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 Charles Woodward

Charles Woodward

Death 2 Jun 1937 (aged 83)
Burial Burnaby, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Plot 001-WM
Memorial ID 10755 · View Source
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Charles Woodward was Farmer, merchant, and politician.

He founded the largest department store chain in western Canada with eighteen stores by 1975. He was active in promoting the interests of business in Vancouver and known as the workingman's friend.

He was elected as Liberal MLA for Vancouver in 1924, serving until the crashing defeat of John Oliver's government in 1928. Later on his son, William Culham Woodward served as BC Provincial Lieutenant-Governor.

The first Woodwards store was establish in 1892 at the corner of Main and Georgia Streets,Vancouver, BC. On September 12, 1902 Woodwards Department Stores Ltd. was incorporated, and a new store was built at Hastings and Abbott. It is famous for the large red "W" atop of the building (which still stands and is being developed into both High-end and Social housing and a University). The first Edmonton Store was opened in 1926.

The Woodwards' catalogue, published from 1897 to 1953 and it was proclaimed that it was "The Great Mail Order House of the West." The mail-order business extended Woodwards influence beyond Vancouver into remote locations, particularly in British Columbia and Alberta. But the post-war period, Woodwards' chose to expand its chain of departments stores rather than continue to focus on mail order.

By the late 1940's, the company began to open numerous stores in B.C. and Alberta, including: Port Alberni (1948); West Vancouver (1950); New Westminster (1951); Oakridge Mall, Vancouver (1959); Calgary (1960); Mayfair, Victoria (1963); a second store in Edmonton (1965); Prince George (1966); and Surrey (1966). They were the first Department stores to have a Food Floor. The food floors were always an important part of Woodward's stores. The stores eventually closed and the Hudson's Bay Company acquired Woodward's assets in 1993, the end of an era for people living in the West.

Charles Woodward is interred in the only mausoleum in the Masonic Cemetery in Burnaby, BC.

Bio by: SusanR

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 11 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10755
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Woodward (19 Jul 1853–2 Jun 1937), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10755, citing Masonic Cemetery of British Columbia, Burnaby, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .