SAMUEL WOOD, who resides on section 35, Bunker Hill Township, is numbered among the honored pioneers of the county, and since 1832 has resided upon his present farm of three hundred and twenty acres, having entered the land from the Government on July 4 of that year. He still has in his possession a deed signed by President Jackson. He has witnessed almost the entire growth and development of the county since the days when its lands were all wild and unimproved, settlements few and far between, and the work of civilization and progress seemed scarcely begun.
Mr. Wood came to this county with a double yoke of oxen, and was thirty-four days upon the road, traveling from Kentucky to Bunker Hill. He was born in Cumberland County, Ky., December 25, 1804, and is descended from one of the old Virginian families, which was founded in America in 1755 by Samuel Wood, who was a fine scholar and became Gen. Washington's Secretary. He served during the Revolution as a member of the Virginia Blues, and also participated in the battle where the French and Indian army defeated Braddock. The great-grandmother of our subject, whose maiden name was Sarah Bean, was the daughter of a prominent Englishman, of London, who owned large possessions there, including the London Bridge across the Thames River. Miss Sarah, when a child, was kidnaped and carried away to America, where she was sold as a nurse to a tobacco planter near Jamestown. There she grew to womanhood and gave her hand in marriage to an American, who took up arms against the mother country. When the war was over she returned to England to claim the estate of her father who had died, but, though she established a just claim to the heirship, King George confiscated the property on account of her husband having been an American soldier.
The father of our subject, James Wood, fought in the War of 1812, under Gen. Harrison, and after his discharge his brother, Maj. William Wood, fought under Gen. Richard M. Johnson, and took part in the battle of Tippecanoe, where Tecumseh was defeated. For a fuller sketch of the parents of our subject see the sketch of James E. Wood on another page of this work.
Samuel Wood grew to manhood in the State of his nativity, and no event of special importance occurred in his childhood's career. In Cumberland County he married Keziah Dougherty, who was born in Tennessee, of Scotch-Irish parentage, but grew to womanhood in Kentucky. Twelve children grace their union, six of whom were born in Kentucky, and six in Illinois. Hiram D., who served as a soldier in the Mexican War, married Lydia Lukin, and is engaged in merchandising in Dundee, Delaware County, Iowa; Rosa is the wife of H. C. Smith, who was a Mexican soldier and was wounded at the battle of Buena, Vista, and is now Judge of the Police Court of Hot Springs, Ark.; Sarah J. is the widow of William R. Wood, and is living at the home of her father, for whom she cares in his old age. She has two daughters, Mrs. John Russell and Mrs. G. A. Manley, of St. Louis, MO; Althea is the wife of William Patrick, a mechanical engineer of Staunton; Jasper N. is a photographer, artist and minister of the Christian Church of Hot Springs, Ark., who married Elizabeth Cooper; Dr. B. K., who wedded Fannie Choate, is now engaged in merchandising in Vernon, Tex.; John died at the age of twenty-seven years; Silvers and Oliver were both married, and at their deaths left families; Thomas, Clayborn and Susanna died in infancy. Mrs. Wood, the mother of this family, was born on the 1st of February, 1805, and died in 1882. She was a noble woman, and one of the leading members of the Christian Church. In her death the family lost a loving and tender wife and mother, her neighbors a faithful friend, and the church one of its active workers.
For over forty years Mr. Wood has been a faithful and consistent member of the Christian Church. He delights in doing good, is charitable and benevolent, and is known throughout the community for his many excellent works. He cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Jackson at his first election, and has since that time been a stalwart Democrat. Farming he has made his life work, and from the wild prairie he developed rich and fertile fields which have yielded to him an excellent income, making him one of the substantial citizens of the community. he began life in the West in true pioneer style, his home being a log cabin, his farming implements of the crudest character, while oxen were used at the plow, but he has kept pace with the improvements of the age, and is now the owner of one of the best farms in the community. His cabin home was replace in 1870 by a large brick residence, a view of which appears on another page, and which is one of the finest dwellings in the county. On March 8, 1871, his home was visited by a tornado, which demolished his fine barn and unroofed his new house, altogether entailing a loss of nearly $3,000. Notwithstanding this and other misfortunes in his career, he has persevered in a course of honor and uprightness, and success has crowned his efforts.