Goodell was founded in 1884, when the depot was built along the railroad. It was first named Cashman for the man who built the grain elevator along the B CR& N Railroad, but the name soon Changed to Goodell, after John Henry Goodell, one of the financial backers of the railroad. The next few years several houses and other buildings were moved into the new village from Amsterdam. By 1887 Goodell had a population of 50 and 11 businesses were listed in the directory. A tornado damaged a part of Goodell on July 4, 1888. In true pioneer spirit, the people rebuilt their homes & businesses. More Amsterdam residents moved across the Iowa River over the old town bridge. By 1897 the number of business establishments had grown to 34. Goodell's population high was 300 until about 1914.