Grapeland Texas

Woodard, F.C.

F.C. Woodard

Grapeland Texas 75844

F. C. Woodard, physician and surgeon of Grapeland, Houston County, Texas, was born April 1, 1847, in Alabama. His great-grandfather, Charles E. Woodard, and his large family of seven sons (William, Moses, Robert S., Jesse, James B., Charles E., and John T.) and three daughters (Sarah, Mary, and Jane) were among the pioneers emigrating from South Carolina to Clarke County,Alabama, in 1817 and 1818. His grandfather, Robert S. Woodard, a Methodist minister, received a land grand in Clarke County,Alabama, September 26, 1817. Some thirty years later, children of Robert S. and Sarah (Creighton) Woodard became interested in a new frontier in the West. F. C. was one year of age when his parents, John Wesley and Nancy (Gilmore) Woodard, came to Texas in 1848. The family settled in Anderson County, a few miles from Grapeland. F. C. attended the country schools of his day. His mother, a woman of superior attainments, and her husband, a devout Christian, a layman, and a trustee of the Oak Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, succeeded in giving their children a fair start in the elementary fundamentals so important in later life. His father served in the Civil War. After the father’s last furlough, he took F. C. back with him to serve as a water boy or an aide. After the war was over, when the two returned home, they learned of the death of their beloved wife and mother. The father saddened and in ill health, died soon on September 26, 1865, leaving four minor children. Being the eldest member of the little family, F. C. assumed certain responsibilities.  He was studious as a youth; and became a school teacher for a period of time. He had a strong sense of mission. His own personal experiences and the war had a major influence in his choice for his life’s work. While he was teaching inDelta County, Texas, he married Margaret Luella Hancock, daughter of George Alexander and Melissa (Brown) Hancock, of Pecan Gap, Texas, and March 15, 1877. With his wife’s encouragement and support, F. C. entered the Louisville Medical College, Louisville,Kentucky, where he graduated in 1887 with the degree of M.D. He returned home to Grapeland and began his practice. His reputation attracted patients to him. His skills were appreciated, and he soon had a large patronage. Although his practice was largely in Grapeland, he made long drives in the country to attend to the ill. He was surgeon for this district for the I. & G. N. Railroad, and a member of the Texas Medical Society. F. C. Woodard took an active interest in church, school, and civic affairs of Grapeland. He served as mayor and president of the school board. Dr. Woodard was a member of the Grapeland Lodge No. 473 and served several times as Worshipful Master. He was a devout member of the Baptist Church, and was also an ordained minister of the Baptist Church. During the time when the Grapeland Baptist Church was organized he led the services in the upper story of the old school building, helped organize the Baptist Sunday School, and was its first superintendent. Dr. Woodard was one of the most faithful members and helped plan and start the new church building. He lived to see the church grow from a membership of 34 to 85 members. Dr. and Mrs. Woodard had eleven children: Nancy Melissa, born February 1, 1878, married A. W. Cain, deceased; Kate Lane, born January 31, 1882, married F. L. Bass, deceased; Cora Ella, born December 28, 1887, married Jimmie Lindenberg, deceased; Ida Lee, born July 1, 1891, married Byron Allen, deceased; George Columbus, born August 9, 1893, married Miss Jewell Daphne Gerron, deceased; Fannie Mae, born August 8, 1896, married Walter D. Smith, deceased; Broadus Rowland, born March 8, 1898, deceased. Franklin Columbus, John Alexander, Lafayette, and Julia L. died in infancy or early childhood. Mrs. Margaret Luella Woodard, born October 20, 1859, died January 26, 1900. Dr. Woodard was married to Miss Maude Mabel Straughan of Lovelady, Texas, May 4, 1901. Mrs. Woodard was a daughter of Thomas Wylie and Laura (Lykes) Straughan. Dr. and Mrs. Woodard had four children: Frank Straughan, born May 8, 1902, married Olma Jacquelyn Cummings; Mabel Maude, born September 13, 1903, married Sam Mitchell; Thomas Wesley, born September 8, 1905, married Annie Laurie Frazier; Juanita Ray, born July 22, 1911, married LeGrand Kristofferson. Dr. Woodard died January 31, 1911. Mrs. Maude Mabel Woodard, born December 23, 1881, died May 22, 1961. The Woodard’s were buried in the family plot in Grapeland City Cemetery. Thomas Wesley and Annie Laurie Woodard had two children: Thomas Wesley Woodard Jr. and Keith Woodard. Thomas Wesley Woodard and his wife lived in Houston for fifty years. In 1979, he retired and he and his wife moved back to Grapeland. This son, Thomas Wesley Woodard Jr. married Jean Loewen. They had five children: Laura, John, Alice, Aurilia and Sarah. They also have a foster daughter (an Indian girl) who is a graduate of Texas Tech and is now married and living in Dallas. In 1978, Wesley Woodard Jr. moved to the Grapeland area and he became executive director of Frontier Camp (a Christian camp) at Houston County Lake. Keith Woodard married Diana Toce and they have two children: Rhonda and Keith. He lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.