Dr. David Morgan Woodward

April 9th, 2011

Ortel, Alex, Dr. Woodward, Mark, Mrs. Woodward, Cecil and Gladney

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a wonderful research facility with a knowledgeable and delightful staff. When visiting any repository, I think it is important to investigate the files that you’ll not be able to find elsewhere. TSLA has a collection of  genealogy folders containing a variety materials such as newspaper clippings, family charts, and other materials often submitted by the public. When I visited TSLA in February, I took the opportunity to search the genealogy folders for Woodard and Woodward. The article transcribed below came from the Woodward File. In the upper left had corner contained the source information: “Press Clipping Division, Tenn. Press Association, P.O. Box 8123, Knoxville. This clip from Oneida News July 10, 1964. There were five images within the article, but most of them reproduced so poorly it is impossible to share them here.

Profiles in Courage
Neighborly Notes by Mrs. Esther Sanderson

According to historical records members of the Woodward families were living in Massachusetts as early as 1633. They emigrated from England where they had been landed gentry and yeomanry. The name Woodward came from the office of its first bearer as a forester or warden of the woods. They helped found the nation and have been instrumental in its growth and development through their energy, industry, ambition, courage and leadership in peace or in war.

Among the Woodwards who fought as officers in the Revolutionary War were Lieutenants John and Richard of Massachusetts, Lieutenant Peter of New York, Sergion’s Mate, Samuel of Massachusetts, Captain Samuel of South Carolina, and Captain Nathaniel of New York. On the maternal side, Thomas Ely served with 5th Continental Line and the Virginia Calvary.

One of the most colorful ancestors of the Scott county Woodwards was Captain Henry Woodward who commanded the 10th Company, Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War. He was present at Braddock’s defeat, and was voted thanks and gratuity by the Virginia Assembly for gallantry at Fort Necessity. In 1757, he was place in command of Voss’s Post on the front. He served in the Cherokee Expedition and remained in the service until 1762. He received large land grants in Virginia in recognition of his faithful services to his country. The original portion of the Capitol Building at Washington was built from stone quarried on Captain Woodward’s land.

The fascinating story of how Captain Woodward met and married Sarah Shelton, who could trace her ancestry to Charlemagne and the Magna Charta Barons, has been handed down from father to son through the generations. When Captain Hentry boarded ship in England to come to America, British officers came on board to search it to see that no able-bodied man left. Addressing no one but the sea and himself, he made the remark, “I have served seven years in the war, and now I suppose I will have to end my life in the army.” Sally Shelton, a buxom young woman, standing by heard the remark. Seeing that he was a very small man, she told him, “Squart down under this stool here on the deck.” She then spread out her skirt, as it was very wide and threw it over the stool and sat down on it and remained on it until the ship was searched and was well out to sea. She then got up and let him out from under the stool and he jumped up and kissed her. They were later married by the Captain of the ship while enroute to America.

Dr. David Morgan Woodward was born March 15, 1868, in Lee County, Virginia. He was the son of Fletcher and Sarah Jane Campbell Woodward. He was on of a family of ten children, five sisters and four brothers. He migrated from Virginia to Claiborn County, Tennessee. David Morgan was a good singer, and he traveled with a group who sang at conventions in adjoining counties. It was on one of these tours, that he met the southern belle, Mary Jane Davis, the daughter of one of the most prosperous farmers in Bloundt County. James Calvin Davis, whose wife, was Martha McTeer Davis. David Morgan and Mary Jane were married in Knox County. He started his premed training at Porter Academy in Blount County in 1900. It was an uphill struggle for the young couple who had no financial help from any source. Like many other poor boys who were determined to get an education he decided that he would find a shack and batch during week days. Mrs. Woodward would bake enough corn bread to last him during the week, and he carried it in his saddle pockets. The shack was so rundown and open that the hogs decided to batch also. Between the hogs and the fleas, David Morgan found it hard to study or sleep. Something must be done. But what? He boiled a kettle of water, saturated the whole brood and they vacated the shack with such force and speed they turned it over, but they never returned again. He lifted the shack repaired it and continued to live in it.

After his hard struggle through prep school, he entered the Tennessee Medical College in Knoxville where he graduated in 1902. He was a classmate of the late J. Victor Henderson. He entered the Medical School in New Orleans where he received a diploma in 1904. In his quest for still more knowledge in medicine, he entered the Chattanooga School of Medicine and received a diploma in 1906. He began his medical practice in South Knox County in 1906. He moved to Caryville during the booming coal mining days where he practiced medicine during 1909-10. He then moved to Pioneer and from Pioneer to the hills of Scott County, December 1911. He put up an office at Winona where he bought a good farm. He later had an office at Huntsville and at Capitol Hill where he continued his practice until shortly before his death in 1940. Mrs. Woodward passed away in 1959.

