Jefferson County, NY Pioneers

Genealogical and Family History
of the County of Jefferson, New York
Vols 1 & 2

New York Chicago - the Lewis Publishing company - 1905
Transcribed by: Kathaleen Smith
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WOOD families

from pages 605-611and from pages 1345-1346

     It would be difficult to say which of the leading interests of Jefferson county has received the  greatest stimulus from the mental vigor, practical ability and essential upright-ness of George Milton Wood, of Woodville.  He comes of New England lineage, and numbers among his ancestors men who, in whatever community they may have resided, have aided in the upbuilding of the state and the improvement of society.    (my note - more on George Milton below)

      NATHANIEL WOOD, the founder of the Jefferson county branch of the family, was born November 18, 1729  at Norwich, Connecticut, and studied for the Congregational ministry, in which he labored with self-denying zeal during the greater part of a long and eventful life.  For many years he was pastor of a church at Norwich, and about the close of the Revolutionary war went to Middletown, Vermont, whence he removed, at the advanced age of seventy-five, to Jefferson county, and here his last days were spent.  He married, May 3, 1748, Miriam Eastman, who was born November 2, 1727, and they were the parents of the following children:  1.  Jacob, who was born March 2. 1749, and lived and died on a farm known as the " old Deacon Doane place" near Woodville.  2.  Ephraim, who was born November 20, 1755, and spent the greater part of his life and ended his days in Jefferson county on a farm known as the "Amos E. Wood place," at the old stone house  (see S. T. Wood).  3. Miriam, who was born April 21, 1760, and became the wife of Hazen Solomon, who was born March 31, 1762.  His life was, for the most part, passed in Franklin county, at or near Chazy, where there was quite a colony of the Wood family, and it was there that he died.  4.  Hannah, who was born March 5, 1764, and married (first) Nathaniel Hibbard, and (second) Obediah Kingsley.  5.  Nathaniel, who was born December 5, 1766, and from the middle of his life until his death resided on a farm two miles from Woodville; his son was Governor Wood of Ohio.  6.  Ebenezer, mentioned at length hereinafter.  The death of the Rev. Nathaniel Wood, the father of this family, occurred at Woodville, where he passed away "full of years and honors," and was buried.

     EBENEZER WOOD, son of Nathaniel and Miriam (Eastman) Wood, was born September 17, 1771, in Norwich, Connecticut, and was still a boy when the family moved to Middletown, Vermont.  In 1803 he came to Jefferson county with his three brothers, Jacob, Ephraim and Nathaniel, ant they were followed the next year by their venerable father.  The family were among the pioneers of the county, and it was in honor of them that the village of Woodville received its name.  Ebenezer Wood purchased a large tract of land, on while he built a log house, and after a few years erected in its place a large frame dwelling.  He laid the foundation for the village by opening his house as a hotel, and further advanced the growth of the place by establishing a general store in 1809.  He was a successful business man, and took a prominent part in public affairs.  He was especially active at the period of the war of 1812, and in 1817 was elected to the legislature.  He was appointed one of the commissioners to lay out the state road from Oswego to Sacketts Harbor.  In 1825 a Baptist society was formed, of which he was one of the trustees.

     Mr. Wood married, February 1, 1795, Abigail, born August 29, 1774, daughter of Philemon Wood, and their children were:  1.  Victor, who was born December 20, 1795, was a farmer, merchant and postmaster, and held the office of justice of the peace.  2.  Polly, who was born October 25, 1797, became the wife of Oliver Batchellor, a blacksmith of Woodville; he was a famous workman, and constructed the iron doors of the Jefferson county bank building.  3.  Jacob, who was born August 26, 1799, married Lydia Leffingwell, and died at the age of twenty-four.  4.  Abigail, who was born September 25, 1802, became the wife of Carr G. Rounds, a farmer and mechanic, and died at Woodville.  5.  Ebenezer, who was born November 2. 1811, was a farmer and married Lamyra Eastman; they had three children who grew up:  Jacob Harley, who lives at Woodville; Abigail, who married Kendrick Littlefield, and died near Brookfield, Missouri; and Loretta, who lives with Jacob H.  6.  Harrison, who was born January 9, 1814, married Fidelia Converse, and was the father of eight children; he spent his life on the farm now owned by his son Frank Arthur Wood.  7.  Nathaniel, mentioned at length hereinafter.  Mrs. Wood, the mother of these children, died April 8, 1842, and shortly after Mr. Wood married Sarah Lyon, who died May 20, 1858.  Mr. Wood himself died August 20, 1858, in the home now occupied by his grandchildren.

