WILLIAM T WOOD
William T. Wood was extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits in Wolf River township and his business methods are practical and progressive and systematic. He has spent his entire life in the west, and the spirit of progress which dominates this region is manifested in his business career. Born in Buchanan county, Missouri, on the 29th of September, 1840, he is a son of John Wood, who became one of the pioneer settlers of Doniphan county. His grandfather, Jerry Wood, was of English birth, and crossed the Atlantic to America, becoming a resident of Bedford, Virginia, where the birth of John Wood occurred.
In the spring of 1855 the latter removed with his family from Missouri to Doniphan county, being one of the first white men to make a permanent settlement here. He pre-empted a tract of land about three and a half miles from St. Joseph, about the time that Missouri was admitted into the Union, and again secured a government claim on coming to Doniphan county, thus becoming owner of the northwest quarter of section 15, Wolf River township. He was a wide-awake, energetic and prosperous farmer, meeting with marked success and accumulating extensive land possessions, so that he was enabled to aid all his children in starting out in life by giving to them desirable farms. He died on the old homestead that he pre-empted, at the age of eighty-four years, and the community lost thereby one of its valued citizens. In early manhood he had married Miss Nancy Carter, and her death occurred in Doniphan county, in 1878, at the ripe old age of ninety-one years. Their children were John P., who died in Siskiyou county, California; Mary, the deceased wife of Hugh Robertson; Margaret, the deceased wife of George M. Bromley; Leslie, deceased; and Catharine, the wife of Laborn Jackson, of Atchison county.
No event of special importance to our subject occurred during his boyhood and youth, which was spent upon his father's farm, and in attending the district schools, but hardy had he attained his majority, when the civil war was inaugurated and with patriotic spirit he responded to the call for troops, enlisting in Company F, Fifth Kansas Cavalry, under Colonel Clayton. He was with that regiment for eighteen months, during which time he participated in the battles of Morristown, Osceola and Locust Grove. Subsequently he was transferred to Company K, Tenth Kansas Infantry. and made sergeant of the company. This command was attached to the Army of the Cumberland, and with it he participated in the last battle of Franklin, Tennessee, took part in the engagement at Nashville, where Hood's army was almost annihilated, and later he aided in the capture of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. He veteranized at Alton, Illinois, and when the war was over was mustered out at St. Louis, Missouri. He never received a wound, although he participated in many hotly contested engagements, being ever found at his post of duty, whether on the field of battle or on the picket lines.
With an honorable war record Mr. Wood returned to Doniphan county, and soon after began farming for himself. He purchased the northeast quarter of section 16, Wolf River township, and this proved the nucleus of his present fine farm, which now comprises three hundred and sixty acres of rich and arable land under a high state of cultivation. In October, 1865, he chose as a companion and helpmeet on life's journey, Miss Abbie Literil, a native of Kentucky. Their marriage was blessed with eight children, namely: John P.. who married Lula Wykert and resides in St. Joseph, Missouri; Annie, the wife of Augustus Davis, of Sumner county, Kansas; Nancy, the wife of Frank Chase, of Doniphan county; William H., George C., Ida, Hugh and Lula, all with their parents. In politics Mr. Wood is a stalwart Republican, unswerving in the support of the principles of the party, yet has never sought office. He is ever true to his duties of citizenship and to those of private life. Actively identified with agricultural pursuits, he is numbered among the representative farmers of Doniphan county and is respected by all who know him.