Amos Woodcock will be subject of MAC lecture

The May Delmarva History Lecture offered by Westside Historical Society on Monday, May 20, will be delivered by Dr. Stephen Gehnrich at the MAC Center in Salisbury, beginning at 2 p.m.

The topic will be a familiar figure to many local residents, Gen. Amos W. W. Woodcock, native of Salisbury.

The title of his talk is “General Amos W.W. Woodcock (1883-1964): Gentleman, Soldier, Scholar, and Good Citizen.”

Woodcock was a prominent citizen of Salisbury, who served his community, state and country in numerous capacities. His life was intertwined with many of the major events in the first half of the 20th century, and he played a significant role in many of them; from guarding the Mexican border in 1916, fighting in World War One, enforcing Prohibition, and Prosecuting Japanese War Criminals after World War II.

He was also actively involved in Maryland, serving as the U.S. District Attorney, the President of St. John’s College, President of the Wicomico School Board, and active member of Asbury Methodist Church.

Why has this man of great accomplishments been virtually forgotten, even in his hometown? This will be the approach Gehnrich will examine in his talk.

Gehnrich, who was awarded a doctorate in Biology from Tufts University in Massachusetts and did research at Harvard University, joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Salisbury University in 1988.

As he explains, his interest in local Salisbury history began when he asked the late Salisbury historian, Richard Cooper, about a low brick wall just off Riverside Drive. Cooper explained that the wall enclosed a well that had part of a garden in the estate of Woodcock, who had been the commander of Salisbury’s National Guard Company while fighting in France during World War I

Gehnrich was already a World War I buff, so this was a perfect fit.

Gehnrich decided to pursue a master’s in History, which he completed in 2008. His thesis was a biography Gen. Woodcock.

Gehnrich’s talk is one not to be missed. As always, this lecture is free and open to the public. The talk will be held in the Bradford Room of the MAC Center.

Audience members are welcome to ask questions and participate in the discussion following Gehnrich’s presentation.

For more information email or phone Westside Historical Society at or call 410-726-8047.

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