In 1841 the Archer brothers established Durundur station along the Stanley River, near where Woodford now stands. After the lease of Durundur expired in October 1878, some land was thrown open for selection. Mr W. Yates was the first to take possession of his selected portion of the country and he built a hotel near a ford across the river. The hotel and the town were developed around it and became known unofficially as Yatesville.
The town was positioned on a hill closer to the Stanley River than the present day town. When the introduction of a regular mail service required the town to have an official name a meeting was called and 'McConnel' was decided on in honour of the senior partner of Durundur Station ‑ but the Postmaster General would not accept that name. Therefore, another meeting was called and those present called it ‘Woodford' in honour of the junior partner, Mr H. C. Wood, in recognition of the importance to the community of the ford across the river.
Timber cutting was the town's first primary industry, followed by dairying. A co-operative dairy factory opened in the town in 1904. Most of the timber sourced from the area was sent to a sawmill in Caboolture.
Woodford is the terminal for the disused Kilcoy branch railway line, which reached Woodford in 1909 - it extended from Caboolture to Kilcoy. Between Caboolture (where it branches from the North Coast railway line) and Wamuran, the tracks and corridor are mostly still in place. Beyond Wamuran, the railway was removed after its closure in the mid-1960s and much of the land has been sold.
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