J. H. WHEAT; postmaster and express agent was born in Morgan County, West Virginia, February 19, 1846, and was there reared and educated. January, 1864, he enlisted in Company E, Fifteenth West Virginia Infantry, and remained in service till the close of the war, receiving some severe wounds and losing the sight of one eye. After the close of the war he learned telegraphing, which he followed for eleven years, being three years on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and eight years with the Hannibal and St. Joseph Company. In 1875 he was stationed at Stewartsville, and in 1878, by the wish of the people of Stewartsville, was appointed to his present position. He was married September 24, 1869, to Miss Anna Stafford. She was born in England September 21, 1852. They have had three children, only one now living, Minnie, born in Clay County, Missouri, August 24, 1873.
(Source:  The History of Clinton County Missouri; published 1881; O.P. Williams & Co.; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack)


JOHN C. WILKERSON, an energetic and successful agriculturist, now residing upon his fine homestead located in township 52, range 39, Clay county, Mo., devotes most of his time to general farming, but is also known as a stock-raiser, profitably handling an excellent variety of graded stock.  Mr. Wilkerson is a native of the State and was born in Platte County in 1845 and during his entire lifetime has been associated with the growth and progress of Missouri.  Our subject is the son of Thomas J. and Margaret C. (Young) Wilkerson.  The Wilkersons are remotely of English birth, the pastoral great-grandfather having been a subject of the Queen, but later was an officer in the Revolutionary War, fighting for American independence.  Grandfather John Wilkerson was a native of Kentucky, where he followed the occupation of a farmer and distiller.  He ran one of the first distilleries in Clay County, and also operated the first carding-machine ever brought to this part of the country.  He was an energetic and enterprising man and is well remembered by the early settlers.
The father of our subject and his good wife were both natives of Kentucky, the husband having been born in the year 1817 and the wife in 1818.  Thomas Wilkerson came to Missouri with his parents in 1822, and in this latter State received his early education and training.  He remained at home until he had reached his majority, when he went to Platte County and entered land.  In 1849 he crossed the plains to California in company with a large party, and made the long journey by ox-team.  Mining four years in the Golden State, he gained financially but injured his health, and returning by the Cape was nearly shipwrecked in a violent storm.  Thomas Wilkerson survived his return home but a short time, and died in 1857.  The mother of our subject died when he was but two years old, and left four sons, Benjamin F., William Y., Thomas J. and John C.  She had passed away in 1847, and previous to his departure for California the father had married Miss Dodson, who became the mother of two sons and one daughter: Henry D., George W., and Mary C., wife of James Masoner.
The family remained for one year together upon the homestead of four hundred acres left by the father, and at the end of the twelve months our subject was taken by his aunt, Mrs. James H. Dale, with whom he resided until he was eighteen years of age.  John C. Wilkerson then began life for himself, working upon a farm in summer and attending school in winter.  He completed his studies in Mt. Gilead, Clay County, Mo.  After his marriage with Miss Lucy A. Vance, daughter of Willis L. and Louvisa D. Vance, our subject rented a farm, which he industriously cultivated for three years, at the expiration of which time he bought two hundred acres of his present valuable farm.  The only child who has come into the pleasant and happy home is a son named in honor of his paternal grandfather, Thomas J., who was born November 20, 1868.  He is a graduate of the State University at Columbia, Mo., graduating in June, 1890, and as a competent and reliable civil engineer enjoys an excellent position with the St. Joseph Bridge and Iron Company, and is now located at Pueblo, Colo.  Thomas J. Wilkerson is a young man of undoubted ability and high integrity of character, and now enjoys the confidence of a host of friends.  Politically, our subject is a Democrat and actively interested in the affairs of the day.  Both he and his wife are liberal givers in behalf of worthy enterprise, social and religious, and are numbered among the substantial and influential residents of the county.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Linn Counties, Missouri, 1893. Transcribed by Genealogy Transcription Team)


MRS. JULIA WILLIAMS, a lady of worth and ability and a life-long resident of Clay County, Mo., and now residing on section 32, township 53, range 32, was born near Smithville, October 2, 1831. Our subject is the widow of the late lamented John Williams and a daughter of Abijah and Harriet (Brooks) Brooke, her father and mother having been cousins. Mr. Brooks was born in Clark County, Ky., and there attained manhood. His education was limited to the knowledge gained in the district schools of the early days, and his father dying when he was but eighteen years of age, he was obliged to assume the responsibilities of life long before he had reached his majority. After a period of time which he spent in travel through the South and East, he was married, when about twenty-one years of age. His wife, was born and educated in Massachusetts, emigrated to Ohio with her parents and was married in the Buckeye State. The father and mother of our subject immediately following their union made their home in Kentucky upon one hundred and twenty acres of land left to Mr. Brooks by the death of his father. After farming some time in Kentucky, he removed with his family to Missouri, and in 1826, journeying by wagons and horse-teams, they slowly made their way to Clay County and settled on an eighty-acre farm near Smithville, which Br. Brooks had purchased. An energetic and enterprising man, he entered land from the Government and invested in real estate until at the time of his death he owned about one thousand acres.
