|12th Governor of Illinois|
March 18, 1860 –January 14, 1861
|Preceded by||William Henry Bissell|
|Succeeded by||Richard Yates|
|13th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois|
January 12,1857 –March 18,1860
|Governor||William Henry Bissell|
|Preceded by||Gustav Koerner|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Marshall|
|Member of the Illinois Senate|
|Died||June 4,1880 81) (aged|
|Resting place||Woodland cemetery,Quincy|
|Spouse(s)||Ann M. Streeter|
Mary Ann Holmes
John Wood (December 20,1798 –June 4,1880) was the 12th governor of Illinois,serving from March 18,1860,to January 14,1861. Wood was a founder and the first settler of Quincy,Illinois.
Wood was born on December 20,1798,in Sempronius,New York,in the area now known as Moravia. He was the second child and son of Dr. Daniel and Catherine Crause Wood.His mother became estranged from the family when John Wood was five and moved to Palatine,New York. Wood was sent to live with his older cousin,James,and his wife,Mary Armstrong Wood,in Florida,New York.
In the vanguard of adventurous young eastern emigrants,Wood on November 2,1818,left his New York home. He initially planned to farm in Northern Alabama. 160 acres (65 ha) of land in the 3.5-million-acre Illinois Military Tract. Wood moved to his newly acquired land and with Jeremiah Rose in 1822 built a small,one-room log cabin on the east bank of the Mississippi River at today's Quincy,Illinois. Rose,his wife,and their five-year-old daughter lived with Wood in the cabin until 1826,when Wood married Ann M. Streeter of Salem,New York,daughter of Justice of the Peace Joshua Streeter.In Cincinnati during the winter of 1818-1819,however,he gained access to two books by Edmund Dana,published in Cincinnati in 1818. A resident and surveyor in the Illinois Military Tract,land set aside by Congress as bounty for veterans of the War of 1812,Dana provided the lure that changed Wood's destination. Dana's books extolled the significant advantages of a promontory over the Mississippi River at Illinois' westernmost point. Wood moved west to land near Atlas in Pike County,Illinois,squatted (resided on land he did not own),and became a farmer. Here,Wood met land speculator Peter Flinn,from whom he bought
Intending to speculate in land in the Military Tract,Wood had arrived at the federal land office in Edwardsville,Illinois,where he met Willard Keyes,a Vermont native. Keyes had taught French and Indian children at Prairie du Chien,Wisconsin,for two years and become disenchanted with his profession and disappointed that he had accumulated nothing. Learning Wood had the same idea about speculating in land,Keyes formed an informal partnership with Wood. They journeyed to the site on the Mississippi that had attracted Wood west. It was a limestone bluff that rose nearly 100 feet above the river,at which the pair would found Quincy,Illinois.
At the land office,Wood also met Edward Coles,who would become Illinois' second governor in 1822. Appointed the federal land registrar by President James Monroe,Virginian Coles had released his eleven slaves while on the way to Illinois to take his post.As governor,Coles recruited Wood's help to fight a movement from 1822 to 1824 by the Illinois General Assembly,dominated by immigrants from Southern states,to amend the constitution to make Illinois a slave state. A referendum on August 3,1824,for a constitutional convention for that purpose failed statewide by a ratio of 57 to 43 percent. In the territory in which John Wood fought the proposal,the plan for a slave constitution was defeated 90 to 10 percent. Wood considered his work to keep Illinois a free state one of his life's greatest achievements.
On September 14,1824,Wood petitioned the Illinois General Assembly to organize Adams County,Illinois and on January 18,1825,the measure passed. On April 30,1825,the unincorporated town of Quincy,Illinois,was designated the county seat.
Wood continued to buy land in the Military Tract and sold it at a profit to immigrants arriving in Illinois. With his family growing,Wood in 1835 began construction of a 14-room Greek Revival mansion,the John Wood Mansion,next to his two-story log cabin. His choice of the Greek Revival architectural style was purposeful. The American Revolution fading from memory and the War of 1812 two decades earlier,Wood saw the recent overthrow of the Ottoman Empire by the Greeks,the birthplace of Democracy in 800 A.D.,a rebirth of freedom. The Wood home was among the first Greek Revival structures in the Illinois.Wood himself turned the four large columns at the front of a house from coffeywood trees,which he selected,on a horse-powered lathe he fabricated. He built the home on the northwest side of today's 12th and State Street intersection. He found his craftsmen in St. Louis and New Orleans,where he sought men arriving from Germany who were skilled in construction trades. Fluent in German,Wood promised the men lots on the south side of his property on which they could build their homes if they would help Wood build his. The area today is Quincy's German Heritage District. The Association of Independent Architects in 2007 named the Governor John Wood Mansion one of the 150 most important structures in Illinois. The large mansion is now owned by the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County and is open for tours from April through October.
