Biography - Leroy Wood

LEROY F. WOOD, the senior member of the firm of Wood & Stansifer, who carry on the largest and most reliable and successful real-estate business in the city of Litchfield, Ill., is the gentleman whose sketch we present to the readers of the Record.
Mr. Wood was born in North Litchfield Township, January 25, 1841, and was a son of John Wood, who was born east of Knoxville, Knox County, Tenn. The latter, with his father, Bennett Wood, came to this State and county in 1828, and settled in North Litchfield Township, and was one of the very earliest settlers there. His nearest neighbor was three and one-half miles away, and in this lonely place he lived until his death. He was a devout man, a minister of the Baptist Church, and one of those brave, good men who sacrificed every comfort and ambition in life to assist and console others. There were few then to comfort the sick with spiritual consolation, to perform the marriages or to give Christian burial to the dead. The deprivations which these good men went through have always seemed to the writer to be the most pathetic portions of the pioneer's life.
The father of our subject grew to his majority here, and so few were his advantages that it was not until he had become the husband of a bright and ambitious wife that he learned to read. Our readers will readily recall the President of the United States who was similarly taught after his marriage. John Wood became a minister, as his father had been before him, and before his death there were few passages in the New Testament that he could not readily recall. He lived and died on the old place, never leaving it except to answer some call of duty. The farm of which we speak is still in the family and consists of two hundred acres. The mother of our subject was Miss Elizabeth Williams, who came here about the same time as did her husband, from Tennessee, and who was born May 4, 1825.
Mr. and Mrs. Wood settled about two miles from the old place and she has seen it change from a wilderness to the comfortable home it now is. To them were born twelve children, seven of whom survive: Nancy E. became the wife of Eli Bewley and now resides in California. Rachel S. became the wife of John E. Morrison and lives in Bates County, Mo. Martha M. lives in Cheyenne Fannie married William McCurley and resides in Springfield. William S. is located on the homestead. Thomas H. is a contractor and builder in Raymond. The death of John Wood took place March 3, 1883, when the good man passed away regretted by all.
Our subject enjoyed the advantages offered by the common schools of his locality, and at an early age he married Mrs. Lurany E. Ward, of his township. He engaged in fanning after the marriage, which took place February 25, 1858, and continued at that until the breaking out of the war. Then he felt the necessity for all good men and true to enter the army and suppress the rebellion. August 11, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, Ninety-first Illinois Infantry, and was sent to the southwest department and served until June 20, 18(J5, when he was discharged on account of wounds received at Spanish Fort, in Alabama, having seen nearly three years of hard service, almost all of the time being at the front. He was once taken prisoner, December 27, 1862, at Elizabethtown, but was paroled and exchanged July 4, 1863. He reentered the active service and was through the Louisiana and Texas campaigns.
After his return from the war, our subject went into farming, and then worked as a carpenter, but his wounds kept him reminded that his active days were over. He went into town then, and first engaged in the insurance business, and was twice made Assistant Supervisor of the township and for one term served as Justice of the Peace. All this time he was overlooking his business, and later entered with Mr. Stansifer in the real-estate business. Together they platted a portion of land and called it the Wood & Stansifer Addition to Litchfield, and this is in the southwestern part of the city. The firm is interested in real estate, and also represents thirteen leading insurance companies and does business both home and abroad. The home and eastern capitalists deal with them in the loan associations.
Our subject is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and also of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, in both of which organizations he is regarded with the respect and affection his life has made possible. His domestic relations are most pleasant and his wife still lives and reigns over his home, where five children have been added to his family. The eldest, Sarah, became the wife of J. H. Roberts, of this township, one of the old pioneers, and her four children are Clemen, Bennett, Minnie and Lula. The second was R. F., who lives in Moberly, Mo. Retta became the wife of Richard Coffey and has one child. John H. and Jessie A. are at home. The Christian Church is the one to which this family belongs, and in which they are regarded with esteem and respect. The life of Mr. Wood has been very successful as a businessman and as a soldier, and this RECORD does not do justice to one of the really important men of Litchfield.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 438-439.

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