Submitted by: Kathy Haynes
Note: I get about 20 e-mail's a month on this article, so I finally decided to do some research. JFG was purchased by Reily Foods Company, and they do some mail order business. If you're interested in JFK coffee, mayonnaise, or any of their other products, you can call 800-692-7895 to request a mail-order catalog.
Not many people know that the letters JFG are the initials of James Franklin Goodson. James F. Goodson was born on February 11, 1850, near the Muddy Fork Creek area of Lincoln County that later became Cleveland County, North Carolina. James was the son of Jeremiah and Martha Branton Goodson.
James had an infant brother, Byles who died on December 29, 1853 at the age of eight months and twenty-nine days. His father, Jeremiah, died on February 29, 1856 when the tree that he was cutting fell on him. James' older brother, Drury W. Goodson, was born in 1845 and died at Charlottesville, VA of typhoid fever on January 25, 1864, while serving in the CSA in the Civil War.
After the War Between the States, James and his mother, Martha, set out West by wagon. The family ran out of money in Hamblen County, Tennessee, and would settle in Morristown.
Sometime later, James' siblings Milton, David and possibly Sarah joined the family in Hamblen County. Milton A. Goodson was born on December 29, 1846 and married Matilda Jane Hill on November 28, 1870. Milton died on June 7, 1912 and Matilda died on July 9, 1927. Both are buried at the Jarnagin Cemetery at Morristown, TN. David A. Goodson was born on March 11, 1848 and married Louisa Christina Justice before leaving North Carolina. Louisa died August 30, 1926 and David died on March 4, 1931. Both are buried at the Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Morristown. Very little is know about Sarah E. Goodson, the last of James' siblings, except that she was born in 1855.
James Franklin Goodson married Hattie (Harriet Elizabeth) Turley on January 18, 1882 and had four children: Meta Turley Goodson, Frank Turley Goodson (died as a child), Floyd Peck (Bud) Goodson, and Mary Goodson (Mrs. Claude Rogers). James Franklin Goodson died on December 9, 1913, and is buried at the Jarnagin Cemetery in Morristown.
During the booming 1880's in Morristown, James and his brother Milton were entrepreneurs in the wholesale grocery and dry goods business. James also served as Alderman of Morristown in 1891 and as mayor in 1895. James was also one of the first Morristown automobile owners in 1908, and the Goodson family became prominent and faithful citizens of Morristown.
According to James' daughter, Meta, he didn't like the coffee that he'd been buying from the Arbuckle Coffee Company, so he went to New York to speak directly with the Arbuckle people. They gave James a mixture of green coffee beans, and James began roasting them himself. Soon, the fame of his coffee began to spread.
James' son, Floyd P. Goodson, took the famous JFG coffee blend and turned it into the JFG Coffee Company. In the 1920's the JFG Coffee Company moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and in 1965 a New Orleans firm bought the company. It was Floyd P. Goodson Jr. and an assistant, though, that devised the formula for JFG Instant Coffee. "The Best Part of the Meal" is the famous JFG Coffee motto, and many know the familiar blue, white and yellow bag.