WOODS, SKILLIN, MEEK, JOHNSON, DEHART, GLASSCOCK, EDMUNDSON, DAVIS, LEFLER
Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 22:12:48
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
A.H. Woods is now living a retired life on his fine farm situated in Section 31, Harrisburg Township. His home, a commodious brick dwelling, is situated in the midst of seven hundred broad acres that for years have yielded him a golden tribute for his care and cultivation. Fences divide the farm into fields of convenient size, good barns and outbuildings shelter his stock, and the entire surroundings are in keeping with the improvements before mentioned. During the past few years, however, Mr. Woods has laid aside the more arduous duties of farm life, being now in the eighty-second year of his age and spends his time in rest and quiet, enjoying the fruits of his former toil. However, he is still rugged and active and transacts all his own business. His farm he has mostly seeded down to hay and pasture, and the balance he has rented.
Mr. Woods was born in Virginia, on August 11, 1808. His father, John Woods, was also a native of the same state and served his country in the War of 1812. When our subject was a babe he removed from Virginia to Ohio, where he worked at his trade of blacksmith for many years. He wedded Nancy Skillin, who was born on the Emerald Isle, and when three years of age was brought by her parents to America. She died when about sixty years of age, and Mr. Woods died in Richland County Ohio at the age of eighty years. Of their family of seven children, six reached maturity—William, who was a medical practitioner, died in Cincinnati, Ohio, aged fifty years; A.H. of this sketch is the second in order of birth; John, who followed farming, died in Richland county Ohio; Hugh, a millwright by trade, died in Michigan; Archibald, who has traveled extensively over this country, is now a resident of California; Margaret, the youngest is deceased.
Remaining under the parental roof until he had attained his majority, A.H. Woods then left home and started out in life for himself. Going to St. Joseph County Michigan he worked in a gristmill and during his stay in that community married Miss Elizabeth Meek a native of Ohio and a daughter of William and Elizabeth Johnson Meek. Their union was celebrated in 1834, after which Mr. Woofs purchased eighty acres of land, but still continued working in the mill. Later he sold that tract and bought four hundred acres of timberland in St Joseph County, which he sold after coming to Iowa in the summer of 1837. The traveler of today can scarcely imagine the condition of the county at that time.
The work of improvement was scarcely begun, much of the land was in its primitive condition, many of the now flourishing towns and villages had not yet sprung into existence, civilization had made but little advancement in fact it was almost an unbroken wilderness. Mr. Woods first preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land and, by purchase, added to it eighty acres upon which he built a log cabin. In pioneer style the family began life in Iowa. Few comforts found their way to their home in those earlier days, and many of the inconveniences and hardships of frontier life were borne by the inmates of the home. Not only had all the land to be broken, but the implements with which the work was to be done, were crude in character as compared with the improved machinery of today. The nearest mill was some miles away, and they had to go long distances to market, sometimes over almost impassible roads. But all this is now changed; waving fields of grain now greet the eye in every direction; improvements have been made; and the county is inhabited, by a well-contented and educated group of people; who, are justly proud of the home of their adoption and the progress here made. Mr. Woods shared in the general prosperity of the county and, extending his possessions, became the owner of seven hundred and sixty-five acres of land all in one body.
Eleven children wee born to our subject and his worthy wife, but four of the number, have been called home. Nancy A., the eldest, is now deceased; William V., is a resident of California; Robert M. is a farmer of Vernon Township, Van Buren County; Elizabeth is the wife of Lewis De Hart, who resides near St. Louis Missouri, and is the mother of six children—Clement, C. Loraine, Jennie, Fannie, Clarence and Walter; Ellen is the wife of E.W. Glasscock, of Bonaparte Iowa, but whom she has seven children as follows: Charles, William, Alex, Fannie, Edna, Jessie and Anna; Sarah L. wife of H.B. Edmundson, is living in Washington Township Van Buren County; Mary V. is deceased; Henrietta wedded J. Lefler, by whom she has two children: Myrtle and Lena; Jessie F. is the wife of S.P. Davis, and their union has been blessed with six children, Leonard W., Estella Deceased Cass M., Grover C., F. Earl and Zula.
Mr. Woods is well known throughout the entire county and has taken a prominent part in many public affairs. In politics, he is a Democrat and as a delegate, he has frequently attended the conventions of that party. He held the offices of Justice of the peace, School Trustee, etc., and participated in the organization of the county with which he has since been identified. As a friend and neighbor, he is held in high esteem and has the full confidence of all who know him.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.
Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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