daughter". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. October 6, 1948. p. 12.
  8. ^ Devlin, Sherry (May 28, 1985). "Family friends honor former congressman". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. A8.
  9. ^ "Abe McGregor Goff prepares to serve Idaho in Congress". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. November 7, 1946. p. 3.
  10. ^ "Office of the Clerk: Election statistics". U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  11. ^ Idaho Statesman, 27 Sept. 1952, p. 2

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Compton I. White, Sr.
United States House of Representatives, Idaho First Congressional District
January 3, 1947–January 3, 1949
Succeeded by
Compton I. White, Sr.