Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

Centennial History of Hurricane: The Woodworth Family

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 248th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Albert and Marybelle Woodworth

When the C&O Railway came into this country there were only two tracks, with trains going both east and west. When the double track system was installed around 1912, they discontinued the Milton telegraph office and moved operator C.M. Woodworth to Hurricane, where he and Major Locee worked twelve hour shifts seven days a week. With him came his wife Anna and their two sons, Morton, age six, and Albert, a baby. Their daughter Mary was born in 1915.

When he went to the Putnam County Bank to cash his first check, he introduced himself to Mr. Jim Garrett and was told that if he was a Baptist and a Democrat, he was welcome to Hurricane. So he didn’t tell him he was a Methodist and a Republican! Despite this fact they made many friends and were charter members of the “Forrest Burdette Memorial Methodist Church.”

In 1916 they bought forty acres of land from the John McCallister estate, about one mile west of town. They lived there until 1932 when they sold the farm to Albert and moved to town. He became active in city government and served on the town council many years. He died in 1964 and she died in 1968.

Morton became a chemist, marrying Frances Thornton of Buffalo, West Virginia. They lived most of their lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Both are now deceased. They had two sons, C.M. III of Louisville, and Homer of Memphis, Tennessee.

Mary was an English and Latin teacher and taught in Ravenswood High School where she and her family resided. They had two adopted daughters, Carol and Anne. Mary died in 1963.

Albert and Marybelle Craddock were married in 1932 and moved to the forty-acre farm he had previously bought. Because of the Jersey dairy cows this became known as the “Woodworth Jersey Farm.” They had six children: Lee, who works in the educational system in Mobile, Alabama; Jean, an attorney practicing in Louisville, Kentucky; Joan, a housewife living in Marietta, Ohio; Lowell, an insurance adjuster for Safeco in Canton, Michigan; Carol, a registered nurse and a student at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky; and Clarence, the only one living in the Hurricane area, a teacher at Hurricane Middle School.

From 1929 until after World War II, the Woodworth Jersey Farm was the Hurricane area’s main milk supplier, furnishing milk and cream to homes, schools and restaurants. Those old glass milk bottles in quart, pint and half pint sizes are now used in many homes as flower vases. The farm acreage was increased to seventy-seven acres and equipped with “modern dairy facilities.”

Sixteen American Jersey Cattle Club “Constructive Breeders Awards” were received and the “West Virginia State Conservation Farm of the Year” in 1951 and 1966.

The Jerseys were dispersed in 1971 and replaced with Angus beef cattle.


A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

The Woodworth Family
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