When the father of our subject came to Missouri, he was financially prosperous for those pioneer times, owning excellent horse-teams, three negroes and several hundred dollars in cash. He was a consistent member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and in political affiliations was an ardent Whig. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Abijah Brooks were born fourteen children: Samuel J.; Abijah, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased, wife of William Owen; Mary, deceased, wife of S. G. T. Greenfield; John; Benjamin G., deceased; Thomas; Julia; Martha, deceased, wife of John Rogers; Virginia and Van W., deceased; Abigail, deceased, wife of H. H. Snail; Sarah E. and Harriet, deceased. The grandparents of our subject were Abijah and Nancy (Shraid) Brooks, the grandfather being a native of Ireland, who after emigrating to Canada lived there but a short time, and then located in Kentucky. Mrs. Julia (Brooks) Williams received her education in a rude little log schoolhouse of Clay County. Thoroughly trained in habits of useful industry which well fitted her to assume the care of a household, she arrived at twenty-three years of age and was then united in marriage with John Williams, who was born October 3, 1821, in Bourbon County, Ky., and who emigrated to Missouri in 1851, settling at once upon the present homestead in Clay County. Mr. Williams obtained a primary education in the common schools of his native State. His parents being in moderate circumstances, he was early obliged to make his own way in the world, and at the age of twenty-one years, having learned the carpenter’s trade, followed the occupation of a builder until he came to Missouri.
Mr. Williams arrived within the borders of the State with a small capital, but devoting himself exclusively to farming and stock-raising, he accumulated a handsome property and provided well for his family, leaving them at his death a valuable inheritance. He was a man of generous nature, benevolent and kind-hearted and ever ready to aid the poor. He and his wife were both members of the Christian Church, our subject having joined this religious organization when she was but fifteen years of age. Mr. Williams was politically a Democrat and a firm adherent of the Jeffersonian party. The only official position he ever held was that of Justice of the Peace, an office the duties of which he discharged with ability and fidelity. He passed away January 7, 1885, deeply mourned by a large circle of relatives and friends. And as an earnest and public-spirited citizen his death was a great loss to the community. The pleasant home of Mr. and Mrs. Williams was blessed by the birth of two sons, John and Albert. John, born August 23, 1865, is married to Miss Nannie Moore, who is the daughter of L. P. and Jane (Pointer) Moore. Mr. and Mrs. John Williams have two children, J. Clifford and Arthur L. Albert Sidney Johnson Williams, born April 17, 1868, was united in marriage with Miss Lula Morton. The paternal grandparents of these two sons were James and Elizabeth (Wright) Williams. James Williams was born in Bourbon County Ky., in May, 1797, and his good wife was born in the same county, April 11, 1798. The paternal great-grand-parents were Benjamin F. and Araminta (Mathena) Williams.
B F. Williams was born and reared in Baltimore and his wife was also a native of Maryland. The Williams are of English ancestry, John Williams, the father of B. F., being a native of Great Britain, who early in the eighteenth century, emigrating to America, settled in Maryland, probably engaging in farming, as he owned one hundred and sixty acres of land where the city of Baltimore now stands. He reared but two children, Benjamin F. and John. Benjamin F. Williams, the great-grandfather of the two sons of our subject, received a very limited education, and at eighteen years of age fought in the Revolutionary War with heroic ardor, and later in life engaged in the service of 1812 as Captain of a company detailed to carry supplies to the soldiers. He married in Maryland but immediately made his home in Kentucky, where his four children James, Eli, Mary, and Nancy, wife of John Elkshire, were born. The early home of the family was in Bourbon County, then thickly inhabited by the Indians. After a lifetime devoted to agricultural pursuits in Bourbon County, B. F. Williams spent his last days in Highland County, Ohio, where he passed away at the age of ninety-eight years. Almost a centenarian, he had witnessed the firm establishment of our national independence and lived to see the rapid progress of the early part of the present century. His son James, the father of Mrs. Williams’ husband, improved the very scanty opportunities he enjoyed to obtain book-knowledge, and could read and write. His boyhood was also rich in pioneer experiences and he grew up courageous and resolute. At eighteen years of age he enlisted in the War of 1812, and was in Ft. Mauldon when peace was declared. He then served a brief apprenticeship at the carpenter’s bench and followed the trade until 1836, when he bought a farm in Kentucky and resided upon the one hundred fifty-two acres until his death. His wife, the daughter of Robert Wright, bore him nine children: Julia, deceased, the wife of John T. Purdy; John, deceased, the husband of our subject; Martha, deceased, the second wife of John T. Purdy; James; Elizabeth, deceased, the wife of William Sconce; William, Horace, deceased; Susan, wife of William Hamilton; and Mary. James Williams was a Whig in politics, and having lived a life of honest industry passed peacefully away in 1864. His wife, who survived him, reached ninety-two years.
