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Crain Woods

Educator and politician Crain Woods was born in Due West, South Carolina, on December 14, 1932. The youngest son of a farmer and a housewife, Woods attended Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, following his graduation from high school. Woods earned a B.S. in 1957, and later returned to school, attending South Carolina State University for an M.S. in education and graduating in 1970.

After earning his bachelor's degree, Woods began his teaching career in 1959 in the Clarendon County Department of Education, where he was a teacher and a coach. Three years later, Woods was hired by the Horry County Department of Education, where he served as a teacher and school administrator. Woods continued on with Horry County until his retirement. In 1994, Woods became involved in the city government of Myrtle Beach after winning a City Council seat, and served as a city councilman until 2002.

Woods remains active with the local government today, serving on the Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel Corporation board of directors and the All Aboard Committee, which is taking measures to have the Myrtle Beach railroad station placed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Woods sits on the board of the Myrtle Beach Housing Authority. He has also been active with the Horry County chapter of the American Red Cross for more than twenty-five years and currently serves as chairman of the organization.Additionally, Woods is a charter member and sits on the board of the Children's Museum of South Carolina. Woods and his wife, Julia, have been married since 1959.

Woods passed away on March 5, 2017 at age 84.

Accession Number




Interview Date


Last Name


Marital Status



Benedict College

South Carolina State University Lab School

First Name


Birth City, State, Country

Due West



Favorite Season



South Carolina

Favorite Quote

You Know.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Interview Description
Birth Date


Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Myrtle Beach



Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Seafood

Death Date


Short Description

High school teacher and city council member Crain Woods (1932 - 2017 ) served as a city legislator in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


Clarendon County Department of Education

Horry County Department of Education

Myrtle Beach City Council

Favorite Color

Gold, Purple

Timing Pairs

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Crain Woods' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Crain Woods lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Crain Woods describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Crain Woods describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Crain Woods describes his hometown of Due West, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Crain Woods describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Due West, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Crain Woods describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Crain Woods describes his childhood chores

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Crain Woods talks about attending church in Level Land, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Crain Woods describes his experiences in school

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Crain Woods describes his experiences attending Carver High School in Due West, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Crain Woods describes enrolling at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Crain Woods describes his experiences attending Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Crain Woods describes his employment experiences after graduating from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Crain Woods describes pursuing his Master's degree at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Crain Woods describes integrating the staff of an elementary school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Crain Woods describes how he was asked to run for a seat on the Myrtle Beach City Council

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Crain Woods describes how the Myrtle Beach City Council worked to improve the economy of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Crain Woods describes how the work of the Myrtle Beach City Council has benefitted the community

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Crain Woods shares his hopes and concerns for the community in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Crain Woods reflects upon his legacy and his parents' pride in his teaching career

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Crain Woods talks about his plan for the future

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Crain Woods talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Crain Woods narrates his photographs







Crain Woods describes integrating the staff of an elementary school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Crain Woods describes how he was asked to run for a seat on the Myrtle Beach City Council
Okay, okay. Now, tell me about your career in the Myrtle Beach system, you know, what, what things happened?$$Well, there were things that happened in the system. And after working here a few years, when they got ready to integrate the system, again, I was called on to go to the grade school, and that's where Horry County integrated there, the staff there. Superintendent, I think called the principal in one afternoon, and said who they wanted to transfer and the principal called me at home about four o'clock one evening and said, "You're to meet in the superintendent's office tomorrow morning for the purpose of being transferred." And, again, I said, you know, I could have been asked, but I wasn't asked. I was told, for the purpose of being transferred. So that kind of really disturbed me a little bit that, that I was not asked. And I think I told my wife that night, that evening, I said, you know, "I think I'll go back to New York," I said, "and go to work there and probably do some blood chemistry and blood typing," you know, this kind of thing, working in a lab. And I remember, she looked at me and she said, "Well, Woods, if you're gonna leave your family here, then I didn't marry the man I thought I did." Well, that was enough said for me to not to worry about a thing else, but go on down to the grade school the next morning or down to the superintendent's office, which I did. And then there was, one of the teachers there, Fred Bagwell [ph.] met in the office also. And he was a Caucasian, so he was being transferred over to the Carver [Elementary] School here. You know, every town had a Carver school if it was black. So we met, and we talked, and we had a great time with each other because he was open minded, and so was I. So they carried us, carried--our first stop was down to the grade school where I was introduced to the classroom there that I would be the teacher that would be coming in the next morning and that Mr. Bagwell would be leaving. And we went over to Carver School where he was introduced that he would be taking over that spot. And that's the way it was done. It was just done that simple, and that--but just, we moved along. And so, you know, naturally, some people didn't like it and some people did. So, you don't please everybody anyway. So we just had a great time there, and I stayed there and, until they decided to--that they were gonna close that school. And then they moved up to another school that was opened. And they had--was building other schools along. And from that I went into administration, assistant principal at the middle school. And we stayed there until we retired. And that was eleven years ago.$$Now, was busing the biggest issue in the schools when you were--$$Busing was a big issue because in order for Myrtle Beach, if blacks were going to attend high school, they had to go to, all the way to Conway [South Carolina] and that was not very good. So once the schools were integrated, then that was cut out and you could stay within your own area and attend school. So we had a, you know, it was a challenge, and everyone was up to the challenge. So it worked, and it's working today. So we're just pleased about that.$Okay, all right, now, how did you get involved in politics?$$Well, after I retired, I remember one of the council members which was James Futrell, he was the first black that we had on city council, and he said to me, he said, "I would like for you to maybe go on there." He said, "I'm not gone stay there too much longer." And I said, "Oh no." I didn't pay it any attention. And so three or four other people came to me and said, "You know, we want you to run for council." I said, "No." So we had, I had just retired and I told my wife, I said--our daughter was living in Augusta [Georgia] at the time. And I said, "Well, let's go down to Augusta and, for a few days and just kind of get away from everything." And when I came back, it was, they had thing on the answering machine that said, "Come up to the church, come up to the church." So I told my wife, I said, "I'm going up there." I said, "But I," I said, "I believe I know what they want." I said, "But I'm not gone run for council." I went up there, and the minister was there at the church, you know, and said, "You know you have been slated to run for, for council, whether you know it or not." He said, he said, "Now the people have spoken. Now, what do you say?" I said, yes (laughter), of course, and, you know, from that it just went right along. And that's what we did. We went on and we were successful that time, and we put eight years on council. And--$$So they basically--did they have a plebiscite is how that, how they did it to choose you as a candidate, as a (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) Well, it was, it was just some of the people just got together and they just said, this was--they wanted me to run. And I did. And, of course, my wife supported me and my family supported me to run. And many people, because, I guess I had taught people all over the city, you know, and whites and blacks, and there were so many of 'em came together to support me. And I'm thankful for that. It gave me a great opportunity to see some of the fruits of my teaching and all, 'cause a lot of the students came and said, "We want to work for you." And I said, "Great." So we had a great time.