Biographical Sketch of Judge John Rowlett Woodside
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JUDGE JOHN ROWLETT WOODSIDE (deceased). This gentleman was born in Calloway County, Kentucky, in the Kentucky Purchase, in 1814. He was self educated and from Kentucky removed to Scott County, Missouri, and later to Oregon County, and was engaged in school teaching for some time, but while teaching he broke his shoulder which forced him to other pursuits. He took up law and was soon admitted to practice, and later was made State attorney. He was a member of the State Legislature when the secession ordinance was passed. During the early part of the war he served as a recruiting officer for the Confederacy for a time, when he was captured and imprisoned at St. Louis for some time when he was released upon his honor.
After the war in 1872 he was elected district judge which position he filled with distinction and ability for fourteen years. He made the circuit on horseback and frequently was compelled to swim the swollen streams. He was a Democrat but never allowed politics to interfere with his canvass for the judgeship. He was a master Mason and a member of the Southern Methodist Church for fully thirty-five years. He died February 28, 1887, one of the most honored and prominent characters who ever resided in Oregon County. He was married in Scott County, Missouri, to Miss Emily H. Old, who still survives and is the mother of eight children, five of whom are living, and all in Oregon County.