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William I. Rood, 1842-1914


Posted By: Clay County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 1/24/2012 at 17:47:34

Spencer Pioneer Dies.
William I. Rood, for forty three years a resident of Spencer, died at the S.M. Boylan residence on West Second street at 2 o'clock Monday morning. Mr. Rood has been ill for many weeks and his death was not unexpected, though it is a shock to his many Spencer friends.

Mr. Rood was the oldest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Rood. He was born in Cayuga county, New York, on August 8, 1842. When a child of two years he moved with his parents to Wisconsin where he was reared to farm life. At the age of nineteen in August 1862, he offered his service to his country and enlisted as a member of Company D, Twenty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He served as a private until the close of the war when he returned to the farm in Wisconsin, but as his health was impaired he gave up farming and took up photography, which profession he has followed for over forty-two years. In 1871 he came to Spencer and for forty-two years has conducted his gallery at this place.

On October 21, 1872 he was united in marriage to Miss Bella Brown of Rutlaud, Wis. To this union were born seven children, but only two survive him. Mrs. Edna Conley, of Boise, Idaho and Miss Abbie Rood of Chicago. The mother passed away on May 14, 1914, at the age of 67 years.

Mr. Rood had closed up his business affairs here and had made preparations to spend the winter in company with his daughter Miss Abbie in California, when sickness overtook him. He has been cared for during his last illness by his daughter, Miss Abbie, and his other daughter, Mrs. Conley will be present to attend the funeral services which will be held from the Boylan home tomorrow, (Thursday) afternoon at 1 o'clock, conducted by Rev. O. M. Bond pastor of Grace M. E. Church. Interment will be made at Riverside cemetery. The sympathy of this community is extended the sorrowing daughters.

Source: Spencer Herald, Spencer, Clay County, Iowa; December 23, 1914.


In the death of William I. Rood the community loses a citizen who has lived in Spencer since 1871. To have lived forty-three years in one community is a long time. Mr. Rood has witnessed the building of every home in the city. Since his advent to this community every improvement has been made.

Mr. Rood was born in Cayuga, New York, August 8, 1842, and in 1884 his family moved to Green Lake, Wisconsin, where they resided a few years and then moved to Monroe county, Wisconsin. Here in August, 1862, Mr. Rood enlisted in the army, being a member of Co. D twenty-fifth Wisconsin infantry. He served until the close of the war with distinction, and was with Sherman on his famous march to the sea.

After the close of the war Mr. Rood returned to Wisconsin, but his health being impaired from his army experiences he did not return to the farm but took up photography and followed that business, since, a period of nearly fifty years. Coming to Spencer in 1871 he entered at once in his line of work, but he has told us many times there was not much in his line in those days, for settlers were few and far between.

Mr. Rood was a very interesting talker and we have enjoyed many chats with him about the earlier days of this county. We are not sure but believe he was the oldest settler in the city.

On October 21, 1872, at Marshalltown he was married to Miss Belle Brown of Vermont. To this union seven children were born, but only two are living, Miss Abbie, who has been living in Chicago for the past few years and Mrs. Conley of Boise, Idaho, who is expected here to attend the funeral. Mrs. Rood died on May 4 of this year and since that time Mr. Rood has been steadily declining. His death occurred at the home of S.M. Boylan on West Second street, old friends who kindly took Mr. Rood in and made a pleasant home for him in his last days. He died about two o'clock Monday morning.

Mr. Rood was a member of the Christian Science church and has been very active in his church work for a number of years.

In his death the community loses a man who was kind and considerate of others, who attended strictly to his own business and had a large circle of friends.

The funeral is to be held from the home of Mr. and Mrs. Boylan on Thursday at one o'clock.

Source: Spencer Reporter, Spencer, Clay County, Iowa; December 23, 1914.

Interment in Riverside cemetery

Clay Obituaries maintained by Kris Meyer.
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