Oscar Scott Woody
RMS Titanic, Postal Clerk, Hero, and Freemason
"I urged them to leave their work. They shook their heads and continued at their work. It might have been an inrush of water later that cut off their escape, or it may have been the explosion. I saw them no more."
Albert Theissinger Steward aboard RMS Titanic and survivor.
Oscar Scott Woody lived in Clifton, VA., and was one of five postal clerks who perished on the Titanic when after hitting an iceberg sank on April 15, 1912. Oscar Scott Woody was a Freemason and was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Acacia Lodge No. 16 in Clifton, VA. on August 30, 1903.
Oscar Scott Woody was happily celebrating the approach of his 44th birthday at the stern of the ship with his colleagues when it struck the iceberg. Woody died on his 44th birthday. A native of Roxboro North Carolina, Woody was ordered to travel to Europe aboard SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, that sailed from New York on April 2, 1912. Upon arriving in Plymouth, Woody was instructed to make his way to Southampton. From there, Edwin Sands, Assistant Superintendent of Foreign Mails, ordered him to “return to New York as a clerk in the sea post office on the RMS Titanic, sailing from Southampton, on April 10, 1912.”
The heroism of one of Titanic's postal clerks has been a source of inspiration for the governing officials of North Carolina. Oscar Scott Woody had been a postal clerk for 15 years on trains between Greensboro, NC and Washington, D.C. prior to joining the crew of the RMS Titanic at the age of 43. On that fateful night of April 14, 1912 Woody and four other postal clerks were among the first to suffer from the impact with the iceberg. These men refused to leave their post and struggled to save the mail in their charge. They were last seen carrying sacks of mail from G deck to C deck to save it. All five men perished in the line of duty, only two of their bodies were recovered, Mr. Woody and Mr. March, both Americans. In November of 2003, Governor Mike Easley declared November 24th "Oscar Scott Woody Day" In NC. and in 2004 Roxboro Mayor Steve Joyner proclaimed July 12 "Oscar Scott Woody Day" In addition, the NC. Museum of Natural Sciences released a commemorative envelope with a cancellation stamp honoring Woody. Raleigh Democratic Congressman Brad Miller introduced a bill in the NC. congress to give Woody a post office. All members of the congressional delegation signed the bill. In a statement, the congressman said, "I believe recognition of Oscar Scott Woody's heroic efforts is long overdue. This legislation named the Roxboro NC. Post Office in honor of a native son who gave his life upholding his duties to the U.S. Postal Service." On June 25, 2004 President George W. Bush signed a Bill designating the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 223 South Main Street in Roxboro, NC. as the "Oscar Scott Woody Post Office Building". This is the first ever and still the only U.S. Post office to be named after an postal employee that was on the Titanic.
June 24, 2009 A U.S. Flag that was flown over the United States Capitol on April 15, 2009 to "Honoring Acacia Lodge No. 16, A.F. & A.M. and "Remembering - Oscar Scott Woody" at the request of the Honorable Robert J. Wittman, Member of Congress.
The Flag was presented to Acacia Lodge No. 16 by William "Bill" G.L. Turner, PM, PNC of the National Sojourner and the Heroes of '76.
August 6, 2009 Woody's Masonic Lodge, Acacia Lodge No. 16 adopts a resolution to honor Brother Woody each April by inviting a representative of the Post Office serving the Town of Clifton, Virginia to attend dinner prior to the stated meeting and offering a prayer for the peaceful repose of Brother Woody at such meal.
April 7, 2009 Mayor Thomas Peterson and the Town Council, by unanimous vote adopt a proclamation drafted by William J. Baumbach, II declaring April 15th as "Oscar Scott Woody Day" in the Town of Clifton Virginia.
March 2012 the House Joint Resolution No. 518 "Commemorating the life of Oscar Scott Woody" was voted on by the House and Senate in Richmond, Va. On Wednesday July 3, 2013 Delegate Richard L. Anderson of the 51st House District of the Virginia General Assembly presented the Joint Resolution to Acacia Lodge.
April 15, 2012 for the 100-year anniversary the Grand Lodge of Maryland opened up their museum with a special Titanic and Oscar Scott Woody display. See their magazine for details, front cover, and pages 8-9
U.S. Post Office 223 South Main Street Roxboro, NC. Named in honor of Oscar Scott Woody.
Pictures taken by Brother Andy White of Person Lodge No. 113 Roxboro, NC. Nov. 2008. Interesting note, 11-24-08 the current postmaster is Brother Mark C. Griffin
His body was number 167 recovered and was buried at sea on April 24, 1912 because of the poor state of his corpse. His body was also identified by a letter to his wife, Leila Bullard originally from Dallas, TX., who he had just married about 18 months before. He was the son of J. Frank Woody of Roxboro NC. The Mackay-Bennett, a cable ship chartered by the White Star Line to aid in the salvage operation, recovered Woody’s body.
