Lee County Biography


Albert Woods, a representative of a well known pioneer family of Lee county, has lived in Wyoming township since 1869 and during the intervening period has made many substantial contributions to general growth and development. He is now the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of fine land on section 16 and has brought this from an unimproved tract into a model and productive farm. He was born in Bridgeport, Belmont county, Ohio, February 13, 1848, and is a son of George W. and Susan (Coss) Woods, the former of whom came to Lee county with his family in 1869, settling on a farm in Wyoming township. He improved this property and there made his home until 1900, when he passed away at the age of seventy-eight years. He and his wife became the parents of seven children besides the subject of this review : Catherine, who died in 1883 and is buried in Wyoming cemetery; Louisa, who became the wife of Reuben Furkins and who died in 1890, leaving four children: Mary R., who married Harry Norton, of Earlville; P.L., a farmer in Wyoming township; I.N., engaged in farming in the same locality; Effie, the wife of Owen Cornell, a farmer in Wyoming township; and Olive, the widow of Rev. Robert Shaftoe, of Paw Paw. The Woods family came originally from County Tyrone, Ireland, and was founded in America by William Woods, grandfather of the subject of this review who came to America before the War of 1812 and fought during that conflict.

Albert Woods acquired his education in the public schools in the vicinity of Bridgeport, Ohio, laying aside his books at the age of twenty-one. He afterward came to Lee county and assisted his father with the work of the homestead, also engaging in farm labor in the employ of others. He continued thus until his marriage and then bought the property in Wyoming township upon which he has since resided. It owes practically its entire value to his intelligent management, for it was swamp land when it came into his possession. Mr. Woods made his home in an old schoolhouse upon his place while he carried forward the work of draining the property and breaking the soil. He afterward replaced this dwelling by the modern residence now upon the farm and he has erected other substantial buildings, making his property attractive and valuable. He engages in mixed farming and has met with such gratifying success that he is ranked today among the representative agriculturists of the township.

In Bridgeport, Ohio, February 15, 1876, Mr. Woods was united in marriage to Miss Jane Cline, a daughter of William and Nancy Cline, both of whom passed away in 1890 and are buried in Weeks cemetery near Bridgeport. Mr. and Mrs. Woods have three children: Laura M., the wife of Armond Case, a farmer in Viola township, this county; Walter V., who is assisting his father; and Wilbur A., postmaster of Paw Paw.

Mr. Woods is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has been through all the chairs of the local lodge and has been representative of the grand lodge and the grand encampment. He is a democrat in his political views and has served with credit and ability as a member of the board of school directors. He has witnessed a great deal of the development of Lee county and his work has been for many years an important factor in promoting agricultural development. He is a man of excellent qualities of character and holds the esteem and respect of a large circle of friends.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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