Joseph Woodward II

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Joseph H. Woodward II (born 1912; died June 25, 1965 at Sapphire Lake, North Carolina) was an executive in his grandfather's Woodward Iron Company and a historian of the furnaces in the Birmingham District.

Woodward was the grandson of J. H. Woodward and the son of Rick and Annie Jemison Woodward. Joseph attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and Yale University before returning to Birmingham in 1934 in the purchasing department of his grandfather's company.

During 1940, Woodward compiled material for a record of every blast furnace built in Alabama to that point. The result was published by Woodward Iron Company and remains a much-acclaimed reference.

During World War II Woodward served as a Captain in the Army Air Corps, stationed to Santa Ana, California. While there he met Mary Ellen Massebean, a lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps. They married on May 11, 1944.

Woodward returned after the war to serve a forestry engineer for the company, quickly moving up as an assistant to the president and company secretary. After his father's death, Woodward was elected to the board of directors and served as director of public relations beginning in 1951.

Woodward also served on the boards of the First National Bank of Birmingham, Allied Life Insurance Company, and the Jefferson County Community Chest and on the executive committee of the Alabama Historical Association.

Woodward died at his summer house in North Carolina and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery.


  • Bennett, James R. (2007) "Introduction" in Joseph H. Woodward II, Alabama Blast Furnaces. Reprint edition. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0817354328