Teacher Publishes Book on Patrick County

Teacher Publishes Book on Patrick County

Beverly Woody, a sixth grade U.S. History teacher at Martinsville Middle School, has published her first book. Patrick Pioneers Part One. Published by Laurel Hill Publishing, the book is the culmination of a three-year effort by Woody to research and record the lives and stories of the people of Patrick County, Virginia. This first volume contains 100 stories across over 400 pages.

“We are incredibly proud of Mrs. Woody’s accomplishments,” said MCPS Superintendent Dr. Zebedee
Talley. “Seeing our teachers share their expertise and passion beyond the classroom is inspiring and a
testament to the high quality of education we provide here at Martinsville City Schools. Her book
showcases the depth of talent and commitment our educators bring to our students every single day.”
Woody, who grew up in the Big A community of Patrick County and graduated from Patrick County
High School, said she says she grew up with a passion for history. She conducted her first interview with
mountain folks at the age of 10.

“I have always had a passion for local history,” Woody said. “I loved listening to the older folks in my
family tell stories about how things were when they grew up. I often wished that my grandparents had
written their stories and memories down for future generations.”

She said she believes books on a community’s local history are important because the stories they tell
are so relatable to others in that community.

“I was telling my students that Patrick Henry once lived in Henry County and where they could find the
DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) monument that was placed at the corner of his former
home. I had two students come into class the next morning and tell me they had their parents take them
to see the monument after school. Local history is real and tangible.”

Woody dedicated the past three years to collecting and writing the stories of the people of Patrick
County. In writing her book, she relied heavily on local census and death records as well as interviews
with family members and digitized newspapers from the Library of Virginia. The book covers stories of
Patrick County residents from the 1700s to the present day.

“I wrote this for my grandchildren,” she explained, “so that they would have a better understanding of
their heritage.”

Patrick Pioneers Part One is currently available on Amazon.com but will be on sale locally for the first
time on July 28 during the Tom Talks History program at the Ararat Ruritan Club (4711 Ararat
Highway, Ararat, Virginia). The event begins a 2 p.m. Proceeds from the day’s book sales will support
the Perry Family Scholarship, which supports college-bound seniors from Patrick County High School
planning to major in history.

Woody plans to donate future proceeds from the book to the Patrick County Historical Society and
Museum and the Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Museum to be used for youth educational
programming. She currently serves on the board of directors for both institutions.

“I am thrilled and relived to finally have this book in print,” Woody said of her three-year-long project.
“While there are a few stories about my ancestors in those pages, this book is really a microcosm of all
of the people of Patrick County.”