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Fordyce Given Woodard. The Woodard family have been identified with the City of Alva since its founding and establishment with the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893. Fordyce G. Woodard though coming into Oklahoma at that time from Kansas as a youth of seventeen, has a special distinction in connection with Oklahoma, since he is perhaps the only white man without Indian family affiliations who was born in the western half of the old Indian Territory during the decade of the ’70s and still a resident of the state.
Fordyce Given Woodard was born at the old military post of Fort Sill, Indian Territory, July 7, 1876. His parents were Benjamin Thomas and Mary A. (Holloway) Woodard. In 1872 his father was awarded a contract to supply wood to the military establishment at Fort Sill, and remained there four years, during which time he participated in other branches of the Indian service, holding such positions as commissary clerk, beef issue clerk, etc. Benjamin T. Woodard was born in the state of Indiana in 1849, and was the son of Quake* parents, also natives of Indiana. In 1870 the Woodard family moved from Indiana to Kansas, locating on government land in Douglas County. The grandfather continued there as a farmer until his death in 1895. His four children were William, Thomas, Benjamin T. and Elizabeth, William and Benjamin T. being the only ones now living. Benjamin T. Woodard was reared on a farm and received his education in public schools and began his career as a farmer in Douglas County, Kansas. After the four years spent in Indian Territory he removed to Barber County, Kansas, in 1877, and for a few years was employed in a general store. In 1880 he took up a claim and engaged actively in farming and cattle raising, at the same time conducting a store and livery stable. In 1893 he participated in the opening of the Cherokee Strip, made the run to Alva, and in that town established the first livery barn. He also took a claim of government land one mile east of town. He continued in business as a liveryman at Alva until 1902 and then sold out his property and retired, locating in the beautiful country of Northwestern Arkansas at Rogers, where he and his wife now enjoy the comforts of their former years of labor. Benjamin T. Woodard and wife were married in 1867, and she was born in Indiana in 1847. Their six children comprise five sons and one daughter, as follows: Alonzo, born September 6, 1872, at Lawrence, Kansas, and now a farmer in Reno County, Kansas; was married in 1904 to Miss Mary Madison, and their three children are Allen, Alden and Ray; William Harley, born March 20, 1875, at Lawrence, Kansas, and now a lumber merchant at Clayton, New Mexico, married in 1906 Lena Gregory, and their children are Mary and Elberta; Fordyce G., who was the third in order of birth; Harry Clifton, born at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, September 20, 1886, is now living with his parents at Rogers, Arkansas; Lulu May, born at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, September 20, 1889, also with her parents; and Frederick, born at Medicine Lodge May 20, 1891, still at home.
Fordyce G. Woodard was born in a stockade house on the old Fort Sill military reservation, but has no recollection of his birthplace since the family returned to Kansas and located at ’Medicine Lodge when he was about one year of age. He received his education in the public schools of that town, graduated from high school in 1892, and in the following year participated with his parents in the run into Cherokee Strip. For three years he was engaged in managing his father’s livery business, then became a salesman in a dry goods and clothing store, and now for a number of years has been manager of the clothing department of one of the chief department stores of Western Oklahoma.
At Alva on January 15, 1907, Mr. Woodard married Miss Villa May Cox. Mrs. Woodard was born at Pana, Illinois, November 14, 1878, a daughter of James Madison and Sophia Cox, natives of North Carolina, and now living at Alva.