Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographies

BIOGRAPHY: Gussie Woodruff born Dec. 1844



(Dec.1844- Dec. 28, 1928)

Montgomery County, Alabama

During the Great Depression the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an employment program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, Over its eight years of existence, the WPA put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work. The Federal agency employed tens of thousands of actors, musicians, writers and other artists to capture the essence of American life. Many authors throughout Alabama interviewed and wrote interesting stories about people in Alabama. This is a biographical sketch by Marie Reese


Alabama Writers Project

Life Histories/Stories


Marie Reese Writer

life of

Miss Gussie Woodruff, educator

201 Alabama Ave

Montgomery, Alabama

From: Ala. Blue Book and Social Register, p. 367

(Transcribed exactly as written with grammatical errors on March 4, 1939)

Miss Gussie Woodruff, teacher and generally known as “Miss Gussie” was born December, 1844 at Wetumpka, Elmore County, Alabama. She was the daughter of Lorenza Nathan and Eugenia Augusta Woodruff, and granddaughter of David and Lucy Holbrook Woodruff. Also was the granddaughter of Col. John Michael and Ann McCall Houghton. She was educated in Montgomery schools.

Miss Woodruff was a well known educator and devoted 60 years of her life to this profession in the capitol city. She was first chosen to teach in a school organized by the First Presbyterian church. She then taught in a private school conducted by Miss Petrie and later organized her own private school which was taught in her residence on 201 Alabama Avenue, in the year 1870.

Starting out on her own with only a few pupils and only using one room for a class room, her ability and reputation as an instructress spread rapidly and with it her school grew rapidly and from year to year it became more popular. She very shortly grew to 100 pupils and five rooms in her home had to be converted into class rooms. Next there were 200 applications for entrance, and if she could have taken care of so many there would have been twice that many.

Miss Woodruff had an extraordinary career and some most unique experiences. She taught the parents and grandparents of some of her scholars. During the while she was assisted by four teachers, but each day she made a rule to make a personal visit to each room and make a personal contact with each pupil there by getting a “check-up” on their progress.

She was modest, retiring and unassuming. In addition to her educational work, she was interested in the literary and patriotic clubs of the city. Was a member of Francis Marion Chapter of the D. A. R.’s. Sophie Bibb Chapter, U. D. C. Life member of Robt. E. Lee chapter of children of the Confederacy. Chapter Member of Magazine Club. Her hobbys were children and teaching. This able and noble woman laid the foundation for many of the outstanding men and women of her home city. Her lovely character endeared her to all who knew her and there were those who had met with success could trace it back to the first principles instilled in them — by her.

Died December 28, 1928 – last residence, Montgomery, Alabama.


After the Revolutionary War, free bounty land was offered by the federal government to citizens and soldiers for their service. 

This book is the 2nd Volume in a series of books which includes genealogical and biographical information on some Revolutionary Soldiers who were in early Alabama and/or collected military pensions for their service. Some of their descendants still remain on the bounty land they received. The soldiers in this volume include: JACOB HOLLAND, CHARLES M. HOLLAND, THOMAS HOLLAND, COL. JOSEPH HUGHES, CHARLES HOOKS, DIXON HALL, BOLLING HALL, WALTER JACKSON, WILLIAM HEARNE, THOMAS HAMILTON, GEN. JOHN ARCHER ELMORE, REVEREND ROBERT CUNNINGHAM, JAMES COLLIER, THOMAS BRADFORD, REUBEN BLANKENSHIP, HENRY BLANKENSHIP, DANIEL BLANKENSHIP with a special story about the patriotism of CHARLES HOOKS sister…MARY HOOKS SLOCUMB


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