Our subject, having spent almost her entire life within a stone’s-throw of her present home, is intimately associated with the growth and improvement of her immediate neighborhood and county. In the pioneer experiences of the State the wives and mothers played no unimportant part. It was the cheering word and the helping hand of women, the daily presence that brightened the home, which made it possible for the husbands and fathers to face the hardships and privations of a new country. Mrs. Williams has been an eye-witness of the development and steady march of progress in her locality, and, active in social, benevolent or religious enterprises and also an excellent business woman, has been a prominent factor in the promotion of many of the leading interests of her home and is widely known and highly esteemed by a host of friends.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Linn Counties, Missouri)


HARRISON WILSON, a prosperous general agriculturist and stock –raiser of Clay County, located on section 9, township 53, range 30, is widely known as an energetic, able and upright citizen.  He was born July 27, 1826, upon what is known in this vicinity as the Old Croley Place.  He was of nine children born to John and Nancy (Croley) Wilson, who with a brother of the husband’s came to Easton in a very early day.  John Wilson settled in Missouri in 1820, and was married in Clay County, where he owned thirteen hundred acres of land in the neighborhood of Harrison Wilson’s homestead, and two hundred east of here.  He spent the greater part of his life in general farming and stock-raising, but served his county bravely in the War of 1812.
John Wilson was a public-spirited and progressive citizen and was especially noted for his liberality in the support of schools, colleges and churches.  He and his excellent wife were valued members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and were ever foremost in aiding in its good work.  The Mr. Vernon church near their home was especially favored with their care and generous contributions.  An ardent promoter of educational advancement, Mr. Wilson assisted in building the college at Greenville, and also aided in the maintenance of the William Jewell College, at Liberty.  Politically he was a Democrat and a strong advocate of the principles of the party, and during the Civil War was in sympathy with the South.  He was a man of more then ordinary ability and attainments, and when he passed away his death was mourned as a public loss by the people among whom he had spent the greater portion of his useful and honored life.
Our subject was prospered early in life, and became the owner of half a section of land, where he engaged in the pursuit of general agriculture and stock-raising.  Later he added to his property, then owning four hundred and fifty acres, and afterward purchased three hundred acres and gave this land to his two sons.  He also at one time owned real estate a little north of Easton, Buchannan County.
Mr. Wilson was united in marriage in 1852 with Miss Mary J. Gibson, a resident of Buchanan County, and a daughter of George and Jemima (Lane) Gibson.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilson became the parents of two sons, but one of whom now survives.  John L., born in March, 1853, was married to Frannie P. Gow, and left four children to mourn his death.  George E., born in 1855, married Miss Lydia Brooks in 1883, and lives with his parents.  He is a graduate of Greenville College and is an able and progressive man.  His marriage has been blessed by the birth of three bright and promising children two of whom are attending the excellent schools of the home neighborhood.  George Wilson owns four hundred acres of valuable land, and is not only a farmer but devotes a portion of his time to trading and shipping.  Politically he is a Democrat, and is a member of the Vigilance Committee.  He is also actively connected with the F. & L. U.
