Rev. J. W. Woods, C. P. minister, Mattoon; was born in the Territory of Indiana, Feb. 5, 1815. He is the son of Wm. G. and Rachel (Lester) Woods; his father was a farmer and his early boyhood days were spent upon the farm; his education was obtained mainly at Pilot Knob Academy, under the instruction of Prof. D. R. Harris; when 10 years of age, he came with his parents to Clark Co., Ill.; his father settling about four miles east of the present town of Marshall, his house became the resort for most business transactions in that part of the county; it was the “preaching-place” for fifteen years, until the building of a church in the neighborhood. At the age of 17, young Woods became a member of the church, and in May, 1834, of the Presbytery;. in June, 1837, he began his public ministry in Clark Co., Ill., and, for a number of years, labored in Coles, Douglas, Cumberland, Shelby and other counties in this section; in October, 1839, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry; in 1859, he moved to Mattoon for the purpose of building the church in the city; under his direction and superintendence, the church was built, and he was Pastor until September, 1861, when he entered the U. S. service as Chaplain of the 5th I. V. C., and remained in the service until Jan. 8, 1865; on his return from the army, he again labored for the church in Mattoon one year and four months; two years ago, he built the church ten miles south of Mattoon, in Cumberland Co., called Woods’ Chapel, and has since labored for the congregation at that point. He was married Nov. 4, 1841, to Eliza A. Funkhouser, a native of Wayne Co., nine children have been born to them-Mary C. (wife of W. B. Dunlap), Elizabeth J., Cynthia A. (wife of J. R. Tobey), Celestina C. (wife of O. C. Hoddy), Eliza N. (wife of E. V. Burnett), William L’R., John P. Ida Belle, Alice L.; of these, Elizabeth J. and William L’R. are deceased. Has been a member of the City Council and East Side School Board. He has always been liberal in the use of his means toward the Church.
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