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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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MAJ. WILLIAM L. WOOD is now living retired from active business cares on his beautiful farm located on section 15, township 45, range 28, Johnson County. Here he has one hundred and twenty-five acres, but altogether he is the proprietor of three hundred and fifty acres, all of which he rents. He is a native of Virginia, having been born in Albemarle County, May 4, 1819. When he moved West he brought with him a negro man and woman, who were set free by the Emancipation Proclamation.

John and Mary (Terril) Wood, parents of William L., were also natives of Albemarle County, Va. The father, who was born July 1, 1765, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, at the early age of sixteen. He was sent out to gather supplies and was on his way to Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered. His father, Isaac Wood, likewise a native of Albemarle County, also fought in the Colonial struggle and was present at the surrender just mentioned. He lived to attain the good old age of fourscore years. His father, William Wood, the great-grandfather of our subject, was born in England and was a very early settler in Albemarle County. While serving in the Revolutionary War he was taken sick with smallpox, from the effects of which he died, at the age of sixty-three years; his wife also died from the same disease. For many generations the Wood family have been industrious and wealthy farmers, and now most of the descendants have left the Old Dominion and are scattered throughout the West. The grandfather, Isaac Wood, and all the members of his family, with the exception of our subject’s father, moved to Kentucky in early days, and there the grandfather passed from this life. John Wood, the eldest son, had married before the others went to Kentucky, and remained on the old homestead in Virginia, where he died in March, 1843.

The youngest in a family of fourteen, all but one of whom grew to maturity, William L. Wood lived at his birthplace until his father’s death, receiving but a limited education. From 1843 to 1844 he resided in Kentucky, and then started down the Ohio River to Lexington, Mo., whence he proceeded to Warrensburg. He brought some capital with him from Virginia, and in 1855 he 1856 embarked in the mercantile business at Rose Hill, Johnson County, and was engaged in the same when the war broke out.

After disposing of his business Mr. Wood volunteered his service in the Confederate army, being placed in Company E, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Marmaduke’s brigade. He took part in the battle of Jenkins’ Ferry, Ark., Pilot Knob and Jefferson City, Mo., and was in an engagement near Kansas City during Price’s raid. He was also present at the battle of Mine Creek, in Kansas, and in a number of smaller skirmishes. Though he was in the service for about two years, he was neither wounded nor taken prisoner, nor was he ever in the hospital. After Lee’s surrender he went with his command to Shreveport, where he laid down arms. Returning to this county, he commenced farming with a nephew on rented land, although at that time he owned some property in Cass County and also some in this county.

February 28, 1871, Mr. Wood and Laura H. Smith were united in marriage. She was born near Lexington, Fayette County, Ky., and is a daughter of Benjamin F. and Elizabeth (Anderson) Smith. Three children grace the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Wood, namely: Grace Alma, born in Rose Hill Township, December 5, 1874; Benjamin A., born in the same township, November 18, 1876; and Lewis R., also a native of Rose Hill Township, and born February 19, 1881. Grace graduated from the public school at Holden in 1895; and Benjamin, who graduated a year previous, is now attending the Warrensburg State Normal.

Until 1884 Major Wood was employed in the cultivation of his land near Rose Hill, but for the past eleven years has been a resident of township 45. He has never been an aspirant for office, but was nominated and elected Tax Collector of Rose Hill Township without his having anything to do with the matter. In 1848 his first Presidential vote was cast in favor of Cass, and he has been a life-long adherent of the Democracy. Mrs. Wood is a member of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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