Harrison Wilson is a Baptist in religious conviction, as is also his good wife, and both are highly valued members of the church and active workers in the cause.  Mr. Wilson is a Democrat, and always interested in local and national issues.  Although past sixty-six years of age, he can read without spectacles, and is hale and hearty, having no bad habits, neither smoking nor drinking.  A citizen of integrity and honor ever using his influence in behalf of the uplifting and education of the masses, and ever ready to aide in the local progress and reform he has worthily won the lasting esteem and confidence of the general public, and has in the county where he has passed most of his life a host of true and earnest friends.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Linn Counties, Missouri, 1893. Page 232Transcribed by Genealogy Transcription Team)


EDWIN WITHERS. Our subject is an intelligent farmer and stock-raiser of Clay County, and has gained prominence as a public-spirited citizen. He resides in a handsome residence at Liberty, and is the owner of a splendid farm of seven hundred acres, well improved and cultivated, located near Liberty. He was born in Liberty, Clay County, Mo., January 15, 1842, his father being Abijah Withers, a farmer and a native of Virginia. The mother of our subject, Prudence B. (White) Withers, was born in Kentucky in 1810, the daughter of William White. The family of Withers, an honored one in Virginia, had its origin in Ireland.
In 1839 Abijah Withers removed from Woodford County, Ky., with his family to Clay County, Mo., and settled upon a farm of one thousand seven hundred acres. At the time of his death the farm contained one thousand acres. This highly esteemed old gentleman died in 1879, in his eighty-first year, he having been born in 1799. His demise occurred at Kansas City, while on a visit to his sons. He had six boys and as many girls, our subject being the youngest son. Three sons and two daughters now survive.
Edwin Withers attended the common schools of Clay County, after which he spent six years in study in William Jewell College. Upon leaving this institution he directed his energies to farming and stock-raising, and soon began to trade in stock with decided success, shipping to various markets large consignments of cattle, his farm being located in one of the finest corn belts in Missouri, and consisting, as stated, of seven hundred acres, with improved stock and substantial buildings.
In 1888 our subject removed to Liberty, although he continues to give his attention to his farm and his stock interests. His residence, which was erected under his immediate supervision, is a large and imposing structure, of latest design and finish and well furnished throughout. Mr. Withers was married February 3, 1874, to Miss Julia Miller, daughter of Robert H. and Enna (Peters) Miller, her father having formerly been the editor of the Liberty Tribune and a very prominent old settler of Liberty. Mr. and Mrs. Withers are the parents of one child, Edna Irene.
Mr. Withers is a Democrat, and while not taking as prominent and active part in political affairs as some others, contributes no small part to the work of the party by his influence and his words. He is a man of sterling character, true to his word, honest in his convictions, and a just man in his dealings with his fellow-men. The influence for good of such a man in his community cannot be fully measured, nor is it ever fully appreciated.
[Source: PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Linn Counties, Missouri. Transcribed by FOGT]


COL. LEWIS J. WOOD, one of the earliest pioneers of Clay county now living, and an honored citizen, has been for more than half a century a leading agriculturist of the county, and is widely known as an energetic and upright man.  Col. Wood is a native Kentuckian, and was born in Mercer County, July 12, 1812.  His parents were William and Sally (Thomas) Wood, the former born in Albemarle County, Va., and the later a native of Culpeper County.
William Wood remained with his parents upon the Virginia homestead until he had attained his majority.  During his boyhood he enjoyed excellent educational advantages, and prepared himself for a teacher, following that vocation many years.  He was a man richly endowed with gifts of mind and person, and was numbered among the able and representative business men of the locality.  In 1792 he removed to Mercer County Ky., and there married the daughter of Richard Thomas and widow of Ambrose Gordon.  After his marriage, Mr. Wood devoted himself to the pursuit of agriculture and remained in Kentucky until 1833, when he journeyed with his family to Missouri.  Settling in Clay County, he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of school land near Liberty, and here remained until his death in 1835.  His wife survived him about three months.
