JONATHAN L. WOOD. The late Jonathan L. Wood had many acquaintances in this and the adjoining counties, as he had lived here for many years and was one of the pioneers of Bunker Hill Township. He was born in Washington County, Tenn., January 18, 1803, and was past two years old when his parents removed to Kentucky. Our subject was a son of Thomas and Mary (Bayless) Wood who were natives respectively of Virginia and probably Tennessee or North Carolina. He grew to manhood there and learned what is necessary to promote the interests of an agriculturist, together with the principles on which to base his conduct. He also learned the trade of a wagon-maker, and thus gained a thorough equipment for the battle of life. In 1829 he came to this State with a cousin, Thomas Wood, and in March of that year located in Madison County, and in a short time was engaged as a journeyman in Edwardsville. He followed his trade for eight years and later learned that of a mill-wright under "Boss" Lincoln, a prominent worker in that line. He was in the employ of that gentleman eight years, during which period they put up large flouring mills at Hillsboro, Naples, Beardstown, Alton, and other places.
As early as 1830 Mr. Wood entered some Government land in Macoupin County and he finally turned his attention to farming here. The house that he built on the farm and his first habitation is still in good shape, but it is preserved only as a land-mark of former days. Mr. Wood acquired a good property, consisting of about three hundred acres, most of which he himself placed under improvement. He lived here honored and respected until November 20, 1887, when he was called from time to eternity. When the Republican party was organized he was in sympathy with the movement and he helped to organize it in this section, going as a delegate to the first convention. He was always opposed to any form of human slavery and was a sincere believer in the rights of all men to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." He was one of the first three School Trustees in Bunker Hill Township and in fact was one who organized this division of the county. His religious home was in the Baptist Church.
In Madison County, this State, the marriage of Mr. Wood and Miss Aurora B. Foster, was solemnized. The bride was born in Maine, September 5, 1811, and was descended from an old Massachusetts family. Her parents Oliver and Hannah (Eldred) Foster left their native State in 1818, and started west, stopping for a time in Pennsylvania and thence coming down the Ohio River to Shawnee town, where they landed about January 1, 1819. February 22 they passed Edwardsville for Alton and in 1826 they removed out on a farm in Madison County. There was an immense amount of wild game in the section, in which Mr. and Mrs. Foster were among the earliest settlers. They lived to be very aged and were widely known as the oldest pioneers of Southern Illinois, having outlived all others who had come hither as early as they.
Mrs. Wood was carefully reared, and having naturally fine trails of mind and character, she became a noble woman and for well night half a century was a true wife to her husband. She has been devoted to her children, of whom she has two living and has lost three. Oliver P. died in infancy, Hannah M. when eight years old, and Fred F. was cut down in early manhood, when twenty-two years old. The surviving members of the family are Reuben O. and Thomas G. They are partners in business and occupy the undivided homestead in which they have an equal interest. Reuben O. married Jenny Howell of Bunker Hill Township, but has no children; Thomas G. married Margaret Rinker of Madison County and they have four children - Hannah M. L., Fred R., Edna and Inez. Mrs. Wood, widow of our subject, is living in Woodburn. She is a consistent member of the Baptist Church and has many warm friends.