The name of William Woodward is deeply engraved on the pages of Sacramento county's history, for through many years he was a most important factor in the agricultural and financial interests of his community. His career was a long, busy and useful one, and although an earnest business man, devoting his whole daily time and attention to the further development of his industrial interests, he never allowed the pursuits of wealth to warp his kindly nature, but preserved his faculties and the warmth of his heart for the broadening and helpful influences of human life, being to the end a kindly, genial man.

Mr. Woodward was a native of county Wicklow, Ireland, born October 8, 1833, and was a son of Thomas and Elizabeth Woodward, both natives of England. In 1852 he came with his father to America, locating at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where the latter spent the remainder of his life. In 1855 Mr. Woodward crossed the isthmus of Panama to California, suffering an attack of the Panama fever en route, and after his arrival in this state he followed the varying fortunes of a gold miner for a time. In 1859 he removed to the ranch near White Rock, on Carson Creek, where his widow still resides, and was there for many years engaged in general farming and stock-raising. This farm contains eight hundred acres of rich and fertile land, six hundred acres of which is located in Sacramento county and the remainder in Eldorado county. For a number of years previous to his death Mr. Woodward suffered from progressive paralysis, from which he suffered greatly, and which rendered him incapable of engaging in active business pursuits.

In Eldroado county, California, September 10, 1867, he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Saul, a daughter of Thomas and Martha (Manning) Saul, natives of county Wicklow, Ireland. When Mrs. Woodward was four years of age her father died, and in 1858 she came with her mother and the remainder of the family to America, crossing the isthmus to California, and for a time their home was near White Rock in Sacramento county. In 1861 they removed the Eldorado county, residing near Placerville for several years, but in 1867 returned to Sacramento county and located on the ranch near White Rock which is still the home of Mrs. Woodward, and here her mother died on the 27th of June, 1894, after reaching the ninetieth milestone on the journey of life. Mrs. Woodward has four surviving brothers and one sister--Charles, a prosperous farmer of Sacramento county; James, who makes his home in Nevada City; Edmund, of Toano, Nevada; Joseph, who still makes his home in county Wicklow, Ireland, and the only surviving sister is Elizabeth Woodward, widow of the later James Woodward, of East Oakland, California, and who now resides with her sister, Mrs. William Woodward. To Mr. and Mrs. Woodward were born five children, four of whom are living, namely: Sue M., wife of James H. Donnelly, the well known supervisor of Sacramento county; Elmer Thomas, residing on the ranch near White Rock; Florett M., a successful teacher at Folsom; and Ernest A., at home.

Mr. Woodward gave his political support to the Republican party, and socially was a member of the A. O. U. W., at Folsom, and of the Masonic order, his funeral services having been conducted with Masonic rites and ceremonies. For a number of years he served as a trustee of the Carson Creek joint school district. His life's labors were ended in death on the 11th of July, 1903. Through the long years of his residence in Sacramento county he was ever true to the trusts reposed in him, whether of a public or private nature, and his reputation in business circles was unassailable. He commanded the respect of all by his upright life, and engraved his name indelibly on the pages of the county's history.

Source: History of the New California - Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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