The mother of our subject had four children by her first marriage with Mr. Gordon.  The eldest, John A. deceased, served bravely in the War of 1812.  He was an able man, a finely informed historian and a successful lawyer, practicing his profession for many years in Liberty. He never married.  He was a social favorite and his loss was deeply mourned.  Robert, a plasterer by trade also died unmarried.  Ambrose, deceased, was a prosperous physician of Kentucky.  Patsy, deceased, was the wife of Colman Coghill.  The pleasant home of William Wood and his wife was blessed by the birth of nine children, one of whom died in infancy and four now survive, all over eighty years of age.  Jesse T., once a prominent lawyer of Boone County, Mo., served with distinction in the Black Hawk War as Brigadier-General, and after a life of usefulness and honor he died unmarried.  Isaac C., deceased, was a prominent farmer of Clay County, and served with efficiency and honor as Judge of the County Court.  He was twice married, his first wife being Miss Lucy Curd, and his second wife Miss Louisa Duncan.  William T., now residing in Lexington, Mo., has held many important State and county offices and ever discharged the duties of each position of trust with faithful ability.  As a leading lawyer of his portion of the State, he achieved a more than local reputation and possesses a host of friends.  He has thrice entered the matrimonial state, first with Miss Eliza Hughes; his second wife was Miss Marla Paine, and his third union was with Miss Mary Broadwell.  Joseph M., deceased, married Miss Corinne Arthur and was a most successful physician of Kansas City.  Our subject was next in order of birth.  Richard P. was an extensive agriculturist, and a well-known business man and druggist of Parkville, M.  The daughters of the family were women of culture, refinement and ability, and have occupied positions of influence.  The father of our subject was a valued member of the Masonic fraternity and, politically, was a firm adherent of the Whig party.  The paternal grandfather of our subject was of immediate English ancestry and undoubtedly one of three heirs to a large estate in “Merrie England.”  Col. Wood received his primary education in the district schools of Kentucky, and as he possessed scholarly instincts, gained a vast fund of knowledge from books of scientific research and travel.  He accompanied his parents to Missouri, and remained with them until their death.
September 16, 1834, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Mary Duncan, who was born September 16, 1818, and is a daughter of Capt. James and Nancy (Music) Duncan, the father having been born in Virginia, and the mother in Kentucky.  They emigrated to Missouri in 1823, and settled upon a large tract of Government land which Capt. Duncan had purchased.  Col. Wood received from his father about the time of his marriage two hundred and forty acres of land, and entered with energetic ardor into the cultivation of the soil.  During the many years of a successful career he has variously engaged in farming, milling, and the handling of general merchandise and in 1855 was a prosperous merchant of Smithville.  At the time of the war, he owned fifteen slaves, which were then set free, and he also experienced financial reverses, due to the disturbed state of the country.  Some fifteen years ago he retired from the active work of life, and now resides upon a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres.
In the early spring of 1849, Col. Wood joined the vast army of travelers bound for the Golden State.  He was the first man in the county to decide on the trip and make preparations, but he soon had a large following.  He crossed the plains with ox-teams, and was one hundred and thirty-two days on the way.  About one year from the time of departure, he returned home, having made a financial success of his venture in California.  Arriving within the busy town of Placerville (then Hang town) with but $50, he reached home with $12,000 as the result of his year’s labor.  This money was not gained by mining but by skillful trading in stock and buying the gold dust of the miners.  While in California he was not permanently located in any one place, but traveled throughout the entire State.  During this sojourn in the far West, Col. Wood renewed many pleasant friendships of early youth, and found in the Govenor of California and other officers and dignitaries of the State old acquaintances whom he had known well as young men in Missouri.  Through the influence and introduction of these prominent citizens of California, who thoroughly appreciated the ability of our subject, he was offered the office of Marshal of the Sate, one of the most important and difficult positions, and, at that time, one of the most remunerative, but he declined the honor without hesitation, having firmly resolved to allow no consideration to keep him longer from his family.
Col Wood came home by water from the Pacific Coast in 1850, and it was not until fourteen years later, in 1964, that he again visited California.  As before, he crossed the American Desert, and this time made a business of mining in Idaho City, Idaho, and was successful a second time in reaping a golden harvest.  Although the Indians were giving travelers in and about the Rocky Mountains much trouble, our subject recrossed the plains on his homeward way the following year, and experienced many narrow escapes from danger and death at the hands of the hostile bands which ravaged the country.  While upon the return journey, the Indians one night stole from the company with whom Col. Wood was traveling one hundred head of horses and mules, but he personally suffered no pecuniary loss.
Fourteen children were born unto our subject and his estimable wife, but of this large family six died in childhood.  Of those who lived to adult age, Sarah, deceased, wife of Thomas Ecton, was the eldest; James W. is a well-known millionaire of Kansas City; Susan was the wife of Capt. Clay Kerr, of Kansas City, and died leaving two children; Benjamin has been one of the leading business men of Kansas City since that flourishing metropolis was a village; Rosalind married Eleven L. Thatcher; Lewis J. is in business in Smithville.  Col. Wood and his estimable wife are both members of the Christian Church and have for a long series of years been identified with the social and benevolent enterprises of this denomination.