      NATHANIEL WOOD, son of Ebenezer and Abigail (Wood) Wood, was born June 22, 1816, and was reared upon his father's farm.  He was born in the house built in 1810, and subsequently built two houses on the site, the latter being the property of N. Wood & Sons and now occupied by his elder son.  He was a pioneer in the dairy business, beginning on a large scale in 1850, and was interested in the first cheese factory in his neighborhood, in 1864.  He was prominent in the local church, and helped build two houses of worship.  Both he and his father were among the most active opponents of slavery, and he was one of the first supporters of the Republican party.  He did not seek for office, but was firm and outspoken in expression, and had great influence in shaping public opinion.  He was married twice.  His first wife was Phoebe Doane, who was born December 2. 1818, and whom he married December 14, 1837.  She died in June 1841, and Mr. Wood married, June 12, 1842, Flora Jane, born April 20, 1823, in Middletown, Vermont, daughter of Milton and Amelia (Willard) Clark.  The former was a farmer, who came to Ellisburgh with his family in 1842.  Mr. and Mrs. Wood were the parents of two sons:  George Milton, mentioned at length hereinafter, and Nathaniel.

      GEORGE MILTON WOOD, son of Nathaniel and Flora Jane (Clark) Wood, was born May 22, 1843, and received his primary education in the common schools, afterward attending Union Academy, Belleville.  Subsequently he studied with Professor D. W. Fisk of Syracuse.  At an early age he was employed as a clerk in a store at Woodville, and since attaining his majority has been continuously in mercantile life.  At the beginning of his career he was for three years in business with his uncle, John B. Clark, and in 1867 became a member of the firm of N. Wood & Son, which continued the large general store.  The firm owns and operates a planing mill, is extensively engaged in manufacturing and also conducted a flourishing building business, and, since 1870, has been known as N. Woods & Sons.  Mr. Wood is largely interested in the lumber business and owns, in connection with his brother, over one thousand eight hundred acres of land in various farms.  He is one of the directors of the Farmers' National Bank of Adams, and has served as a trustee of Union Academy.

     Of Mr. Wood's character and reputation as a citizen it is almost needless to speak.  At the age of twenty-one he was appointed postmaster, and with the exception of three years has held the office ever since.  Such a record requires no comment.  He is a member of the Belleville Grange.  He and all his family are active members of the Congregational church of Woodville.  Mr. Wood married February 7, 1867, Frances, daughter of Cyrus and Pamelia (Goodenough) Littlefield, and they have two children:  Fannie, who was born July 1, 1869, attended Belleville Academy, and schools at mount Holyoke and Boston, and is now a teacher of elocution in St. Louis, Missouri, and George M., Jr., who was born November 24, 1880, graduated at Union Academy, studied French and Italian abroad, and took a course at the State University in Switzerland, and graduated at Cornell University in 1903.  He is interested in the firm of N. Wood & Sons.  He was married June 30, 1904 to Emily Jane Metcalf, of Ellis Village, daughter of Frank and Elizabeth (Hawley) Metcalf.

