George Woodward was born September 9, 1817 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. His parents were George (1775-1848) and Jemima (Shinn) Woodward (1780-1850). He married Thamizine Downing in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1842 and was among the early settlers to both Salt Lake City and, later, St. George, Utah. He was a stonemason by trade and the man for whom the Woodward School in St. George was named. He served as chairman of the school board during the construction. It is said that he gave $3,600 of his own money towards its construction, which is about 10% of the final cost of construction.