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A representative citizen of McIntosh County is James M. Wood, who since 1921 has been Mayor of Checotah. He was born in Crawford County, Arkansas, on the 13th of December, 1861, a son of James M. and Sophronia (Clyman) Wood. The father was born near Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1825, while Mrs. Wood was born in Danville, Illinois, on the 3d of January, 1834. Mr. Wood emigrated from his native state to Van Buren, Arkansas, at an early age and for some time followed farming. Subsequently he engaged in the general mercantile business and he was active along that line until his demise on the 15th of December, 1881, at the age of fifty-seven years. Mrs. Wood died on the 31st of October, 1921, in her eighty-eighth year.
James M. Wood was reared and received his education in Van Buren, Arkansas. He remained with his parents on the home place until he became of age, when he accepted a position as clerk in a store in Van Buren. He was thus employed for several years but finally resigned to become traveling salesman for a large local concern. In June, 1901, he came to Checotah to take charge of the shoe department for the firm of Spaulding & Hutchinson and he remained in that capacity for two or three years, at the termination of which time he again went on the road for several years. He was subsequently elected Treasurer of McIntosh County and after two years in that office he engaged in the shoe, notions and grocery business in Checotah on his own account. He conducted that store with a great amount of success from 1915 to 1918, and in the latter year disposed of his interests and retired. In April, 1921, Mr. Wood was elected Mayor of Checotah, for a two-year term, and. he is now active in this office, his administration being marked by general prosperity and continued improvement in the general welfare. He was first called to public office when he was elected police judge and he served on the town council here some years ago. Mr. Wood has many and extensive investments. He has oil interests, owns two business buildings and two residence properties in this community, and a business block and three residence properties in Van Buren, Arkansas, in addition to other properties in various towns in the vicinity. His home, at 601 N. Broadway, was the second brick residence erected in Checotah. Mr. Wood has been twice married. He first married Josie Reed and they became the parents of one child: Nellie, who is the wife of Charles Hippie of Cushing, Oklahoma. Mr: Wood’s second marriage occurred on the 20th of February, 1902, Miss Lena George becoming his wife. To this union one child was born: Sophronia, who died in 1903.
Fraternally Mr. Wood is identified with the Masons, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America, Wood-men of the World, and the Security Benefit Association, and he is likewise affiliated with the Eastern Star, of which he is past patron. Rebekah Lodge, Royal Neighbors and the I. C. M. A., also number him among their active members. His religious faith is that of the Christian Church. Since attaining his majority Mr. Wood has been a stanch supporter of the Democratic Party, having firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. He is very enthusiastic in his support of the city and of the state and in the discharge of his public duties he is proving himself thoroughly loyal to his fellow citizens.