Dr. James Taylor Woodburn was the youngest child of James and Amelia (Higgins) Woodburn, natives respectively of Christian County, Kentucky, and South Carolina, of Irish and English descent. The father, who was a son of James and Mary (Wilkey) Woodburn, natives of Ireland and South Carolina, emigrated from South Carolina to Christian County, Kentucky about 1800, where he entered and improved 200 acres of land, on which he lived until his death; he was sheriff of Christian County under the old constitution. The mother was the daughter of William Higgins, who married Charity Compton. Mr. Higgins was a soldier of the Revolution, a farrier and moved to Tennessee, then to Christian County in an early day.
from A History of Muhlenberg County, Rothert, 1913
Mrs. J. T. Woodburn, the mother of Dr. J. T. Woodburn, came to Muhlenberg County in 1852, a year after the death of her husband. She died near Bethel Church in 1886. She raised nine children – John A., Rev. William H., Mrs. Anna (John L. G.) Thompson, Dr. Benjamin W., Mrs. Teresa A. (R. H.) Tolbert, Mrs. Charity (R. C.) Chandler, Mrs. Isabelle (B. F.) Reed, Mrs. America Jane (J. N.) Durall, and Dr. J. T. Woodburn.
Tuesday, November 3, 1914
Prominent Central City Citizen Passes Away
Dr. J. T. Woodburn Dies After Protracted Illness of Heart Trouble
Central City, Ky., Nov. 2 – (Special) – Ex-Mayor Dr. J. T. Woodburn died at his home in this city this morning following a protracted illness of Bright’s disease and heart trouble. He was sitting talking to his wife and Dr. W. R. McDowell when without a moment’s warning he expired.
Dr. James Taylor Woodburn was born in Christian County on December 28, 1848. He took a degree in the Kentucky School of Medicine in 1877. Coming to Muhlenberg County he practiced his profession in Northern Muhlenberg and Southern McLean counties until 1901. In this year he moved to Central City. Five years later he consolidated his business with that of Dr. W. R. McDowell, and they formed the Woodburn-McDowell Drug Company.
He has been on the Board of Heal of Muhlenberg County for more than twenty years and kept up his practice until about six months ago when his health failed. In January 1910, he was made Mayor of Central City and for four years successfully conducted the affairs of the town.
In 1877 Dr. Woodburn married Miss Bettie Cosby, of Bremen, and to this union five children were born, all of whom survive their father, together with their mother. The children are Dr. Dudley Woodburn, of Jackson, Mississippi; Mrs. S. K. Coffman, Mrs. Ben Holt, Mrs. J. A. Smith and Miss Grace Woodburn, all of Central City. He also leaves surviving him his three sisters, Mrs. Teresa Tolbert, of West Plains, Missouri; Mrs. America Duralle and Mrs. Charity Chandler, of Midland, Kentucky.
His funeral will occur Tuesday from the residence, the services being conducted by his pastor, the Rev. E. L. Howerton, of the Baptist church, and the Rev. B. M. Currie, of the Methodist church, with interment at Fairmont Cemetery, Central City.