Otis R and Iva Leota (Smith) Woodson Family
June 27, 2001
68 Homestead Rd
Hannibal, Mo. 63401
Shirley Bishop Keller
3207 Appalachian Dr.
Columbia, Mo. 65203
My Name is Otis Woodson, and I have relatives buried at Liberty Cemetery.
Last Friday we went to the cemetery and got what information Mrs. Ruby Hale had
(from her cemetery book). She gave us your name and address. Yesterday we went
to the Callaway County Court House and historical society.
My great-grandparents were Tyra D. Bishop (1816-1905) and Rebecca (Wilburn)
My grandparents were Tyra D. Bishop (died 11/19/1918) and Nannie (died 2/3/1904).
My mother is Mary Bishop Peterson born 2/24/1886 and died 11/20/1957. I am
interested in possibly putting up some small stones where there are none. I am
not sure of the row but west of the gate there is a row (according to cemetery
records) that has
1) Arta Bishop
2) Evie E. Bishop
3) Nannie Bishop
4) Tyra D. Bishop
6) Coe Ruth Bishop
7) Emma (Mrs S J)
8) St. Clare Bishop
9) Rebecca (Wilburn) Bishop
10) Tyra D. Bishop
11) negro slave of 9 and 10, Elvira
I am interested in small stones at [plot number] 1, 2, 9, 10 and 11. We
think 1 and 2 may be infant children of 3 and 4 (but are not sure). 9 and 10
have big stone w/ Bishop name but no information. 11 no information other than name.
We can do 9 and 10 with the information we have but if you have any additional
information we would appreciate hearing from you.
Otis R. Woodson
especially on #1, 2 and 11.
Otis and Vanda Woodson
68 Homestead Rd.
Hannibal, MO 63401
Mr. Wm. F. Bishop
603 W. Ash
Columbia, Mo. 65203
July 12, 2001
Thanks for responding to my request for information about some of our kinfolks.
I'm writing this note to let you know I will try to answer your questions,
but it will take time for me to get in contact with some of the people that can
answer some of your questions. I don't know how long it will take for them to
correspond. I will also call you one of these days so we can get together to get
to know each other. Thanks again. I appreciate what you did and look forward to
Otis R. Woodson
24 July 2001
Background Biography of Otis R Woodson
I was born May 1, 1923, in Hannibal, Mo. to Jess and Mary Bishop Woodson at 1503 Park
Ave. The house is still standing and in good repair. (I will take a picture of it later
on.) We moved to a farm in Monroe County, Mo. in 1924. At this time, Nannie, my sister
was married to Erby Chase. Virginia Ruth born 1915 and Matalene [Geraldine??] 1918 were living
at home. Mary Francis was born in Monroe county in May 29, 1925. I think it was in 1928
we moved back to Hannibal. Our mother worked at the International Shoe factory. Our dad
Jess Woodson died March 29, 1929, at the State Hospital (I'll explain this to you later when
I see you.) [Jesse S Woodson was taken to the hospital in Fulton as he was having seizures
and they were to check into this. While in Fulton Jess died and was buried at Augusta Church
Cemetery with other Woodson family members in Callaway County, Missouri. - William F Bishop]
Our mother lost her job later in the fall and she put Mateline, Mary and I in the orphan's
home here in Hannibal from the fall of 1929 to early 1933 when we got out. She married
W. D. Long and they separated later. In 1934 she took a job with the Harvey Family at
Ashburn, Mo. doing housework. Mary and I were with her and went to school in Pike County.
Mateline married Sylvan Purcell in 1933 and lived in Hannibal until some time during
We later moved to Louisiana, Mo. where we lived at 602 Kentucky and later to 1119
Kentucky and our mother worked on the WPA Sewing Room. She met and married Mr. Louis A.
Peterson about 1938. Later they moved on the farm in Monroe County, Mo. I went in the
CCC Camp in 1940 at Bowling Green, Mo. and in 1941 we moved it to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.
I came back to Hannibal in July that year and got a job at the Shoe factory and worked
a few months and got a job with the CB&Q Railroad on the rip track and worked a short time
and quit and went back to the Shoe factory. I married in Jan. 24, 1942, to Iva L Smith
3-20-25 and lived in Hannibal a short time. I quit the Shoe factory and went to work on
the Hannibal Connecting RR. In March of 1943 I went into the Army. I was in Ft. Sill,
Ok., Pennscola, Fla., Ft. Jackson, N.C., Ft. Bragg, N.C. and the Southern Pacific -
Phillipine Islands. After the war ended I was discharged in Jan. 6, 1946. I came back
home and lived in Rual, Mo. and worked on the Hannibal Connecting RR until Jan. 31,
1965, when I went to Chicago, Ill. (I had been a Car Inspector Staff Assistant, Yard
Clerk - Yard Master and Supr M/W. I went to the Belt. Ry Co. of Chicago as a Track Supr.
I did quit them in a couple of years and worked as a carpenter in Decatur. Moved to
Louisiana, Mo. I was a Shipping Supervisor for Dundee Cement Co. at Clarksville, Mo.
until 1972 and I quit and went back to the Belt Ry Co. of Chicago. I was a Track Inspector
for seven years and was promoted to Engineer M/W in 1980 and retired in 1985. We moved
back to Hannibal in an apartment house that we had and lived there for a couple years and
bought a new house from someone that couldn't pay for it and lived there until 1994. When
my wife died and later I decided I would get married again I sold out and moved in with
present wife who we had known for quite a while. Her name is Vanda M. Jones (Holder).
She comes from Randolph County, a good Christian Lady. Her daughter Janet Lyn lives in
I raised 3 children. Otis Wayne Jan. 30, 1942. (Died Mar. 3, 1989 of cancer) Carol
Jean Oct. 14, 1944. Virginia Kay Jan. 16, 1952. Carol lives in Hannibal; Virginia lives
across the River in Ill. I am a Deacon in the Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal, Mo.
[Statement from Otis R Woodson, 24 July 2001]