This is Brother John Woodward #GUOOF… From his accolades you wouldn’t have thought for a minute that this man had never in his life had a day of formal education. If you know anything about Spartanburg,SC history…..you’ll surely recognize his name as one of the wealthiest and most prominent African American businessmen in all of the Upstate ! Our brother was born August 28th 1872 in Fairfield County. Raised on a farm and sharecropping most of his childhood he wasn’t afforded an opportunity for going to school, however, he was taught to read and write by the family who owned the land. He took a job at a #ginnery where he learned to conduct his own business. At 16 he moved to Spartanburg and operated a farm of his own and dabbled in small real estate ventures. He leased a parcel of his farm to the #Government and soon after he established the first African American #undertaking service in Spartanburg. Woodward, built his first facility on #ShortWofford Street, which ran between Church and Magnolia streets near where the #PalmettoBank now stands. In 1946, the funeral home moved to its current location, 594 Howard St., inside the large, white home-like structure that previously served as a hospital for #African-Americans.
After J. W. Woodward’s death in 1947, his son, John Stinson Woodward (1908-2002), took over the funeral home.Today, J. W. Woodward Funeral Home is owned and operated by Kay E. Woodward, granddaughter of our Brother…..“We were more than just a mortuary back then. It was a savings and #loan place, it had laundry services and seemed to be a go-to place for all sorts of things.” she explained to a local paper.
J.W. Woodward #Funeral Home, Inc. celebrates its 100-year anniversary during 2016. The mortuary is the oldest African-American business in Spartanburg. #Oddfellowship #service #oddfellows #fraternal #threelinks #FriendshipLoveandTruth