Encyclopedia Titanica

Oscar Scott Woody

Oscar Scott Woody
Oscar Scott Woody

Mr Oscar Scott Woody was born in Roxboro, North Carolina on 15 April 1871 1.

He was the son of John Frank Woody (b. 1844), a farmer and merchant, and Nancy Cole (b. 1846), both natives of North Carolina 2. His known siblings were: Pattie (b. 1873), Rosa (b. 1876) Ninnie (b. 1879) and James M. (1882-1951).

He first appears on the 1880 census living with his family in Holloways, Person County, North Carolina. By the early 1890s he was working for the US postal service, serving the railways between Greensboro, North Carolina and Washington, DC. He was listed on the 1900 census living as a boarder in the latter city and was described as an unmarried postal clerk. He was from the office of the Third division of the Railway Mail Service in Washington but left that city to reside in New York around 1909 when he was put in the marine service.

A Freemason, Woody was later married in Washington on 5 October 1910 to Leila M. Bullard (b. 1877), a native of Dallas, Texas and niece of the Central Mail Office Detective Harry Warren. The couple remained childless and maintained a holiday home in Clifton, Virginia where they spent extended periods when Mr Woody was not at work.

He travelled to Europe aboard Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, arriving in Plymouth and was instructed to join Titanic on her maiden voyage. He joined Titanic on 10 April 1912 as part of the postal group and whilst aboard was due to celebrate his 41st birthday on 15 April.

On the night of the sinking, Woody and his fellow postal clerks, assisted by several other crewmen, struggled to bring some 200 sacks of mail up to a higher deck from the flooding mail rooms.

Mr Woody died in the sinking. His body was recovered (#167) and buried at sea.


CLOTHING - Grey striped suit.

EFFECTS - Watch; fob; chain and clip; 2 fountain pens; letters; knife; cuff links; 1 gold ring; keys and chain; $10.02.

U.S. Mail Clerk

His widow Leila, who had been staying at their holiday home in Virginia, hastened to stay with her uncle Harry Warren to await news of her husband. She apparently never remarried and was living in Washington, DC by the time of the 1930 and 1940 census records.

She died on 14 April 1965 in Silver Spring, Montgomery County (Montgomery), Maryland. She was buried at Glenwood Cemetery, Washington D.C.


  1. Many sources give a birth date of 15 April 1868. Census records confirm that he was born in 1871.
  2. The 1880 census states his mother was born in North Carolina. The 1900 census states otherwise, saying she was from Virginia

References and Sources

John Eaton & Charles Haas (1992) Titanic: Destination Disaster, Patrick Stevens Ltd. ISBN 1 85260 534 0
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S. Details compiled from records of the "Mackay-Bennett". Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S., Manuscript Group 100, Vol. 229, No. 3d, Accession 1976-191
Find a grave

Newspaper Articles

Washington Times (16 April 1912) Washington Man Mail Clerk on the Ill-Fated Steamer
Brooklyn Daily Times (17 April 1912) W L Gwyn, Former Brooklyn Mail Clerk, May Have Been Lost
Newark Evening News (20 April 1912) JOHN S. MARCH ONE OF THE HEROES
Rutherford Republican (20 April 1912) MAIL CLERKS DIED BRAVELY
New York Times (21 April 1912) GAVE LIVES FOR THE MAILS
Newark Evening News (22 April 1912) FAMILY OF J. S. MARCH MAY RECEIVE $10,000
Evening Star (22 April 1912) Mail Clerk O. S. Woody Was Loyal to the Last
Asbury Park Evening Press (23 April 1912) PENSION FAMILIES OF LOST CLERKS
Hampshire Advertiser (10 April 1915) Titanic Memorial Tablet
Memorial to the sea-post officers
The Southampton Times (10 April 1915) Titanic Sea-Post Memorial


Washington Evening Star (1912) Oscar Scott Woody


Postal worker's gold watch discovered frozen in time
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Comment and discuss

  1. Alicia Windsor

    Alicia Windsor

    Hi everyone, I stumbled across this article on wral.com while searching for news on my other obsession, Raleigh native Clay Aiken. I did not know there was a Titanic exhibit at the Museum of Natural Sciences, now I have even more motive to visit Raleigh. It's wonderful that the museum recognized Woody, the postal carriers of the Titanic are some of my favourite unsung heroes. There is also a picture of Woody at the link. Museum Honors Roxboro Man Who Died On Titanic POSTED: 7:46 p.m. EST November 24, 2003 UPDATED: 7:59 p.m. EST November 24, 2003 ... Read full post

  2. Jason D. Tiller

    Hi Alicia, Thanks for posting that. It's great to see that Oscar Woody has not been forgotten. Best regards, Jason

  3. Chris Dohany

    Nice to see a different photograph of the man as well. Thank you for the link.

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Oscar Scott Woody
Age: 41 years (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 167)
Buried at Sea on Wednesday 24th April 1912

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