TABLE OF CONTENTS
Timothy Lester Woodruff was born on August 4, 1858 in New Haven, Connecticut to his mother, Harriet, and his father, John, a congressman. He graduated from Yale College in 1879 and continued to actively participate in the college in his later years. After Yale, he attended Eastman's Business College in New York, where he met his first wife, Cora Eastman, who was the daughter of the school's founder, Harvey Eastman. After Eastman's death in 1878, his wife, Minerva, took control of the college along with her new husband, Clement C. Gaines, and subsequently caused the college to incur great debts.
Shortly after graduating Yale and attending Eastman's Business College, Woodruff began an active political career. His most notable political achievement was his position as New York's Lieutenant Governor for three terms from 1897-1902. During and also largely after his time as Lieutenant Governor he actively served in the Brooklyn Young Republicans, the Montauk Club, the Lyons Republicans, the New York Republican State Committee (of which he was chairman from 1906-1910), and the Union League Club.
During his political career, Woodruff was very enthusiastic about agricultural affairs. He aggressively promoted the protection of the New York wilderness, including protection from deforestation and devastating damming. Obviously a man who appreciated nature, he also frequently visited his camp in the Adirondacks named "Kamp Kill Kare" where he often brought friends, family, and fellow politicians. He named a lake at the camp Lake Kora, after his wife Cora.
Although perhaps most well-known for his political endeavors, Woodruff was also very active in several different businesses. He was at one point the treasurer of the Worchester Salt Company, president of the Maltine Company, president of the Smith Premier Typewriter Company, president of the Pneumelectric Machine Company, a director of the Merchants' Exchange National Bank, and vice president and member of the board of directors of the Garden City Estates.
Outside of these political and business careers, Woodruff had two wives, a daughter, and a son. His first wife, Cora, became gravely ill for quite some time before dying in 1904. She was buried beside their first child, a daughter named Minerva who died as an infant. A year later, Woodruff married Isabel Morrison. Woodruff's son John also attended Yale, but correspondence between father and son revealed that John was at times irresponsible and a disappointment to his successful father. John later married and participated in some of the same businesses that his father was active in.
Woodruff was also the first president of the Adelphi College Board of Trustees, serving from 1896-1908. During this time he was responsible for petitioning the New York State Board of Regents in 1896 to allow the college to be attended by both male and female students. After stepping down as president of the Board of Trustees, he remained active in the college and continued corresponding with the college's founder, Charles H. Levermore. They discussed topics ranging from school events to providing the school with typewriters from one of the several typewriter companies Woodruff was involved with.
In 1913, after an incredibly active political and business life in New York, Woodruff died suddenly after suffering a stroke while delivering a speech at the age of fifty five.
The Woodruff Papers Collection contains correspondences between Timothy L. Woodruff and various politicians, business associates, and family members. The collection consists of letters written largely between 1906-1910, but also contains some earlier correspondence. The collection is stored in nine boxes.
It is divided into five series that reflect the major subjects of the letters: Business, Political, Kamp Kill Kare, Personal, and Adelphi. These five categories are further divided into more specific subsections. There is also one "miscellaneous" folder that contains documents that were difficult to read or could not otherwise be placed in a proper category.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Timothy L. Woodruff Collection; Box and Folder number; Adelphi University Archives and Special Collections, Garden City, NY.
This collection was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan R. Keith. (Mrs. Keith’s father, Hugh Allen Ward, was Mr. Woodruff’s nephew.)
This collection was reprocessed in 2012 by Lisa Zuena under the supervision of Professor Jessica Wagner.
Restrictions on Access
The Timothy L. Woodruff Collection is open to research. Photocopies of fragile materials are provided for researchers in lieu of the originals.
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from Adelphi University Archives and Special Collections. Researchers are responsible for copyright compliance.
The Timothy L. Woodruff Collection is arranged into 5 series:
Series 1: Business
Series 2: Political
Series 3: Kamp Kill Kare
Series 4: Personal
Series 5: Adelphi University
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.