Facts and Events
Frederick Woollcott was born in Virginia in 1881. He was a clothing merchant and storekeeper by trade. He and married Maude Young. Fred and Maude had one daughter, Elizabeth Brydon Woollcott. In 1919, Fred went into the women's clothing business in Warren, PA. The store Leonardson's was renamed to the Leonardson-Woolcott Company. Fred died at age 61 in Durham, North Carolina in 1933, and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Early Life & Education
We have not been able to discover and document facts about Frederick's early life and education. He was born (1871) in Virginia to William Woollcott and Mary Oliver. Fred's father and mother immigrated from England to Virginia in 1858, and 1864, respectively. Ancestry.com public trees indicate that Fred had two siblings. He was the middle child with an older brother Walter, and a younger sister Mary. The 1880 census lists him at school, and living in Raleigh North Carolina with his parents and 3 siblings. The street name is not legible, but one can see "between Hargett and Morgan" which puts the family in about an 11 block area near Nash Square. The family was wealthy enough to employ a cook who is listed on the 1880 census, a 24 year old Stella Johnson.
Fred married Maude Elizabeth Young in North Carolina in 1896. He was 25 years old and she was 21. They had one daughter, Elizabeth Brydon Woollcott, in 1903.
Census records and newspaper clippings establish that Fred was a merchant, first a grocer then a clothing merchant. The 1900 census lists the 28 year old Frederick Woolcott as a grocer and the 1910 census as a merchant. By 1919, Fred Woollcott (age 48) was self employed and part owner of the Leonardson-Woolcott Store in Warren, PA. See the add announcing the reorganization of the store with new management in the images section. The business description is "women's clothing, accessories, and millinery." Fred Woollcott is mentioned in the "Society and Personal Items" section of the February 18, 1919 Warren Evening Times as returning home from a buying trip to New York (City?) for the Leonardson-Woolcott Store. Searches for Leonardson's in the Warren Evening Times yield many advertisements from the period 1918-1919, and indicate that is was possibly a chain of stores rather than a single store. An entry in the Pennsylvania log of corporations dates the formation of the Leonardson-Woolcott Company with $20,000 of capital on March 19, 1919. The business partner is A.W. Leonardson of Clearfield, PA. Fred's work and family history becomes less certain after 1920. A Warren Evening Times entry lists Mrs. Fred Woolcott as visiting Warren PA from Newark OH in 1927. And in 1930, Fred shows up in both the U.S. Census and the Raleigh city phonebook as working as a store manager in Raleigh. The phonebook lists assistant manager of Taylor's store, while the census lists manager of a ladies wear store. The Great Depression began on 4 Sept 1929, but the move out of Warren prior to 1929 is interesting and bears additional research. The fate of the Leonardson-Woolcott store and Fred's interest in the business is not known.
The 1930 census entry confirms that Fred did not serve in the military. This makes sense; he was born after the Civil War and was about 43 at the outbreak of World War I.
Places of Residence
For places of residence before his marriage, see the Early Life section. The 1900 census places the 28 year old Frederick and his 24 year old wife Maude in Fred's father's rented home in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are 6 residents in the house, the heads of household William and Mary Oliver, and two married couples -- their son Fred, and their youngest daughter Mary and her husband. The address appears as 406 Newberne Avenue on the census form, but is difficult to read clearly. A search with modern maps in 2013 matches that to 406 New Bern Avenue, and Google Street view shows a home there that is consistent with turn of the century or early 1900s architecture.
The 1910 census also places Fred and Maude in Raleigh, but now living with Maude's parents Davie H. Young and Flonetina Young. There are a total of 8 in the house. There are the head of household (Davie and Flonetina, 64 and 53, respectively), their children Maude (age 33) and Hubert (age 31). Maude and Hubert are both married and each have one child. The address is 116 Edenton St. Photographs of the area from 2013 indicate that the block has been redeveloped.
By 1918, Fred and his wife Maude were established in Warren, PA (based on a newspaper clipping mentioning their daughter in 1918). The 1920 census places Fred, Maude, and their 16 year old daughter Elizabeth in a rented house at 311 Fifth Ave. in Warren, Pennsylvania. But (based on an entry in the Personal Items section of the Warren Evening Times) Fred and Maude moved to Newark, Ohio by 1927. Mrs. Fred Woolcott is listed as visiting Warren PA and staying with Mrs. Ed Ley. And in 1930 Fred and Maude are listed in a Raleigh City phone book, where he is assistant manager of Taylor's store, with an address of 1824 White Oak Rd. This is corroborated by the 1930 U.S. census, which has Maude and Fred living in the home of Maude's brother Hubert (also 1824 White Oak Rd).
Photographs and Other Historical Documents
No photographs of Fred Woollcott have been documented yet. Fred appears in the U.S. Census entries of 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930. There are seven newspaper clippings in the Warren Evening Times (Warren, Pennsylvania) ranging from 1919 to 1927 that mention Fred, his business, or other family members. The establishment of his company is documented in the Pennsylvania log of corporations of the time. His gravestone is photographed and is available on the public website listed in the sources. He is listed in North Carolina death registry as well.
It is interesting to note that the last name varies. Close relatives of Fred have been listed as Woolcott, Woollcott, Woullcott, and Woollcutt. In the newspaper and on the death registry for Frederick it is Woolcott, while on the gravestone it is Woollcott.