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J. E. WOOD. This gentleman is a member of the well-known mercantile firm of Wood & Reed, of Gainesville, Ozark County, Missouri He was born in Washington County, Tennessee, July 18, 1846, but came to this county in 1871 from Bradley County, Tennessee.
His parents, Jesse and Margaret (McCracken ) Wood, were honest, industrious and law-abiding tillers of the soil, and the father was born in the Old North State about 1820, where he was a member of one of the early and prominent families. When a young man he removed to Tennessee, was married there, and there made his home until 1870, when he removed to Kansas and resided there for about one year before coming to Ozark County, Missouri Upon his arrival here he located upon a farm about four miles west of Gainesville, where he made his home until his death, which resulted from being accidentally thrown from a hack. He was a Republican politically, was a strong Union man during the war, and was a farmer, mill wright and carpenter by occupation. He held the office of justice of the peace two or three times after coming to this county, and was long, and prominently connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. His widow resides in this county and makes her home with her children, who are as follows: Emeline, wife of Thomas Wattenberger, of Gainesville, and formerly the wife of Alvin Reed, of Tennessee, by whom she became the mother of John R. Reed, of Gainesville, and Mattie E. Herd; John Wood is a blacksmith of Gainesville and served through-out the war as a member of Company A, Eighth Tennessee Cavalry; James F.; Mattie, who is the wife of Samuel A. Farmer, of this county; Henry, who is the owner of a shingle mill and cotton gin at Gainesville; Nancy, the wife of Gordon Hill, of this county. The following children are deceased: Mary, who married and died in Tennessee; William also died in that State; Samuel died in early childhood Landon H. died while serving in the Civil War; M. A. died young in Illinois, and Leander also died in that State.
James E. Wood, the subject of this sketch, was reared in his native State of Tennessee, and was married there to Miss Rebecca, daughter of F. G. Gibbs, and soon after the celebration of his nuptials he came to Ozark County, Missouri, and settled on a farm about four miles west of Gainesville, where he lived two years. He then came to Gainesville and began operating a cotton gin, but in connection with this also tilled the soil in the vicinity of that place until 1881, when he formed a partnership with J. R. Reed, and the mercantile firm of Wood & Reed was established. They have been very successful in this business, their annual sales being very large, and they have the patronage of the best people of their section. Mr. Wood is a Mason, a member of Lodge No. 496, of Gainesville, is a strong Republican politically, and he and his family are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is a trustee. July 3, 1863, he enlisted in Company C, Third Tennessee Cavalry, with which he served until near the close of the war, participating in a number of hard battles and skirmishes. He was captured at Athens, Ala., and after being kept a prisoner for six months was exchanged in March, 1865. He was on the boat “Sultana” when it was destroyed by fire on the Mississippi River, and although he received some quite severe burns, he managed to swim to shore, landing some eight or ten miles down the river from where the boat burned. His brother, Landon H., lost his life at that time. Mr. Wood is a member of the G. A. R., Gainesville Post No. 275, and is the officer of the day for 1894. Mr. Wood is a public-spirited citizen, has made what he has by his own energy and enterprise and is highly esteemed throughout Ozark County.
He and his wife have two children: Leandrew, who resides on a farm one mile from Gainesville, is married and has two children-Laura and Clarence; and Alice, wife of Alexander Crumley, of Gainesville, by whom she has two children-Ora and Blanche. Six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Wood died in infancy.