Woodville, or New Woodville, as it is also known, is situated east of State Highway 70A on McDeffee Road, approximately five miles southeast of Kingston in Marshall County. Originally named Harney, a post office was established on November 8, 1881, with James H. Darland as postmaster. According to historian George H. Shirk the town was renamed Woodville on July 9, 1888, in honor of a local settler named L. L. Wood, whose full identity has been forgotten. He may have been Chickasaw or intermarried.
The early Woodville public well, a pavilion type, boarded up and covered with a peaked roof, was the pride of the community. Dug in a Main Street intersection, the well was deemed so important that road construction was rerouted to the edge of town to protect it. Farmers often came to the well for barrels of water to take home.
In 1900 the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway built tracks just north of town. In later years there was a school two blocks south of the well, and nine brick buildings and the railroad depot were constructed nearby. West of the depot was a grain elevator and stock pens with loading ramps for cattle shipments. Several cotton gins were clustered near the railroad tracks. Local newspapers were the Woodville Banner, the Woodville Beacon, and the Woodville Star.
Woodville's population grew from 390 in 1907 to a high of 443 in 1920. Unfortunately, the town was vacated upon the completion of the Denison Dam on the Red River in 1944. Lake Texoma soon covered the site. Some homes and the cemetery were moved to New Woodville, where sixty-nine individuals lived in 2000. Between 1997-98 and 2001-02 the community became unincorporated. At the turn of the twenty-first century most employed residents worked in production and service occupations in larger metropolises.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Madill (Oklahoma) Record, 11 September 1952. John W. Morris, Ghost Towns of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977). "Woodville," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
Marshall County Genealogy and Historical Society
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