Biography of Fred B. Woodard

Fred B. Woodard, prominent member of the Washington County bar, residing at Dewey, has been a resident of this section of the state since 1898 and through the intervening period has left the impress of his individuality and ability upon the legal history of the commonwealth. A native of Indiana, his birth occurred in Parke County, near Bloomingdale, on the 21st of October, 1871, his parents being William Penn and Martha Ellen (Kelley) Woodard. The father’s birth occurred on a farm in Parke County, Indiana, which his father, Thomas Woodard, had entered from the government in pioneer times. The latter had removed from South Carolina to the Hoosier state and was one of a number of freighters who founded a settlement in western Indiana. He was of English lineage and he devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. William P. Woodard combined merchandising with farming and was but forty-seven years of age when he passed away in 1887. His brother, the HON. John E. Woodard of Bloomingdale, Indiana, was for several terms a member of the state legislature. Mrs. Martha Woodard was also a native of Parke County, Indiana, and in 1905 she became a resident of Dewey, Oklahoma. Her father, Robert L. Kelley, was sent to the general assembly of Indiana as representative for Parke County for several terms and his son and namesake, Robert L. Kelley, Jr., became President of Earlham College, a splendid old Quaker institution at Richmond, Indiana.

Fred B. Woodard was the third in order of birth in a family of five children. The first nine years of his life were spent in his native state and lie then accompanied his parents to Douglas County, Kansas where they lived on a farm for four years and then became residents of the city of Lawrence, where he was reared to manhood. He supplemented his early educational opportunities by a year’s study in the University of Kansas at Lawrence and in 1898 he removed to Claremore, Oklahoma, while in the following year he became a resident of Washington County, this state. After thorough preparation he was admitted to the bar in 1902 and has since concentrated his efforts and attention upon his professional interests. His devotion to his clients is proverbial, yet he never forgets that he owes a still higher allegiance to the majesty of the law. For a year following his admission to the bar he lived in Mexico near Guaymas, but with the exception of that period has continued in active practice in Dewey. He likewise has investments in oil lands and his professional labors and judicious investments have placed him with the men of affluence in his adopted city.

In 1900 Mr. Woodard was united in marriage to Miss Lula L. Mitchell, a native of the British West Indies and a daughter of J. C. Mitchell of Oklahoma, Mexico and other places. Mr. and Mrs. Woodard have become parents of five children: Mary A., Kenneth Penn, Darrel Patricia Elizabeth and Martha. G.

In his political views Mr. Woodard has always been a Republican and was twice a candidate for the office of County judge but could not overcome the strong Democratic majority that Washington County has always had. In 1900 he was a delegate to the republican convention at Purcell, at which time he was one of two representatives from a district that now comprises a half dozen counties. Between the years 1900 and 1905 Mr. Woodard was assistant to Richard C. Adams of Washington, D. C., in handling a number of legal and business matters in connection with the Delaware tribe in the Cherokee Nation. He had already prepared for the bar when he arrived in Oklahoma but deferred taking his examination largely on account of his work in connection with Indian affairs. Since entering upon practice, however, his advancement has been continuous. His mind is naturally analytical and logical and he seems to assemble the points in his case with the precision of a military commander, losing sight of no point bearing upon his case and at the same time giving due prominence to that important point upon which the decision of every case finally turns.



Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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