John S. Woofter


John S. Woofter. There is probably no man in Creek County whose word and counsel are more esteemed in business and public affairs than John S. Woofter, who is secretary and treasurer of the Hammett Oil Company of Sapulpa. He is one of Sapulpa’s leading business men, and particularly in republican politics is well known all over the state.
He was born near Auburn, West Virginia, October 25, 1860, a son of Andrew and Mary (Simpson) Woofter. His paternal grandparents came from Holland, first settled in New Jersey and afterwards on a farm in West Virginia. Sheriff Woofter’s parents were born near Weston, West Virginia, and died there, the father at the age of eighty and the mother at seventy-eight. They died within three months of each other. They were substantial farming people and Andrew Woofter was a man of considerable prominence in his home county, where he served as county assessor and in several other positions of trust. In the family were six sons and two daughters: T. J., now deceased; George A., a minister of the Baptist Church at Bridgeport, West Virginia; Sarah, wife of Joshua Adams of Harrisville, West Virginia; Francis A., a farmer at Millett, Texas; Columbia, wife of F. M. Bush of Auburn, West Virginia; Clark, of Parkersburg, West Virginia; John S.; and Ellet of Charleston, West Virginia.
John S. Woofter lived on the West Virginia farm where he was born until he was seventeen years of age. He received an average education and for several years was a teacher himself. His first business experience was as a salesman in a wholesale grocery firm, but in 1903 he went to Texas, and became identified with the Beaumont Oil District. Since then he has been continuously identified with the oil industry in one capacity or other. In 1904 he moved to Houston, Texas, and since 1907 has been a resident of Sapulpa. He is now secretary and treasurer of the Hammett Oil Company, of which C. E. Barrett is president and W. W. Fondrew of Houston is vice president. This company has some valuable oil leases and is doing a good deal to develop and operate in the Oklahoma oil belt. Mr. Woofter is an expert accountant, and has given his services in that capacity to several business firms in Oklahoma and elsewhere.
For five years he served as treasurer of the Sapulpa School Board, and in the primaries of 1916 he received the largest vote of any man in Sapulpa for re-election to same office. In September, 1915, when the Creek County sheriff was temporarily suspended for investigation and exonerated, Mr. Woofter was appointed to the vacancy by the court, and he attracted a good deal of attention by his efficiency and vigor in cleaning up Sapulpa. During his first two weeks in office he destroyed liquor and gambling outfits to the value of about eleven thousand dollars. He served about five weeks.
Mr. Woofter is a republican, has served for several years on the state committee, and in 1910 was nominated at the primaries for clerk of the proposed Superior Court of Creek County, though the election never came off, since the court was not granted owing to lack of sufficient population. Mr. Woofter is a member of the Baptist Church, in Masonry has attained the thirty-second degree of Scottish Rite and belongs to the Mystic Shrine, and for two years was patron of the Chapter of the Eastern Star. He is also affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Loyal Order of Moose and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is past exalted ruler of Sapulpa Lodge No. 1118, and represented this lodge in the convention at Portland in 1912.
At the time of statehood Mr. Woofter was chosen as one of the committee of three to locate the county seat at Sapulpa and provide for the issue of bonds to the amount of one hundred and forty-five thousand dollars to construct the present courthouse. Everywhere he is known he enjoys esteem and confidence for his business ability and integrity, has frequently been consulted in regard to business deals, and has served as receiver for several oil companies. In 1914 he was on the republican ticket at the preferential primaries in Oklahoma as candidate for state examiner and inspector.