Husband: Francis Marion (Frank) Wood (Figs. R563a, R563b)
Father: Lewis E. Wood [R005]
Mother: Emma (Burger) Wood [R005]
Born: 7/4/1902, at “Wood home near Nimrod Hall”
Died: 10/4/1980. Buried at Horeb Baptist Church, Bath County

Wife: Annie Mae (Murray) Wood (Figs. R563a, R563b)
Father: Walter C. Murray, Clifton Forge Va.
Mother: Mary Ann (Smith) Murray
Born: 11/16/1908 in Collierstown (Rockbridge County) Va.
Died: 9/19/1988, buried at Horeb Baptist Church.

Married: 11/29/1933, by Rev. W. P. Long, Clifton Forge Va.

Sarah Mae Wood, b. 9/20/1934. M. 1st Lloyd Douglas Shrader in
    1953, ch. Frank Douglas (Bo; b. 4/3/1954, m. 1st Jennifer Corson,
    dau. Janie Lee; m. 2nd Angelia Pullen, dau. Kelsey Mae),
    Susan Jeffrey (Susie; b. 12/14/1955, m. Dr. J. K. Muehleck, who has
    s. Jason), Wesley Lloyd (Wes; b. 9/8/1957, m. Sharon Hewitt). M.
    2nd Robert Duane (Dewey) Davis (Fig. R563c) in 1959, ch. Sarah
    Lewanne (b. 4/3/1960), Robert Duane Jr. (Bob; b. 1/11/1963, m.
    Rochelle Grubb, div.).
Frances Marion (Frankie) Wood, b. 10/22/1935. M. 8/9/1958 to
    James Apistolas Jr. (Fig. R563e), ch. Lisa Carol (b. 4/25/1960, m.
    James E. Hensley, s. Jackson Thomas b. 4/16/1996), James Steven
    (Jimbo, b. 9/6/1962, m. Katherine Eisenhower, div., ch. Abigail
    Katherine b. 1/11/1990, Maxwell James b. 10/14/1991), and Frances
    Wood (Frannie, Fig. R563d, b. 5/3/1965, m. John Michael
    Muldowney 9/24/1994).

(1996) Frank Wood, the last of Lewis and Emma’s children, was named for Lewis’s father [R004]. Lewis did the best he could to educate Frank, given that there was no school near Nimrod and it was impractical to commute to one in the wintertime. During the winter of 1916-17 Emma and her two youngest children, Elsie (18) and Frank (14), lived in a boarding house in Millboro so the children could go to school there. In the winter of 1919-20 Frank (17) lived with Harry and Kate Van Lear [R554] in Roanoke and attended school there. In September 1920 Frank entered Fork Union Military Academy, located between Charlottesville and Richmond, and graduated in 1922.

At that time he had an interest in becoming a doctor: perhaps he had been inspired by the profession while he was in a Richmond hospital in 1916 for an operation on his leg. Quoting a 10/5/1922 letter of Emma’s [S089], “Frank says he will take a two year course at V.P.I. a premeditated [sic] course, & then take the medical course at Richmond I think if he gets along allright in his studdies, he has decided to studdie medicine.” However, his premed studies at VPI did not go well (see [S148]), and in 1924 he switched to a program in Business Administration.

By 1928, when his mother died, Frank had taken on more and more of the responsibilities of running the Nimrod Hall summer resort from his aging father. By 1931 the Nimrod letterhead listed “Frank M. Wood, Manager” and “Lewis E. Wood, Proprietor.” In a letter that year Lewis, 75, said “I wish Frank would marry and get settled down. He spends so much time on the go.” Frank was going through the same wild youthful years his brothers did, and indeed all of us have.

Soon after, Frank met Mae Murray, a student in the School of Nursing at the C&O Hospital in Clifton Forge. Mae was born in Collierstown, Rockbridge County, and lived there until 1919. Her father, Walter C. Murray, was a locomotive engineer on the C&O Railroad. After the death of his wife, he moved his family to Clifton Forge. Mae and Frank were married 11/29/1933, after a fairly brief courtship. Mae continued to nurse at the C&O Hospital until the following spring, coming to Nimrod only on weekends. Their first child, Sarah Mae, was born 9/20/1934. Thirteen months later another daughter, Frances Marion, was born (10/22/1935).

The summer resort business suffered during the depression, like other businesses, and Frank undertook to increase Nimrod’s income by opening a summer camp for boys on the property. The first Camp Director was C. G. (Rosie) Thomas, a friend of long standing from Fork Union and VPI. (It is not to be wondered that the official camp colors were orange and maroon.) Camp Nimrod for Boys opened in 1936 with three campers. The campers increased in numbers, and by 1937 Frank had built four cabins to house them. (Ultimately eleven cabins were built.) The 1938 campers are shown in Fig. R563f, in the Camp’s mess hall. (That was the first year I attended the Camp.) The Camp prospered during WWII; in the 1960s the campers included several sons of NASA astronauts, at a time when the latter were stationed at Langley Field Va., before the Manned Spacecraft Center was opened in Houston Tex.

Mae helped run Nimrod Hall, and was the Nurse at the Camp. Frank replaced his father as the Nimrod Hall Postmaster. Lewis Wood was diabetic, and because of this and his age he gradually became confined to his room and the front porch; Mae took care of his medical needs. Lewis died 4/8/1948 and left the Nimrod Hall property to Frank, the son who had stayed and taken care of him for the last twenty years of his life. Frank’s sister Mattie [R559] had established Camp Nimrod for Girls in 1939. After she died in 1962, Frank purchased the Girl’s Camp from her son Ned, and he continued to operate both camps until his death on 10/4/1980. Frank is remembered by those who knew him as a man’s man, strongly oriented to the outdoors, sports, and hunting; the same pursuits that had occupied earlier owners of Nimrod.

Mae lived another eight years and died 9/19/1988. She and Frank are buried in the cemetery at nearby Horeb Baptist Church. [R021] speaks more about their life at Nimrod Hall.

Sources: [S003, S089, S149, S150]