Person Page 121

William Cowper Woodson1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11

born 14 February 1813, died 25 May 1890
Painting of William Cowper Woodson attributed to George Caleb Bingham. (Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis)

Family 1: Elizabeth Daniel Lewis (died April 1844)

Family 2: Juliette Colson Howard (born about 1820, died 31 January 1897)

Facts and Notes

  • Religious Affiliation: Methodist3
  • Birth: 14 February 1813; Prince Edward County, Virginia, USABGO2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
  • Arrival: 1817; Chariton County, Missouri, USABGO; He moved with his family from Virginia3
  • Anecdote: After 1817; Chariton County, Missouri, USABGO; See person note below3
  • Education: About 1831; Princeton College, Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky, USABG1,3
  • Marriage: 25 November 1834; Elizabeth Daniel Lewis2,3,12
  • Marriage: 29 July 1845; Juliette Colson Howard; Monticello, Chariton County, Missouri, USABG3,10,13
  • Residence: 1850; District 82, St Louis, Missouri, USABG; Age: 387,3
  • Occupation: Between 1850 and 1860; St Louis, Missouri, USABGO; Farmer. In 1850 he owned $8000 worth of real esate; by 1860 that had risen to $30,000 and he owned another $6565 in personal wealth1,3,8,7
  • Residence: 1860; Central City, St Louis, Missouri, USABG; Age: 478
  • Residence: After 1861; St Louis, Missouri, USABGO3
  • Residence: 1870; Ward 5, St Louis, Missouri, USABG; Age: 58; Census Post Office: Saint Louis4
  • Occupation: Between 1870 and 1880; St Louis, Missouri, USABGO; Tobacconist. By 1870 his real estate had fallen to $8000 and his personal wealth to $1000; his wealth was not listed in the 1880 census4,9,1,3
  • Residence: 1880; St Louis, Missouri, USABGO; Age: 68; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Self9
  • Death: 25 May 1890; St Louis, Missouri, USABGO; Died at age 77 years, 3 months, and 11 days of bronchitis and pneumonia5,2,3,6,11
  • Burial: After 25 May 1890; Bellefontaine Cemetery, 4947 West Florissant Avenue, St Louis, Missouri, USABG1,5,6
  • Note: Henry Morton Woodson wrote the following about William Cowper Woodson in the Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections:
    "William Cowper...early became identified with the development of the social, religious, and commercial interests of that part of the new state of Missouri. The conditions peculiar to a pioneer life, amidst which he was brought up, developed the hardy virtues which later became conspicuous in his life. He received his primary education in the schools convenient to his boyhood home, and finished at Princeton College, Kentucky. He was married twice; first on November 25, 1834, in Chariton county, to Elizabeth Daniel Lewis, daughter of Edmond Lewis, a brother of Henry Lewis, who married Elizabeth Woodson. This Lewis family and that of Richard Woodson, left Virginia and moved to Missouri together.
    William Cowper spent 11 years farming in St. Louis county, after which he engaged in the tobacco business. He was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was a faithful and efficient officer, aiding by material and moral support, in all the church's activities. He also filled several civil offices, in which he proved himself a citizen on whom the state could depend. His first wife died in April 1844 at Monticello, in Chariton County Missouri. He was married a second time on July 29, 1845, to the widow Mrs. Juliet Colson Coale (nee Howard), formerly of Owensboro, Kentucky. They were married at Monticello, in Chariton County.
    In 1850 they moved to St. Louis county and settled on a farm, situated on what became Olive Street Road, nine miles from the city of St. Louis, where it crosses the Woodson Road, which was so named for him. He was one of the promoters of the extension of this road through the county to Howell's Ferry, also of the St,. Louis Fair Association and a large stock holder in both enterprises.
    Soon after the beginning of the Civil War, thinking -- as did many others -- that the property of all Southern people in that section would be confiscated by the Federal government, he sold his farm and moved to St. Louis. Here he spent the rest of his life, and died May 25, 1890, honored and respected by all who knew him. He was a good man."


  1. [S436] Woodson, Robert S., Brief Family History of Robert S. Woodson, Woodson, Robert S.. Brief Family History of Robert S. Woodson. Privately held by Mary Jane Reyes, Lorton, Virginia, 2014., Robert Woodson states that Middleton Singleton attended Missouri State University in 1847. However, he probably meant the University of Missouri, which was established at Columbia in Boone County in 1839; Missouri State wasn't established until 1905.
  2. [S439] McNaull, Margaret, Personal Family Tree, McNaull, Margaret. Personal Family Tree. Privately held by Marianna Cobb, Arlington, Virginia, 1993.

    These are copies of three separate genealogical records and a personal letter that were sent by Margaret McNaull to Marianna Cobb in Virginia in 1993. The copies were on file in the home of Mary Jane and Robert Reyes of Lorton, Virginia, as of 2014., Margaret McNaull Genealogical Records, Copies sent to Marianna Cobb on 11 May 1993.
  3. [S454] Woodson, Henry Morton, Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections, Woodson, Henry Morton. Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections. Memphis, Tennessee: H.M. Woodson, 1915.

    A copy of this book is available on (see, (see, and Google Books (see, Pages 172-173
  4. [S354], 1870 United States Federal Census, Year: 1870; Census Place: St Louis Ward 5, St Louis, Missouri; Roll: M593_815; Page: 50B; Image: 106; Family History Library Film: 552314, Record for William Woodson
  5. [S558], Missouri, Death Records, 1834-1910, Missouri Death Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm., Record for William C Woodson
  6. [S519], U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Record for William Cowper Woodson
  7. [S398], 1850 United States Federal Census, Year: 1850; Census Place: District 82, St Louis, Missouri; Roll: M432_414; Page: 515B; Image: 509, Record for William C Woodson
  8. [S476], 1860 United States Federal Census, Year: 1860; Census Place: Central, St Louis, Missouri; Roll: M653_656; Page: 803; Image: 339; Family History Library Film: 803656, Record for William Woodson
  9. [S397] and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Saint Louis, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: 733; Family History Film: 1254733; Page: 127A; Enumeration District: 329; Image: 0615, Record for W. C. Woodson
  10. [S673], Missouri, Compiled Marriages, 1754-1850, Dodd, Jordan. Missouri Marriages to 1850. Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Missouri., Record for Julet C. Cool
  11. [S560] St. Louis Genealogical Society, comp., St. Louis City Death Records, 1850-1902, St. Louis Genealogical Society. Index to Death Records in the City of St. Louis, 1850-1902. St. Louis, MO, USA: St. Louis Genealogical Society, 1999., Record for William C Woodson
  12. [S785] E. Maurice Bloch, The Paintings of George Caleb Woodson, Item 473: William Cowper Woodson, 1813-1890; pg. 252
  13. [S399], Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002, Record for Wm C Woodson