Born: 1806-05-18 Jessamine County, Kentucky
Died: 1877-08-26 Carrollton, Illinois
Woodson began the study and practice of law in Kentucky, where in 1832 he was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. In 1833, he moved to Carrollton, Illinois, where he continued the practice of law. He formed a law partnership with Charles D. Hodges in Carrollton that lasted for fourteen years. On November 1, 1838, he married Julie Kennett in Greene County, Illinois. That same year, he was selected to fill a vacancy as the state's attorney of Greene County, and he held that position until 1840, when he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives as a Whig. He was a delegate to the 1848 state constitutional convention, and that same year, he was elected judge of the First Judicial Circuit. Woodson was a judge in at least twenty-one cases that Abraham Lincoln handled as an attorney in various counties across central Illinois.
Frederic B. Crossley, Courts and Lawyers of Illinois (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1916), 1: 339-40; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:4, 2:1095-96; United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men: Illinois Volume (Chicago: American Biographical, 1876), 252-55; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library(Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 342; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Greene County, 1 November 1838, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Burial Record, Carrollton City Cemetery, Carrollton, IL; For Lincoln's cases before Judge Woodson, search "Woodson, David M." Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds. The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d ed. Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.