     NATHANIEL WOOD, second son of Nathaniel and Flora J. Wood, was born November 6, 1846.  He was educated at Union Academy and in Syracuse, and was one of the first students of Cornell University.  He has been for thirty-four years in business as a member of the firm of N. Wood & Sons.  He is also a member of the Grange.  He married, November 6, 1872, Myra, daughter of Samuel J. and Anna (Williamson) Williamson.  Mrs. Wood died November 25, 1876, and on September 3, 1885, Mr. Wood married Mary Ensworth Eaton.  They have one son, Nathaniel Eaton, who was born August 17, 1887.  Mr. and Mrs. Wood and their son are active members of the Congregational church, of which he has long been a deacon.  For nearly forty years he has been secretary and treasurer of the Sunday school.  While not an active partisan, he is a sound Republican in politics.

     Mrs. Wood is a direct descendant of Roger Williams, founder of the first Rhode Island colony, and a great-granddaughter of Governor Owen of that state.  Her parents were Samuel E. and Laura (Owen) Eaton.  The former was a cloth manufacturer of Coventry, Connecticut, where his daughter, Mary Ensworth, was born.  She is a graduate of a young ladies' seminary at Hamilton, New York, and of the State Normal school of Rhode Island.  She taught ten years at Oakland, in that state, and was subsequently a teacher in the high school at Greely, Colorado.

      SIMEON TITUS WOOD, a life long and honored resident of Woodville, traces his descent from the Rev. Nathaniel Wood, who was an earnest and devout clergyman in Connecticut during the revolutounary period of our history  (See G. M. Wood).  He was the father of several sons, one of whom, Ephraim, born in 1755, was one of the pioneers of Jefferson county.  In the spring of 1804 he settled in the town of Ellisburgh, where his brothers settled in the previous year.  They were followed the same year by their father, who was then advanced in life.  The village of Woodville was named in honor of the family.  Ephraim Wood married in 1779  Esther Eastman, who bore him three sons and eight daughters.

      AMOS E. WOOD, son of Ephraim and Esther (Eastman) Wood, was born in 1790, and was a farmer who practiced, in connection with his agricultural labors, the trade of shoemaker, and was also a tanner and currier.  He served as a soldier during the war of 1812, and was a pensioner of that war.  He took an active part in the local affairs, and held various township offices, serving for many years as justice of the peace.  He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics was a Democrat.  He married, in 1819, Hannah, daughter of Samuel and Rachel (Chamberlain) Dean, and they were the parents of the following children:  Elvira O., who married Edwin R. Finn, a merchant and farmer who died in California;  Simeon Titus, mentioned at length hereinafter;  Amos F., who is a farmer in Mason, Michigan;  Marina, who is the widow of George A. Jenkins, a farmer of Woodville, who died in Wisconsin;  Marion, who became the wife of Cyrus F. Eastman;  and Mary E., who married Merritt F. Wood, of Woodville, and is now deceased.  Mr. and Mrs. Wood were loved and esteemed during their lives, and mourned when they died by all who knew them.  Mrs. Wood, who survived her husband, attained to the dignity of a centenarian.

      SIMEON TITUS WOOD, son of Amos E. and Hannah (Dean) Wood, was born December 24, 1821, in Woodville village, where he was educated in the common schools.  He was accustomed in his boyhood to assist in the labors of the homestead, and on reaching manhood engaged in the milling business, which he has always carried on, but farming has been the chief occupation of his life.  He owned and operated a grist and saw mill, and for a long period carried on a flourishing trade.  He has always been active as a citizen, and has been placed by his neighbors in various offices of trust and responsibility, among them that of justice of of the peace, in which he served for many years.  Politically he is Republican.  He was strongly identified with the anti-slavery cause during the years of struggle which preceded the cival war.

