Biography of Lyman Wood

LYMAN WOOD. – This popular gentleman, recently auditor of King county, Washington, was born in Gallatin county, Illinois, February 25, 1839, and lived at that place until he moved with his parents in 1845 to Moline, Rock Island county, Illinois. Here he was educated and grew to manhood. On the 11th of August, 1862, enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers. He served until May, 1863, when he was mustered out on account of disability. During the winter of 1863-64, he was employed as clerk in the office of the adjutant-general of Iowa.

His home was still at Moline, Illinois, until he removed with his little family to Lancaster county, Nebraska, in 1871, building the first dwelling-house in the town of Firth in that county, and keeping boarders for a time until a hotel could be erected. He was married at Davenport, Iowa, May 22, 1865, to Mrs. Nellie Allen, daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca Shanks, the first pioneers of Joliet, Will county, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Wood have one child, Enoch Wellington. Mrs. Wood had two children by her previous marriage, William F. and Fannie, the latter having been the wife of Mr. C. Hoisington, of Firth, Nebraska. Soon after reaching maturity and entering upon married life, they both passed away with consumption.

Mr. Wood came to Seattle May 1, 1882. His first employment after arriving here was a two months’ job of grubbing, – clearing lots on Lake Union. He next went to work at shingling, and afterwards at carpentering, working on the new Arlington Hotel from the sills to the roof. He next served about one month as day clerk at the Arlington, after which he became general delivery clerk at the Seattle postoffice, remaining in that position for one year. He next served as deputy assessor for one year under Mr. Chilberg, and one year with William H. Hughes. He was then elected clerk of the board of city schools, serving one year, and in November, 1886, was elected county auditor for the term of two years, which expired March 4, 1889.

Mr. Wood has been known on this coast and wherever he has resided as a hard-working and able man, popular with the people, and trusted alike by the rich and the poor. Although having won his daily bread by manual labor, and having never acquired a fortune, he has held prominent public positions, and has from boyhood to the present time borne an unsullied reputation as a n honest, faithful, liberal-minded and conscientious man. In Nebraska he was postmaster for about five years at Firth, and deputy clerk of the district court at Lincoln. He was also adjutant of Farragut Post, No. 25, G.A.R., and a member of Friendship Lodge, No. 47. I.O.O.F., at Firth. In official life in Washington Territory he showed himself pleasant and accommodating, and continually inspired those around him with life and energy. During much of the time that he was in office he employed as many as twenty-one clerks; and over sixty different ladies and gentlemen were in one way or another employed by him. He was called the ladies’ friend, as they voted for him; and he proved consistent, and remembered them when he came to the bestowment of favors. The Grand Army, The Odd Fellows, The Knights of Labor and the Liberals, of which organizations he is a member, are proud of his record, and respect him for his uniform kindness. He is now living on a pre-emption claim on Whidby Island.

The son of a pioneer, David R. Wood, and the grandson of a pioneer, Beder Wood, who came from Rochester, New York, to Gallatin county, Illinois, in 1815, while that state was still a territory, our Mr. Wood, by his enterprise and willingness to do pioneer work upon the Pacific coast, proves himself to be one of the most useful men of the people.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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