Fraternally, our subject is connected with the Masonic order and is one of the oldest Master Masons of Clay County, having joined this ancient society in 1840.  At one time he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but for some years has not been actively associated with that organization.  During a residence of nearly three-score years in his present locality, he has been an important factor in the growth and prosperity of the county, and an acknowledged leader in the promotion of the best interests of the State.  His children and their families in their several homes enjoy a high position in both social and business circles.  In the evening of his days, our subject can with satisfaction review his years of busy usefulness and success, fully realizing that in the confidence and esteem of the general public he has gained the reward due his unblemished career as a true American citizen.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Linn Counties, Missouri, 1893. Page 241. Transcribed by Genealogy Transcription Team)


KEMP M. WOODS Jr., is widely known for his ripe understanding of matters of finance, and comprehensive grasp of business generally. His judgment is clear and his advice is sought very frequently upon a variety of subjects, his opinion being held in high esteem. He was born in Platte Township, Clay County, Mo., May 20, 1847, and is the youngest of three children born of the first marriage of his father, the others being Phineas S. and Mary C. His parents, Kemp M. and Sarah (Skinner) Woods, were natives of Kentucky, the father having been born in Woodford County in 1813. The mother was a daughter of Phineas Shinner, of English descent. She was born in Clark County, Ky., and accompanied her parents to Platt County, Mo., when a child.
After the marriage of Kemp M. Woods and Sarah Skinner, which was solemnized in Platte County, they came to Clay County, where Mr. Woods followed the occupation of a farmer and stock-raiser. In time, he became one of the most prosperous farmers of the county and a very large land-owner, his possessions aggregating two thousand acres. Later he conducted a flourishing store at Smithville, and dealt extensively in hemp, which at that time was a very profitable product of the country. He also engaged in pork-packing and operated a large horse mill for the grinding of corn for his neighbors. In fact, he was a man well fitted to be a pioneer, being kind and obliging and often aiding settlers in locating their lands.
In politics, Kemp M. Woods took an active part, and as he was liberal in his views he possessed the confidence of the people in general, who depended much upon his good judgment. At the time of the candidacy of Bell and Everett, he cast his vote for them, not only admiring them as men, but believing also in the principles they vindicated. During the war, he was in Kentucky, but afterward he returned to his farm in Clay County, and remained there some years, when he again embarked in the mercantile, having taken his son as partner. The establishment was conducted under the firm name of Kemp M. Woods & Son, but after three years the father retired from business life. Three children were born of his first marriage and four of his second union, he second wife being Mrs. Sarah J. (Childs) Hamilton, and her four children were: Mary E., who died when young; John B., Henry A. and Cornelius H. Phineas S., our subject’s eldest brother, was killed in cold blood while on a furlough visiting his relatives, being at that time (1864) a member of Price’s army. Our subject passed his youth on the farm and attended the common schools, subsequently passing some time at the Platte County Academy, following which he took a course at Spaulding’s Commercial College in Kansas City. Upon his return to Smithville, he became interested in farming, in merchandising, and also in the stock business. Afterward he removed to Grundy County, Mo., where he engaged in farming for one year; but not finding that to his taste, became a railroad contractor, and furnished ties for the Rock Island Railroad. In connection with two other parties, the firm name being Shankton, Austin & Woods, he furnished that road some three hundred thousand rails and was successfully engaged in this business for three years.
Mr. Woods married Miss Lillie M., the eldest daughter of William T. Wiglesworth. After marriage, he remained at the home of his father and took charge of his farm, comprising two thousand acres near Smithville. While residing here, he was elected Justice of the Peace, Notary Public and President of the School Board. He removed for a short time to Bates County, Mo., but returned to Clay County, where he engaged in the real estate business and also carried on farming until March, 1887, at which time he came to Liberty.
Soon after reaching this city, our subject organized the bank of Kemp M. Woods, Jr., & Co., of which he became President and L. C. Elliott Cashier. He devotes the greater portion of his time to a general banking business, occasionally looking after his farming interests. He has prepared to set out an orchard of five thousand five hundred apple-trees, in the spring of 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Woods have three children: Phineas, Froncie and William W. Our subject is a prominent man in Clay County and has held the position of President of the Clay County Mutual Building and Loan Association for the past three years. He organized what is known as the Farmers’ Bank at Smithville, where he his building a fine two- business block, the upper story being intended for hotel purposes. He is the kind of man a progressive town needs, one who looks far into the future and with a clear eye discerns what will benefit his home and county. In his political opinions, he is a Democrat and has been active in the party ranks for many years. Socially, he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and at present holds the position of Representative in District No. 28, in the Grand Lodge of the State of Missouri. He is also Captain Commandant of St. Elmo Canton recently organized at Liberty.
[Source: PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Linn Counties, Missouri. Transcribed by FOGT]