Biography - Thomas Wood

THOMAS WOOD. To be an honorable and efficient agriculturist in the State of Illinois, where the soil responds so generously to the hand of him who cultivates it, is to be almost ensured in having a comfortable home and happy and congenial surroundings. The intelligent and praiseworthy people who settled in this State in its early days brought with them such conditions and such institutions as tended to gather about them the best class of emigrants, and they and their descendants have built up such social conditions as have tended to the prosperity and happiness of all.
We find upon section 8, Oconee Township, Shelby County, a prosperous farmer and stock raiser in the person of Thomas H. Wood, who was born in Woodburn, Macoupin County, this State, September 11, 1862. He is a son of J. M. and Elizabeth M. (Hilliard) Wood, the former being born in Sangamon County, Ill., in 1823, and the mother in the same state in 1826. The mother, who became a widow in May, 1887, after her removal to this county, still resides on her farm in Oconee Township. The Wood family is pleased to count itself as descended from the sturdy English stock which is representative of the people who demanded from King John that noble instrument — the Magna Charta.
Eight sons and four daughters were born to the parents of our subject, namely: Perminda, now Mrs. L. Howell, of Dodge City, Kan.; Mary, who has been twice married, first to James Coffee and after her widowhood to J. C. Lemay, and now lives at Gillespie, Macoupin County; Jennie, the wife of J. S. March, of Oconee; John H., who lives with his wife, Ella Brennan, in Woodburn, Macoupin County; William J., who has been an invalid for the last fifteen years, resides with his mother; Leonard D., who is farming in Gandy, Neb., and is married to Clarissa Holbrook; Luther and Abbie, who died in early childhood; Weston, who resides in Oconee Township with his wife; Sadie Doyle; Thomas, our subject; James M., who married Gilla Combest and resides on a farm in Oconee Township; Walter B., who married Blanche Brown and lives upon the parental homestead.
The subject of this brief life review came to Oconee Township with his parents when a young lad of some twelve years, and here he grew to manhood and has made his home from that day to this. He obtained his education in the district schools of Illinois, which gave him an excellent preparation for his life work, and received thorough training upon the home farm in the practical work of agriculture. February 23, 1883, was the day of days in the life of this young man as it united him in marriage with the lady of his choice, Miss Clara B. Speaker, daughter of David and Abbie Speaker, of Oconee. She was born November 27, 1861, in this township, of Rhode Island parentage. She lost her father when a little child and her mother took a second husband, whose name is Combest. She had three daughters by her first marriage, Mrs. Wood being the second in age and the others being Ida M., now Mrs. Bowmer, of Providence, R. I., and Celia A., now Mrs. Murray, of Pana, Ill.
To Mr. and Mrs. Wood two sons were born — Joseph, who came to them December 17, 1883, and the youngest, who was born March 5, 1891, is Cecil. Mr. Wood has always taken an active interest in political affairs and voted with the Democratic party until quite recently when he joined the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association and now works heartily with them for the benefit of the farming community. He holds no church connection, but is an active promoter of all movements which look to the prosperity and improvement of the township, in which he owns two hundred acres of rich and productive land, most of which is situated on section 8, where he makes his home. His farm is finely improved and he lives in comparative ease, reaping the rich reward of the efforts of his earlier years.

Extracted 05 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 194-195.

Templates in Time