Woodford is a rural town of about 2700 people, 25 km north-west of Caboolture. It is situated on the D'Aguilar Highway in the Stanley River Valley, between the Conondale and D'Aguilar Ranges.
The earliest European settlement in the area was the Archer brothers' Durundur pastoral run (1840). After several changes of ownership, Durundur came under the management of Henry C. Wood in 1867. He lived at Durundur until 1891, was a member of the Caboolture local government division and was a Queensland parliamentarian 1886-1902. Woodford was named after him, 'ford' referring to a crossing on the Stanley River.
In the late 1870s part of the Durundur property was resumed for closer-settlement and for an Aboriginal protection station (1877-1905). Within a few years a village named Yatesville formed on the Stanley River, but it was soon overtaken by Woodford, about 1 km away. A primary school was opened in 1882. Within 20 years the post office directory recorded the Glenfern and Yatesville hotels at Woodford, a combined hotel and store, two sawmills and numerous selectors. More selectors followed in 1902 with a second closer-settlement scheme.
The railway from Caboolture opened in 1909 and three years later the Woodford Agricultural, Industrial and Pastoral Show society was formed. It was during the 1920s and 1930s, however, that Woodford attained maturity as a town, with the opening of the Stanley River cooperative butter factory, a bush-nursing hospital (1922-63), a Catholic primary school and a Diggers memorial hall. In the immediate postwar years there were still three hotels, a picture theatre, two sawmills, two box and case makers, cordial makers, motor garages, regular racing club meetings, a golf club, a bowls club and four churches. Most farmers listed in the post office guide in 1949 were in dairying.
The closure of the bush-nursing centre and the railway in 1963 and 1964 signified a decline in the district's economy, but the building of the Woodford prison in 1973 produced an unexpected source of local employment. That was enlarged with a high and low security correctional centre in 1997, with a capacity for over 1000 inmates. Seasonal population increases come with the annual show and rodeo each January, a second rodeo in June and a folk festival that was transferred in 1995 from Maleny to Woodford in search of a bigger venue. There is also a narrow-guage railway museum, and accommodation at the Queenslander-style Woodford Hotel, the only one remaining.
Woodford has a supermarket, a range of shops, a swimming pool, a modern hall next to the council library, a community centre, a sports ground and associated facilities at the showground. The census populations have been:
The median age of residents in 2006 was 33 years, compared with 37 for Queensland. Woodford State School's enrolment in 2009 was nearly 400 P-10 students.
From Durundur to Woodford 1882-1992, Woodford State School, 1982
'Milestones' from Durundur to Woodford 1841-2000, Woodford Historical Society, 2000
Lengthening Shadows on Durundur Country, Woodford Bicentennial Committee, 1988
Caboolture Shire entry