Born: June 27, 1841
Died: March 9, 1914
Married: Anna Rice
Children: four, including Mrs. Frederick T. Sorrell and Mrs. Datus Ayres
Russell Eugene Woodruff was a Saranac Lake contractor. He supervised the construction of many local buildings including the original Harrietstown Town Hall and the Church of St. Luke, the Beloved Physician. He organized the first fire company in Saranac Lake in 1888, the Woodruff Hose Company, and served as supervisor for the Town of Harrietstown. One of the Saranac Lake Village Trustees is listed as "E. Woodruff". He lived at 45 Riverside Drive. Woodruff Street was named for him. Benjamin Woodruff was his brother.
From an unidentified, undated newspaper article from from Scrapbook 8 (made by Alfred L. Donaldson) of the Adirondack Collection, Saranac Lake Free Library
ORGANIZED VILLAGE FIRE DEPARTMENT
Eugene Woodruff Dies at Morrisonville, Aged 72 years
Delegations attend funeral
Woodruff Hose Company and Woodruff Named After Public Spirited Resident- Was Once Supervisor and Did a Large Contracting and Building Business- Leave Hosts of Friends
March 9, 1914
Eugene Woodruff, organizer of the Saranac Lake Fire Department and its first chief, for whom the Woodruff Hose Company was named, died Monday morning at Morrisonville, where he has lived the past three years. Mr. Woodruff was a well known and at one time an important figure in the life of Saranac Lake. He was supervisor for the town of Harrietstown in 1883-1884 and was a charter member of Whiteface Mountain Lodge and a contracting builder of extensive operations in the early days of Saranac Lake.
It is by his services in organizing and for many years contributing heavily to the support of the Saranac Lake Fire Department that he will be most generally remembered. It was in 1888, when the village, then not yet incorporated, entered its first period of rapid growth, that he accomplished this. A large number of frame buildings had been erected, and the village was without any organized fire protection.
Mr. Woodruff took the matter up with a number of other Saranac Lake gentlemen, and a volunteer hose company was organized. He contributed liberally to the support of the infant organization, and was made its first chief. For many years he continued an active member and gave frequent contributions of money for its support. In 1892 the company was incorporated under the laws of New York State, and the organizer's name was made the official title of the company.
Woodruff Street was named after him. At one time he owned the property now occupied by the Loomis Block, the Ledger buildings, the Adirondack Hardware Company and many private residences. He opened a street through the property and in 1894 the bridge over the river was built.
As contracting carpenter he built the Town Hall on Main Street. Among other buildings which he erected are those owned by Milo B. Miller, and occupied by A. Goldsmith & Co., H. H. Tousley, and John Weir. With his brother, Benjamin Woodruff, he constructed the Walton & Tousley Hardware Company’s building adjacent to the Town Hall.
Russell Eugene Woodruff was born in the town of Lewis, Essex County, on June 27, 1841. He was the son of Julius Augustus Woodruff. For many years he lived with his parents and then went to Bloomingdale. His first work in Saranac Lake was done while he lived in Bloomingdale when, in 1867 he built the structure now occupied by the Goldsmith store.
In 1871 he married Anna Rice, a sister to Walter C. Rice of Saranac Lake, and of the union four children were born. Two of them died in childhood, and two, Mrs. Frederick T. Sorrell of Morrisonville and Mrs. Datus Ayres of Watertown, survive, together with Mrs. Woodruff. Two brothers, Benjamin of Saranac Lake and James of Brandon, Vt. also survive.
It was shortly after his marriage that he came to Saranac Lake. He has lived here ever since until three years ago when he moved to Morrisonville to be near his daughter, Mrs. Sorrell. During his life here he constantly made new and warm friends, retaining the old by virtue of his generous and sympathetic nature. He was beloved by all his neighbors.
The funeral took place Wednesday afternoon from the late home in Morrisonville and a large number of Saranac Lake people attended. These included delegations of members of Woodruff hose Company and Whiteface Mountain Lodge, F. & A.M.