     Mr. Wood married, in 1845, Parthenia Bowe, who died in 1853.  His second marriage occurred March 29, 1854, the bride being Lasira Salisbury, of Sandy Creek, Oswego county.  The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wood:  1.  Amos E., who was born March 15, 1855, married Kate Barrett and they have three sons:  Leroy S., born March 11, 1853;  Walter, born February 1, 1886, and Simeon T., born August 7, 1887.  2.  Rose M., who was born November 24, 1858, and is the wife of William D. Laird, a miller and farmer.  Mr. Laird was born March 20, 1858, near Greenoch, in Scotland, and at the age of four years was brought by his parents to the United States.  3.  Ida H., who was born November 6, 1860, and became the wife of George E. Bullis, superintendent of schools in Oswego.  They have two children-- Harold E., born July 24, 1889, and Marion L., April 13, 1893.  4.  Arlie, who was born May 30, 1873, and is wife of Arthur Mosser, a Presbyterian clergyman of Detroit.  The declining years of Mr. and Mrs. Wood are cheered by the love of their children and by the cordial respect and affection of their friends and neighbors.

     Alexander and Elizabeth (Brodie) Laird, parents of William D. Laird, came to America in 1862, and settled in what is known as the "Scotch Settlement" in the town of Henderson, where Mr. Laird died in 1865, aged fifty-eight years.  His widow now resides near Bull Mound, Illinois and celebrated the completion of her eightieth year July 29, 1904.  She is the mother of twelve children, of whom ten are now living.

      GARY H. WOOD, M.D.   Foremost in the ranks of those Jefferson county physicians whose unquestioned skill is the result not alone of the training of the schools but of long and extended experience stands Dr. Gary H. Wood of Antwerp.  He is a grandson of Wheelock Wood, a native of Massachusetts, who went to Ohio, Herkimer county, New York, which was the birthplace of his son, BenjaminF. Wood.  The latter was educated at Fairfield Seminary and has labored for many years in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church.  For ten years he was presiding elder of Watertown and Adams district and was also stationed for a time at Martinsburg.  He married Asenath Barnes and four children were born to them, one of whom, Gary H., is mentioned at length hereinafter.  In 1865 the Reverend Mr. Wood and his family sustained an irreparable loss by the death of the wife and mother, who was deeply mourned by a large circle of friends.

     Gary H. Wood, son of Benjamin F. and Asenath (Barnes) Wood, was born December 10, 1854, in Ohio, Herkimer county, New York, and received his primary education in the common schools, afterward attending Fairfield Seminary, Herkimer county, from which he graduated in 1874.  In early life he was for several years engaged in teaching.  He studied medicine with Dr. Osborn of Sauquoit, Oneida county, and also attended lectures at the Long Island College Hospital, from which institution he graduated in June, 1877, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine.  He then settled in Antwerp, where he has since remained and where he has been many years in possession of a remarkably successful and lucrative practice.  Although assiduous in his devotion to the duties of his profession he is closely identified with the political life of the county, has been supervisor of the town for nine years and was at one time coroner of the county.  He has frequently acted as delegate to the state convention.  He has always been active in educational circles and served for many on the board of trustees of Ives Seminary.  He is now president of the board of education of the Antwerp high school.

     Dr. Wood is a member of the Jefferson County Medical Society, of which in 1896 he was president, and he also belongs to the New York State Medical Society.  He affiliates with Antwerp Lodge, No. 226, F. & A. M., has filled most of the chairs of the order and was master of the lodge for five years.  He is a member of Theresa Chapter No. 149.  Watertown Commandery and Media Temple.  Since the organization of the Order of the Eastern Star he and his wife have been numbered among its members and patrons.  Politically he is a Republican.  He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

     Dr. Wood married August 30, 1876, Mary F. Tamblin, of Black River.  Jefferson county, daughter of Jackson Tamblin, a prominent citizen of the town of Rutland, New York, who filled for many years the offices of justice of the peace and justice of sessions.  Dr. and Mrs. Wood have had three children:  Ethel May, who died at the age of nineteen months;  Lillian A., who was born October 19, 1884, and is a graduate of Vassar College;  and Isabelle T., who was born March 20, 1891.  The home of Dr. and Mrs. Wood is one of the social centers of Antwerp.  Mrs. Wood is matron of several orders.

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