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John Wood

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Governor of Illinois, 1860-1861.
Thomas A. Marshall, Lieutenant Governor.


John Wood, Lieutenant Governor and Governor, was born at Moravia, N. Y., December 20, 1798, his father being a Revolutionary soldier who had served as Surgeon and Captain in the Army. At the age of 21 years young Wood removed to Illinois settling in what is now Adams County and building the first log cabin on the present site of Quincy. He was a member of the upper house of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth General Assemblies of Illinois, and was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1856 on the ticket with Governor Hissell and served out the unexpired term of the latter, who died in office. In February, 1861, he was appointed one of the five commissioners from Illinois to the "Peace Conference" at Washington, to consider methods for averting Civil War.

The following May he was appointed Quartermaster-General for the State by Governor Yates and assisted most efficiently in fitting out the troops for the field. In June, 1864, he was commissioned Colonel of the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteers and was mustered out of service the following September.

Governor Wood was married at Quincy, Illinois, January 25, 1826, to Miss Ann M. Streeter. His second marriage to Mrs. Mary A. Holmes occurred June 6, 1865.

He died at Quincy, Illinois, June 11, 1880.

The citizens of Quincy erected a monument to his memory which was dedicated July 4, 1883.

An excellent account of the military services of Governor Wood by Miss Cora F. Benneson was presented at the annual meeting of the Illinois State Historical Society, 1909, and is published in the Transactions of the Society for that year.


Source: "The Governors of Illinois, 1818-1918"; Issued by the Illinois Centennial Commission



JOHN WOOD — 1860-1861.


THE death of Gov. Bissell made John Wood the twelfth governor of Illinois. John Wood was a native of New York State, being born at Moravia, Cayuga County, N. Y., December 20, 1798. He was the second child and only son of Dr. Daniel Wood, a learned and skilled physician.

John Wood left home when he was twenty years old, going to Cincinnati, where he spent the winter. The following summer he came down the river to Shawneetown, and thence to Calhoun County, where he spent the fall and winter. Thence he went to Pike County and lived on a farm for two years.

In 1821, he visited the site of the present city of Quincy, then uninhabited, and after buying a quarter-section of land near by, put up a small cabin 18x20 feet, the first building in Quincy. He was identified with the life of Quincy from its very beginning. He was one of the early town trustees, often a member of the city council, and many times mayor.

In 1850, he was elected to the state senae. In 1856, he was a prominent Anti-Nebraska Bill advocate, and as such was chosen lieutenant-governor on the ticket with Wm. Bissell for governer. In 1861, Ex-Gov. Wood was one of the five delegates from Illinois to the Peace Convention at Washington, and in April of the same year at the breaking out of the Rebellion, he was appointed quartermaster-general of the state, which position he held throughout the war. In 1864, he took command as colonel of the 137th Ill. Vol. Inf. with whom he served as long as the war lasted.

Col. Wood died June 4, 1880, at his residence in Quincy. Lincoln was nominated at the National Republican Convention held at Chicago, May l8, 1860.


Source: Decisive Dates in Illinois History, A Story of the State, By Lottie B. Jones. Danville, Illinois: Illinois Printing Company, 1909.

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