100 Years of selling cars: ‘The ‘Woody Way’ is alive and well in Oklahoma town

Great State

MADILL, Okla. (KFOR) — Back when there were a lot more horses than cars in Madill, a man named J L Woody partnered with another local man and opened a store that sold ‘horses, mules, and grain’, basically transportation and fuel.

Look one century ahead and that building is still in the same business, with the same name on the side.

“For us, it’s bigger than a car dealership,” says Brian Butler, who bought this place three years ago from the Woody family.

“It’s been that way for a hundred years.”

He says the name will never change. It’s too much a part of the fabric of this town to ever be anything else.

Butler argues, “We sell to multiple generations of people.”

On a tour of the original building, Butler ignores the new car in the center of the showroom.

Instead, he points to the notes, the plaques, and the ‘thank yous’ from schools, clubs, and civic organizations.

“It’s kind of the ‘Woody Way’,” says Butler.

In 1933, a doctor in town, R.D. Taliaferro, bought a brand new Ford Coupe from the Woody dealership.

He had it parked at a gas station just up the street from the dealership when a wild young couple armed with automatic weapons stole it at gunpoint.

That couple was none other that Bonnie and Clyde Barrow. The same car ended up crashed in the Red River a few days later.

Such is the history that lies on shelf after shelf on this lot.

Service Manager Johnny Mays’ grandfather worked here.

In a room full of old parts, he picks one at random and reads, “This one right here goes on the instrument cluster of a ’69 Lincoln.”

Johnny’s been here 16 years.

“I’ve discovered a lot of weird stuff,” he chuckles.

The cars may change, but the ‘Woody Way’ hasn’t.

Butler says, “One of my favorite sayings, when I tell people about this place, is that we have a lot of scars, a lot of tears, a lot of happy times, and a lot of smiles. We’ve weathered the storm.”

There’s an honest loyalty here that you can only earn through hard times and a century of service.

‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.

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