A native of Kentucky, Joseph Alfred Woolfolk (1836-1918) earned a law degree from the University of Louisville in 1856. He moved to Belknap, Texas, in 1858, and was hired by the Texas Emigration and Land Company to survey land grants in the Peters Colony. Licensed to practice law by the First District Court in Young County, he served as county attorney and county clerk.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Woolfolk joined a home guard Texas Rangers unit, and in late 1862 transferred into the regular Confederate Army. Captured by Union troops in West Virginia in July 1863, he spent the remainder of the war in a prison camp in Ohio. Upon his release in 1865 he returned to his native Kentucky where he married Elizabeth J. Lewis (1846-1922). They became the parents of nine children.
The Woolfolks returned to Texas in 1867 and settled in Weatherford. In 1871 Woolfolk gained notoriety when he was appointed by the court to defend Satanta and Big Tree, Kiowa Indians on trial for murder in the infamous Salt Creek Massacre near Jacksboro.
Woolfolk moved his family to a ranch in Young County in the late 1870s. He again served as county attorney in 1881. He and Elizabeth are buried in a private family cemetery near this site.