WOOD, Elisha S., one of the oldest and worthiest farmers of Pine Rock Township, Ogle County, Illinois, an upright and honorable man of the kindliest disposition, faithful In the discharge of his duties as a citizen and bearing the scars of wounds received while gallantly serving his country during the Civil War, was born in Will County, III. November 19, 1835. His parents, Hiram and Esther (Taylor) Wood. Were natives of New York State, where the birth of the former occurred in 1811, and that of the latter, in 1808. In early life, Hiram Wood was a sailor on the great lakes, plying between Buffalo and Chicago. an occupation in which he continued until the time of his marriage in 1834. At that period, together with his wife, he drove from New York State to Will County, Ill. traveling with an oxen team and covered wagon. He purchased 160 acres of government land, on which he built a log house and made some other necessary improvements.. This tract he sold in 1842, and using the same means which brought him west, he and his family made the trip to Pine Rock Township, Ogle County. where be bought another piece of government land consisting of eighty acres, half of which was covered with timber. The few neighbors scattered about the locality helped him to put up a log cabin, with shakers for a roof and a puncheon floor and the Wood family moved into this crude dwelling the evening of the day on which it was commenced. Subsequently, Hiram Wood built a frame house in which he lived until 1868, when he sold the place, taking up his residence in the village of Creston, Ogle County. There he bought a house and two lots, spending the remainder of his days in retirement. He departed this life in 1901, at the age of ninety years, his wife having passed away in 1899, aged ninety-two years. Their family was composed of six children, of whom Elisha was the first. The others were as follows: Martin V. a Civil War veteran who served in the same company as the subject of this sketch; John W. who was a member of the Fifty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry; Norman T. a soldier in the Ninety-second Illinois, who died in a military hospital at Danville, Ky. James and Adelia.
Elisha Wood saw an abundance of wild game when he was a boy, deer being especially plentiful in the vicinity of his home. At one time, 800 Indians camped in the grove near his father's humble dwelling. He received his education in the district schools, after which he rented land end operated a threshing machine until the outbreak of the Civil War. On September 18. 1861 he was mustered into Company M, Eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, which was at once sent to Washington, and after remaining there a short time, to Alexandria, Va. being attached to the Army of the Potomac.. Mr. Wood took part many skirmishes, and participated in the following battles: Williamsburg, Hanover Courthouse Yorktown, Fair Oaks, and The Seven Days Fight. After the last mentioned engagement, his regiment was in camp for some time at Harrison's Landing. It covered the retreat at the second Battle of Bull Run, and was in the Battle of South Mountain. At Middletown, Mr. Wood was shot in the left shoulder, receiving also a second wound in the left arm. He was sent to a military hospital in New York, where he remained nearly a year. He then rejoined his regiment. but on account of disability, was soon afterward transferred to the Quartermasters Department, where he served the remainder of his enlistment. Being physically incapacitated for re-enlisting, he returned to Pine Rock Township, renting land until 1869. In that year he bought a farm of forty acres north of Creston, where he lived until 1872, when he sold the place, purchasing 137 acres which have since constituted his home. At the time he bought it the farm contained a small house, but no other improvements, the land being covered with timber. and improved all but sixteen acres, but no other improvements, the land being covered with timber. He has since built a cozy dwelling, put up other buildings, and improved all but sixteen acres of the property. His son Clarence, who lives with him, has purchased forty acres of the place.
Mt. Wood has been twice married, his first wife whom he was wedded in October, 1865, having been Sara Clark, who died January 24,1867, leaving the son just named. On March 20, 1869, Mr. Wood took a second wife in the person of Hannah Johnston, of Glenn Falls, N.Y., two of whose brothers served in the Civil War, namely: Henry, who enlisted, at the age of nineteen years, in the Twenty-second New York Regiment, and was among those missing at the Second Battle of Bull Run; and David, who enlisted when fourteen years and nine months old, in the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth New York Regiment. The latter was taken prisoner at Harper's Ferry, being paroled and sent to Chicago, where he died in the military hospital.
Until the War for the Union, Mr. Wood was a supporter of that great conflict, he cast his political fortunes with the Republican organization, and has voted its ticket ever since. He has rendered good service to his township in the office of Road master. Together with his excellent wife and his son Clarence, he is zealous in the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Grand Army of the Republic numbers him among its honored members and his wife is a member of the Women's Relief Corps auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic.
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