Image of Wood, John

Wood, John

b. December 20, 1798, in Cayuga County, New York; d. June 4, 1880, in Quincy, Illinois. When Wood was twenty years old, he moved to Pike County, Illinois, where he farmed for two years. In 1822, he built the first log cabin in Quincy. He also initiated the organization of Adams County. Wood served in the Black Hawk War, was mayor of Quincy, Illinois, for several terms, and was also a state senator. In 1849, he went west as part of the California Gold Rush, but he returned a year later. Wood was Lieutenant Governor under Governor William Bissell, and in that position he presided over the Senate. He worked well with the Democrats even though he was a Republican. He finished the final ten months of Governor Bissell's gubernatorial term after Bissell died in office. Wood took his oath of office on the day of Bissell's funeral. Wood was one of five Republicans who went to a peace convention in Washington, DC during the Civil War. In May 1861, he was appointed state quartermaster general and had the responsibility of supplying and equipping Illinois troops before the federal government took over that task. In 1863, when he was sixty-four years old, Wood became colonel of the 137th Illinois Regiment of Volunteers.
Governors of Illinois: 1818-1918 (Springfield: Illinois Centennial Commission, 1917), 25; Robert P. Howard, Mostly Good and Competent Men: Illinois Governors, 1818-1988 (Springfield: Illinois Issues, Sangamon State University and Illinois State Historical Society, 1988), 117-19. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.