Dr. Woodward, was a member of the State Medical Board and a member of the Scott County Medical Board, a charter member in 1922. He was also a member of the Volunteer Medical Corps during the war.

When Dr. Woodward first started his practice, Mrs. Woodward would go along with him and assist him with obstetrical cases, but the children came, one almost every year until there were eleven, eight boys and one girl (two who died in infancy) kept her at home. They had eight boys, Mark, Ortel, Gladney, Alex, Cecil, Ivan, Gordon and Johnny. The only girl, Chloe (Mrs. Carl Rector) came along and upset Dr. Woodward’s plans for a full baseball team. However, he always managed to borrow some young man to replace her on the Woodward ball club. Dr. Woodward and all his sons were interested in sports of all kinds, but especially baseball. However, it was not all play and no work for the boys. During week days, the boys were put to work on the farm where they helped raise food for the large family and for the livestock. Sister Chloe, being the only girl in a large family of baseball playing brothers, was kept busy cleaning after them, and hanging up their baseball paraphanalia [sic]. On one occasion, she hid their suits in a cubbyhole in the attic and “went for a visit”. They eventually found them just in time to make it to the ball park for a game.

Gladney, Cecil, Ivan and Johnny served in the armed forces of their country. Gladney served on the Police Force at Oak Ridge and was later elected sheriff of Anderson County for two terms. Ortal has been a member of the Scott County Board of Education for the past 20 years. Mrs. Carl Rector lives in Huntsville. She is active in church and civic affairs. She is a member of the Eastern Star, the P.T.A. and the Garden Club. Mark recently retired from the Lukenheimer Company in Cincinnati after 40 years of service. Cecil was connected with one U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio where he was a Provost Marshall. Johnny is a veteran of World War II. Dr. and Mrs. Woodward have 34 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

When Dr. Woodward started his practice in Scott County, he had to travel on foot or horseback to the most remote sections of the county. During the influenza epidemic in 1917-18 he would often go to Rock House and other remote places and be gone from home a week at a time. Like an angel of mercy he went from house to house where he treated the living, lay out the dead, cut wood to heat the cold buildings and made soup to feed them. He arranged for funerals and did every thing in his power to bring relief to the suffering and the needy. Many of his bills were payed [sic] in produce from the farms, others were never paid, but lack of money never kept him from answering a call. He delivered some 3,000 babies during his career. He also helped other struggling young medical men to get started in the profession. Two of these were his nephew, Dr. Bedford Campbell and the late Dr. M.E. Thompson. He recalled buying Dr. Thompson’s first saddle bags and starting him out “for better or worse” which ended in a long and useful career only a few years ago.

Dr. D.M. Woodward’s calls often took him twenty miles away. Many times he would return home soaking wet and cold, with mud up to the horses belly, only to rise and go again, with little or no rest between times. A doctor’s “widow” was a hard life and a lonely life, but Mrs. Woodward was a patient understanding wife and a good mother. She devoted her life to the welfare of her husband and children. The Woodwards kept open house every week day and WIDE OPEN house on Sundays. Mrs. Woodward and her only daughter, Chloe, never knew how many people to expect. People would ride for miles to his office bother at Winona and Capitol Hill. Dr. Woodward would call one of the boys to put up their horses and feed them while they had dinner and “set a spell”. Sometimes the boys became irked at the visitors, for it was their hard labor in the hot fields that had produced the corn and much of the food on the table. On one occasion one of the boys remarked, “People will ride fifteen miles to get ten cents worth of medicine and a full stomach for themselves and feed for their horses.” But little did Dr. Woodward care; he had little material wealth, but he had great spiritual wealth. He made no effort to lay up wealth on earth” where moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break through and steal.” Said he, “The king and the pauper occupy the same amount of space after death.”

Dr. D.M. Woodward was a most generous soul, and as a humanitarian he had no peer. He lived and loved from day to day among his patients and friends. He worked for them and shared his earnings with them. During the depression, he kept several families from actual starvation, and he provided shoes books, and clothing to keep children in school.” In asmuch as ye have done for the least of these ye have also done it unto me.” Although a deploy religious man, Dr. Woodward made no outward display of piety. He lived his religion day by day through love of his fellowmen.


© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


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