The CREW



 

The Woop Family history

 

I started researching striclty automotive things when I found out that Great Great Grandfather was William Woop. Identified as one of the master coach builders of the early 1900s, I was hungry to see the automotive connection between my ancestors and I. What I ended up finding out was nothing but a history of great men and fantastic history that touched the lives of many. There are a few sisters and I will be researching their lives soon, this page is not meant to take anything away from the woman of the Woop family, I just havent gotten to researching them yet. All of these facts are found in news paper or periodicals and copies are on file for viewing.

We found Frederick Woop, a Belgium immigrant, was a wheelright (maker of wooden wheels). His son William Woop teamed up with George W. Cole in New York city and started manufacturing car parts around 1900. They manufactured trim pieces, mirrors, mudflaps. In 1903 they were approached by George Gould, a railway mogul of the time and prominent NY name and manufactured him an electric car

We believe its the little one just left of center. They ended up reproducing it and selling a small quantity at $500 a piece.

We then found that they were making coachworks for Pierce Arrows between 1906 and 1911 as called out in this advertisement from the October 7th 1906 NY Times. Harrold's was the New York City distributor of cars for the Buffalo based Pierce line. Back then people would get a rolling chassis and have a custom coachwork (body) installed on the car. Prominent families who could afford it would have TWO bodies for their cars, an enclosed bad weather car and an open air summer time car. Based off this advertisement we know atleast 6 were built.

They also made bodies for numerous other lines, and as called out in this Jandorf Advertisement the name Cole & Woop was a prominent one.

Around 1914, we found the Cole & Woop parted ways, we dont know why but we did find documentation that the Highgrade Body Building Co, for which William Woop was treasurer, filed backruptcy (over $25,000 in debts....most Americans have that much debt in their households).

William Woop was still known for quality coachworks and was approached by the Braender Tire company to build a body for the 1914 Indianapolis 500. In 1913, the company sponsored a car that ran the full 500 miles on one set of tires. Now the Indy racers will go through 5-10 sets in a race. The body was placed on a Duesenberg chassis and my Great Grandfather, William Woop's son Charles, was the lead mechanic of the car, more on Charles in a bit. It was qualified in 4th place. Qualifying was done by draw of the hat, not racing like today. Sadly the engine let go and threw a rod (which we find humor in since we owned a Corvette that bent a rod and just uncovered our Riviera Engine had thrown a rod sometime in its history too). We have verified the car was white and blue and had the #38 on it. Clearly visible in the following pics.

 

We also found that William Woop created a fire truck body for the Monticello NY Fire Department. Based on a Cole Aero 8 chassis. We're working with the Monticello Fire Dept Museum curators now to see what documentation they may have. I have found two different articles that call out the William Woop Co as making this fire engine. Unfortunately we found it was destroyed either 1916 or 1918 the article is hard to read.

1916 shows that Charles Woop, ran an automobile bus line from Monticello to Rock Hill, Fallsburgh and White Lake, summer 1915, was at Monticello, arranging for the coming season. He expects to open his line by July 1st and that year he would add a baggage truck to the bus line

1918 Howard Banks Woop is born to Charles and Katheryn Woop.

We found an article about Charles Woop being in a boxing match in 1929, he had fought a few matches and the news report calls out his win in one match and a loss in another. In the same year we found he was elected as Constable for Oyster Bay New York and a resident of Farmingdale. In 1931 he ran for a repeat performance in 1933 an article in the February 3rd edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle shows a picture of Charles as he investigated the murder of a girl found in a wooded area near Massapequa NY.

Around this time Howard starts making an appearance, being called out in the newspapers for a Choral Performance with a local Boy Scout troop in 1932.

Documents show that from 1934 to 1940 Charles was running a complete bus line in the area commuting standard routes around Farmingdale and supplying transportation to school districts for students. There were numerous meetings held as the contracts were negotiated.

In 1936 we find Alice Woop, William's sister gets married and Howard was an usher at the wedding.

In 1946 William's mother, Katheryn passes away. At this point William is a resident in Florida.

In 1954, Howard starts making the news. He is mentioned in a local paper as becoming the lead person at a realtor office for an agency building a 43 home stretch in Babylon New York. He is mentioned as being in that office for the past 5 years, so this makes him a realtor as of 1949.

In 1967 The Wyandanch VFW Hall burns down. It had been located at the currently location of the bank and Wyandach Library. Howard is quoted in the newspaper about how they will continue on and subsequently start construction a few years later on the building on Colonial Springs Road, which is still in use.

In 1977, Thomas marries his first wife Linda. He was living in Florida as an Industrial Arts teacher, primarily in the wood shop.

1999 Howard dies as a result of Prostate Cancer, his wife Bertha (Bea) passes away in 2010.

Now here is the things that stand out the most to me. The Woop name has made men who work, with their hands and make things. Later in life many of them settled for leadership roles and were in positions that fought for the right way to do things and the betterment of the community. Coincidently, myself served as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force for 20 years and my son is a certified machinist who currently runs CNC machines to manufacture hardware supplied to GE for turbines and generators. So the mechanical background is in our blood and continues. While the Woop males ended with the death of Thomas Woop in 2011, my son and I will be carrying on the traditions of creating and maintaining mechanical things. Thomas' daughter Lexi has vowed to name her first child with the Woop name as a tribute to her dad and keep the name on going.

 

We have failed to find any leads to an actual car that may still exist, but have seen advertisements in publications for cars for sale in the era that call out Cole & Woop bodies. We know we did Simplex and Pierce Arrows, we have found websites that call out Ardsleys but no publications of the time mention these. If you have any leads about Cole & Woop Coachworks, the Highgrade Body Building Company, West 67th Garage inc, or the William Woop Co (all the names the family was affiliated) please contact me at chris@teamalini.com