IAGenWeb Join Our Team

This page was last

updated on 11/17/2011


Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 968~



(photo of family in book)


Among the venerable and well-known citizens of Oelwein, Fayette county, Iowa, he is whose name heads this sketch. Mr. Wood, though now practically retired from active life, was formerly an active and potent factor in the upbuilding of the city of his residence and has at all times enjoyed the unbounded confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. He is descended from an honored and patriotic line of ancestry and in himself are embodied many of those sterling qualities which characterized these patriot ancestors.


Hiram D. Wood was born in Clinton county, Kentucky, on April 8, 1828, and is the son of Samuel and Keziah (Dougherty) Wood. Samuel Wood, who was born in Kentucky December 25, 1804, was the son of James Wood, a native of Loudoun county, Virginia. The latter was a son of Samuel Wood, who was born May 2, 1737, in Leicestershire, England. The latter was the fourth in the order of birth of the five sons born to his parents, the others being Thomas, John, William, and Abram. Samuel, Thomas and John came to America some time prior to the French and Indian war and Samuel, at the age of eighteen years, become private secretary to Colonel George Washington, being present at the historic defeat of General Braddock near the present city of Pittsburgh. Samuel Wood later settled in Loudoun county, Virginia, and during the war of the Revolution he took an active part in behalf of the colonists, though prevented from enlisting as a soldier in the ranks because of a defect in one of his legs. His son James was a soldier in the war of 1812, serving under Gen. William Henry Harrison.


The subjectís mother, Keziah Dougherty, was born in Tennessee February 1, 1805, and her father was killed by the Indians in that state. Samuel Wood and Keziah Dougherty were married May 1, 1825, and in 1832 they moved to Macoupin county, Illinois, where they reared their family of twelve children.


Hiram D. Wood remained on the home farm in Illinois until he was eighteen years old and he had an active part in the strenuous work of the frontier farm. When nineteen years old he enlisted in the Fourth Cavalry Company, from Illinois, for service in the Mexican war. The soldiers were require to furnish their own horses and were rendezvoused at Jefferson Barracks. From there they were sent by steamboat to Vera Cruz, where they became a part of the army under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott. During his period of enlistment Mr. Wood took part in a number of battles and skirmishes, experiencing some severe service. On his return from military service, he went into the pine woods near Menominee, Wisconsin, where he was employed about two years. Prior to going to there he had entered two land warrants in Delaware county, Iowa, one on a warrant given himself for service in the Mexican war and the other on a warrant he had bought of a comrade.


He thus secured three hundred and twenty acres of land and when he returned from the Wisconsin woods he found he had enough money with which to improve his land. He was married in 1853 and immediately located on this Iowa land, where he remained thereafter nearly a half century. He was of industrious habits and practical in his methods and succeeded in making of this farm one of the best agricultural properties in his section of the state. When the Chicago Great Western railroad was constructed through this section of the state it crossed his land and he laid out the town of Dundee.


He built the first store there and ran it successfully for about nine years In 1895 Mr. Wood sold this store and came to Oelwein, where he has since resided. He also sold his farm, and on coming to Oelwein he built a store on South Frederick street, a large two-story brick, the same being now occupied by the Hub clothing store. During the following eight years he was engaged there in the dry goods business, at the end of which time he sold his stock, rented the building, and has since that time been practically retired from active business pursuits. He is still the owner of considerable property in Oelwein, which demands a share of his attention, being also a stock holder and director in the First National Bank, one of the solid and influential financial institutions of Fayette county.


On September 1, 1853, Mr. Wood married Lydia L. Luken, a daughter of David and Prudence (Macklin) Luken. The latter was a daughter of James Macklin, who, as a member of the Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion of the Continental army, served during 1777-78, his death occurring in February, 1819. His wife had borne the maiden name of Elizabeth Johnson. Mrs. Lydia Wood was born July 1, 1827, on the summit of the Allegheny mountains in Cambria county, Pennsylvania.


To the subject and his wife have been born eight children, all of whom are living, namely: Mary E., John R., Ella, Joel L., Jennie L., Alice E., Rose M., and Margaret A., the two last named being twins. Ella, who resides in San Francisco, California, is the widow of Fred H. Muckler, and is the mother of two children, Byril and Allene. Jennie L. is the wife of W. G. Jones, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and they have one child, Byril. Alice E. is the wife of W. C. Smith, of Park Rapids, Minnesota, and they have four children, Wood, Orril, Arlo Earl, and Ruth. Rose is living with her parents at Oelwein. Margaret is the wife of W. S. Pitt, a jeweler at Oelwein. John, who lives at Bentonville, Arkansas, married Mattie Riddle, of Texas, and they have two children, Jennie and Dougherty. Joel is engaged in the mercantile business at Victor, Colorado.


Politically, Mr. Wood has been a lifelong Democrat, and prior to the Civil war was elected surveyor of Delaware county, having also held a number of townships offices in the county.  Fraternally, he is an appreciative member of the Masonic order. His religious views are that of the Christian church, to which he and his wife belong and to which they give an earnest and liberal support. On September 1, 1903, Mr. and Mrs. Wood celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, on which occasion there was a reunion of the members of the family, some coming from the Pacific coast to do honor to their parents.


Now, though advanced in years and married nearly six decades, they are in enjoyment of remarkable health and in the full use of their faculties, with probably a number of years of enjoyable life ahead of them. No residents of this community command a larger share of the public regard and esteem than this worthy couple, who have taken place in the section of country in which they live. Their sterling qualities of character and their genial dispositions have won for them a host of warm and loyal friends throughout the community.


~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Mary Aldrich


back to Fayette Home