South Carolina Supreme Court Justices

Charles Albert Woods
Date Born: July 31, 1852

 Date Died: June 21, 1925

Place Born: Darlington District, SC

Place Buried: Grove Hill Cemetery in Darlington, SC


Associate Justice 1903 - 1913

Charles Albert Woods was born on July 31, 1852 in Springville, in the Darlington District, SC, the son of Samuel Alexander Woods and Martha Jane (DuBose) Woods. He received an A.B. from Wofford College in 1872. Woods then began teaching school at Wesley Chapel. In January of 1873, while teaching school he began to read law at the firm of Warley & Dargan in Darlington, SC. He was admitted to the bar in September 1873 at Chesterfield Court House, Honorable C.P. Townsend presiding.

In December of 1873, Charles Albert Woods launched his own law practice in Marion, SC, but business was very slow due to a lack of clients. He devoted himself to increasing his knowledge of the law in his attempt to master his chosen profession. Around March of 1875, he formed a partnership with Henry McIver, who resided in Cheraw, SC. Woods remained in private practice in Marion until 1903.

On December 16, 1884, Charles Albert Woods married Salley Jones Wannamaker of Orangeburg County; they had XXX children. Salley Woods died in 1913. He married a second time, to Jane E. "Catsie" Spain, daughter of Albertus Chambers Spain and Davia Donella (Hardeman) Spain of Darlington, SC.

In 1902, Charles Albert Woods was unanimously chosen to be President of the South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina).

On January 28, 1903, while serving as the president of the SC Bar Association, Charles Albert Woods was elected an Associate Justice on the SC Supreme Court by the SC General Assembly by a vote of 87-67, defeating Robert Aldrich, and replacing Young John Pope who had just been elected as Chief Justice of the SC Supreme Court. He was re-elected in 1904, and he served as Assoicate Justice in the SC Supreme Court until June 7, 1913, when he resigned.

On April 24, 1913, Charles Albert Woods was nominated by President Woodrow Wilson to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit vacated by Nathan Goff. One South Carolina lawyer, John T. Duncan, who had been disbarred by the SC Supreme Court objected to Woods' nomination; Woods had written an opinion for the SC Supreme Court finding Duncan in contempt for practicing law without a license after having been disbarred, but Duncan claimed that Woods had been biased against him and lodged a complaint with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of Woods on May 19, 1913. Woods was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 5, 1913.

Charles Albert Woods resigned his position on the SC Supreme Court by telegraph to Governor Coleman Livingston Blease on June 7, 1913, and he was sworn in in Richmond, VA on that same day, and he served in that capacity until his death.

Charles Albert Woods died on June 21, 1925 in Florence, SC, and he was buried next to his first wife in the Grove Hill Cemetery in Darlington, SC.

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