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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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JUDGE WILLIAM W. WOOD has been well known as a lawyer and jurist in Warrensburg for nearly a quarter of a century, and few, if any, members of the Johnson County Bar stand higher in the esteem of all. In the spring of 1875 he was appointed by Governor Hardin, of Missouri, to fill an unexpired term as Public Administrator, and in the fall of the next year, without solicitation on his part, he was nominated by the Democratic party and was duly elected, holding the position for five years, after which he refused to serve longer. In 1882 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney, was re-elected two years later, and received the nomination in 1886, but on account of the political upheaval was defeated by a few votes. In 1892 he was elected Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, and is frequently called into adjoining circuits to hold court. During his administration of affairs but few of his rulings have been reversed. He has always been a stanch Democrat, and has often served as a delegate to state and other conventions.

Judge Wood was born on a farm eight miles north of Warrensburg, May 1, 1850, and is a son of James M. and Angeline (Thornton) Wood. The former, a native of Albemarle County, Va., born January 9, 1808, was of English ancestry. He grew to man’s estate in the Old Dominion, and when about twenty-five years of age removed to Saline County, Mo. There he was married, March 4, 1834, and soon afterward moved to Johnson County. His wife was born in Orange County, Va., September 12, 1817, and moved to Saline County with her parents in 1828. Mr. Thornton was an extensive slave-holder and land-owner, and was one of the second set of County Judges of Johnson County, having been elected on the Democratic ticket. James M. Wood was a Whig in political faith. His death occurred February 21, 1852, but his wife, a hale and hearty old lady, is still living, her home being in this city.

The Judge was deprived of a father’s love and protection when he was a little over a year and a half old, but his mother managed to keep the family together on the old farm. He received a fair education in select schools, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the war. Among his early recollections of school days was a school taught by a Presbyterian minister in an old negro cabin. At the age of nineteen years young Wood took up the study of law, and in 1870 entered the University of Kentucky at Lexington, where he took the junior and senior courses in one year, graduating in 1871. Madison C. Johnson, one of the most eminent lawyers of Kentucky, was then at the head of the law department of the university. Returning to Missouri, Mr. Wood opened an office for practice in Warrensburg, where he has since remained, with the exception of a short time in 1874, when he went to Sherman, Tex., but before long concluded that there was no place better than Missouri.

May 21, 1873, Judge Wood married Eulalia, daughter of Lafayette and Mary (Cock) Cruce, of this place. Mrs. Wood was born in Henry County, Mo., January 19, 1855, and was a student in the normal school for some time. Her father was a native of Kentucky, and her mother of Virginia, and both came to this state with their parents when young. Three children have been born to the Judge and his wife: William A., December 22, 1876; Ralph L., July 11, 1880; and Angeline T., April 24, 1884. The eldest son is now in the employ of the Lombard Investment Company of Kansas City.

Judge Wood and his wife are both members of the Christian Church, the former having united with the same when he was sixteen years old, and the latter when she was fourteen years of age. They are both interested workers in the various departments of religious activity, and the Judge has been a Deacon and is now an Elder in the congregation. Since 1878 he has belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has filled numerous chairs in the local lodge. A man who is courteous and affable to all, he wins hosts of friends, and, what is better, retains them.

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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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