As the Titanic sank into the Atlantic on April 15, 1912, one of four postal clerks attempting to save the ship’s mail was Brother Oscar Scott Woody, a member of Acacia Lodge No. 16, then located in Clifton Station, Fairfax County, Virginia. Brother Woody was raised in that Lodge on August 30, 1903, and was age 44 when he perished with 1,513 other victims of the world’s most famous shipwreck. The May 27, 1912, minutes of Acacia Lodge indicate a resolution on his death was drafted to be presented to his widow and published in the Fairfax Herald. The Lodge purchased a wreath of flowers with Masonic emblems for Brother Woody’s subsequent burial at sea.
A week after the Titanic collided with an iceberg on its maiden voyage to New York City, Bro. Woody’s body, kept buoyant by a cork life preserver, was recovered. Among the artifacts retrieved were a watch, a Post Office Department letter assigning him to the Titanic, a key chain, mail-routing slips from the ship’s post office, a canvas bag stenciled "No. 167," and two pens and cuff links carrying Masonic symbols. Published in the 1998 Scottish Rite Journal.
Forged from Titanic's spare propeller is a memorial plaque from the UK Postal and Telegraph Service to honor the Titanic's five postal workers. Three are U.S. and the other two are British.
The plaque hung in the High Street Post Office in the UK until it was closed in April 2008. Elaborate ceremonies are planned in April 2009 for its unveiling at its new location at the Southampton's Civic Centre in the UK.
This plaque is just one of over 138 Titanic memorials and graves in Southampton United Kingdom.
IS ERECTED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE POSTAL AND TELEGRAPH SERVICE TO THE HONOR AND MEMORY OF JOHN R. JAGO SMITH, JAMES B. WILLIAMSON, BRITISH SEA POST OFFICERS, AND THEIR AMERICAN COLLEAGUES WILLIAM H. L. GWINN, JOHN S. MARCH,
OSCAR S. WOODY
WHO DIED ON DUTY IN THE FOUNDERING
OF THE S. S. TITANIC APRIL 15, 1912
"STEADFAST IN PERIL"
Picture of plaque complements of Brian Ticehurst. UK.
Over 94 years after being recovered from Woody's body after floating in the ocean for about 8 days; on November 11, 2006 Woody's water stained Acacia Lodge No. 16 dues card finally made its way back to Virginia and is currently on display at the Grand Lodge of Virginia Museum in Richmond Virginia. Note the trowel over the Square and Compasses, it is signed the Worshipful D. W. Buckley, Secretary. Also in the museum display case next to his dues card are one of these Masonic Titanic lapel pins and one of these collector Masonic Titanic Coins.
These unique collector's commemorative Masonic Titanic Lapel Pins and Coins were custom designed by Brother William J. Baumbach, II in 2008 to honor those Freemasons that lost their lives when the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912. The Masonic Titanic Lapel Pins and Coins honor one Mason in particular, Brother Oscar Scott Woody, who died on his 44th birthday. When his body was recovered, among other Masonic items found on him was his Masonic dues card for Acacia Lodge No. 16 A.F. & A.M in Clifton Station Virginia, now simply known as Clifton.
Depicted on both the Lapel Pin and Coin is a replica of the Titanic, right down to the number and color of smoke stacks, antenna wires, and even the lookout tower, imposed overtop of the image of the Titanic is the Freemasons Square and Compasses with the letter “G” in the middle. Around the border are the words “Acacia Lodge No. 16 Clifton Virginia” and two sprigs of Acacia (Evergreen) which is an emblem to Freemasons and symbolically represents their faith in the immortality of the soul. In the center on top is the name “Oscar S. Woody” and at the bottom is the word “Titanic” You can own one of these commemorative Lapel Pins and Coins
Acacia Lodge No. 16 was severely damaged by flooding in June of 2006. and is currently undergoing major renovation. If you are interested in Tax-Deductible ways to help create a Museum and restore Brother Woody's Mother-Lodge visit: The Acacia Foundation, Inc.
RMS = "Royal Mail Ship" (Streamliner, Steamship) means the ship was commissioned to carry mail by the British and U.S. Government.
Oscar Scott Woody home in Main St & Clifton Rd Clifton, Va.
There were several other Masons on the Titanic Freemasons on the Titanic and Freemasonry on the Titanic. A list of Masons on the Titanic from the Spring 2012 edition of the Beacon, a joint publication of the Ohio Masonic Home and the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
Bro. Woody purchased the property in Clifton in 1910 (source Fairfax Herald, 10-28-1910). A resolution of his death was drafted by Acacia Lodge No. 16 to be presented to his widow, and was published in the Fairfax Herald 05-17-1912 on page 3. Only three of the five postal workers were Americans the other two were British.