James T. Woodward

James T. Woodward (September 27, 1837 – April 10, 1910) was an American banker and owner of a major thoroughbred horse dynasty.

James Thomas Woodward
BornSeptember 27, 1837[1]
DiedApril 10, 1910[1]
Cause of death"paralysis of the brain"[1]
Resting placeWoodlawn, Cemetery, Bronx, New York[1]
EmployerHanover National Bank[1]
Known forPresident of Hanover National Bank
Owner of Belair Mansion and Belair Stud
Board member ofHanover National Bank
St. John's College[1]
Parent(s)Henry Williams Woodward and Mary Edge Webb[2]


James T. Woodward was the second child born to Henry Williams Woodward and Mary Edge Webb at Edgewood Plantation in Gambrills Station, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.[2][3]

While his family gathered tremendous wealth during the American Civil War by selling textiles to the Confederates,[4] James spent the war years in school.[5]

Woodward moved to New York after the war and took a job at Ross, Campbell & Company where his business acumen was recognized. He became a director in the Hanover National Bank in the early 1870s. In 1877, his brother William Woodward (who founded the New York Cotton Exchange)[3] and he pooled their funds and bought a large portion of the bank. James was elected president of the bank the same year. Under his leadership the deposits of the bank grew from $6,000,000 to $100,000,000.[5]


Woodward was a bachelor his entire life, but was active socially. He joined many elite clubs including the Union Club, the Metropolitan Club, the Knickerbocker Club of New York City and the Maryland Club of Baltimore.[5][3]

An avid hunter and horseman, Woodward purchased the historic Belair Mansion and Stud farm in 1898.[6]

James maintained residences in New York, Rhode Island as well as at Belair. During this time, he developed a very close relationship with Saint John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and was elected to its board of visitors. Woodward invested significantly in both repairing Belair and expanding St. John's during this time. In June 1909, St John's gave the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws to Woodward in recognition of his extensive contribution to the school.[5][6]

Woodward regularly attended services at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and was a frequent hunter.[7]


Woodward died in 1910 having never married. His nephew, wealthy lawyer and banker, William Woodward, Sr. was his sole heir and inherited the estate in 1910.[8] The inheritance tax of $3,200 was the largest ever paid in Prince George's County at that time.[1]

Woodward Hall houses the library at St. John's College, named in his honor.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (2005). Belair From the Beginning. Bowie, Maryland: City of Bowie Museums. pp. 111–118.
  2. ^ a b Hammond, John Martin (1914). Colonial Mansions of Maryland and Delaware. Philadelphia & London: J.B. Lippincott Company. pp. 199–204. ISBN 1-4067-5947-3.
  3. ^ a b c Warfield, Joshua Dorsey (July 1905). The Founders of Anne Arundel And Howard Counties, Maryland. Baltimore, Maryland: Kohn & Pollock. pp. 123–125. ISBN 0-8063-7971-5.
  4. ^ Bowen, Edward L. (2003). Legacies of the Turf: A Century of Great Thoroughbred Breeders. Eclipse Press. pp. 73–76. ISBN 1-58150-102-1.
  5. ^ a b c d "James T. Woodward, The Banker, Is Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. April 11, 1910. p. 1.
  6. ^ a b Baltz, 1984, p. 70-74
  7. ^ Ackerson, Constance Pelzer (1978). Holy Trinity-Collington: Her People and their Church :Two Hundred and Seventy Years. p. 106.
  8. ^ a b Baltz, Shirley Vlasak (1984). A Chronicle of Belair. Bowie, Maryland: Bowie Heritage Committee. pp. 74–76. LCCN 85165028.