Wood was elected to seven one-year terms as mayor of Quincy 1844–1848,1852–53 and 1856) and to the Illinois state senate in 1850. Earlier a Whig,Wood became a Republican and was elected Illinois' first Republican Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1856.When Governor William Henry Bissell died on March 18,1860,three years into his four-year term,Wood succeeded him,becoming the state's 12th governor. The General Assembly,soon to adjourn its session in early 1860,granted Wood's request that he be allowed to remain in Quincy to manage business interests and the construction of his stone octagonal mansion. A room on the south side of his Greek Revival mansion was expanded to become the official governor's office of the State of Illinois. While conducting the governor's business from Quincy,Wood permitted Abraham Lincoln to use the governor's office in the state capitol building in Springfield during his 1860 presidential campaign. Wood also allowed Governor Bissell's widow to continue to live in the new executive mansion. Wood's greatest achievement in his ten months as governor was his work to reorganize the Illinois militia,which had been neglected since the end of the Mexican War. With business interests pressing Wood,he declined his party's request to run for re-election.
Governor Richard Yates appointed Wood one of five Illinois delegates to the failed "Peace Convention" in Washington,D.C.,in February 1861. After the start of the Civil War in April,John Wood was named Quartermaster General of the State of Illinois.In 1863,at age 65,Wood became even more personally involved in the Civil War. He raised men for the 137th Illinois 100-day volunteers. Wood and the 137th were assigned to duty in southwest Tennessee,and Wood was given command of three more regiments. His own regiment fought a four-hour battle on August 21,1863,against one of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's regiments.
In 1863,Wood's wife Ann died,and he married Mary Ann Holmes.
Wood's octagonal mansion was completed in 1864 and his Greek Revival mansion went to his eldest son,Daniel. The octagonal home,built at a cost of $100,000,was the most expensive house in Illinois at that time. An economic decline in 1875 cost Wood his fortune,and creditors forced him to sell his assets,including the stone mansion. It fetched $40,000. Bankrupt,Wood moved back into the Greek Revival mansion he had built four decades earlier.
John Wood died at home on June 4,1880. He was 81. His body is interred in the family plot at Woodland Cemetery,established on 45 acres he donated to the City of Quincy in 1846.
John Wood Community Collegein Quincy is named for the former Governor. A life-size statue of the former governor has been placed in the Illinois State Capitol.
Adams County is the westernmost county in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2020 census,the population was 65,737. Its county seat is Quincy. Adams County is part of the Quincy,IL–MO Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Quincy,known as Illinois's "Gem City",is a city in and the county seat of Adams County,Illinois,United States,located on the Mississippi River. The 2020 census counted a population of 39,463 in the city itself,down from 40,633 in 2010. As of July 1,2015,the Quincy Micro Area had an estimated population of 77,220. During the 19th century,Quincy was a thriving transportation center as riverboats and rail service linked the city to many destinations west and along the river. It was Illinois' second-largest city,surpassing Peoria in 1870. The city has several historic districts,including the Downtown Quincy Historic District and the South Side German Historic District,which display the architecture of Quincy's many German immigrants from the late 19th century.
John Pope was a United States Senator from Kentucky,a member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky,Secretary of State of Kentucky,and the third Governor of Arkansas Territory.
Daniel Pope Cook was a politician,lawyer and newspaper publisher from the U.S. state of Illinois. An anti-slavery advocate,he was the state's first attorney general,and then congressman. Cook County,Illinois,is named after him.
Edward Coles was an American planter and politician,elected as the second Governor of Illinois. From an old Virginia family,Coles as a young man was a neighbor and associate of presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe,as well as,secretary to President James Madison from 1810 to 1815.
Thomas Carlin,a farmer,soldier and Jacksonian Democrat,was the seventh Governor of Illinois and also served in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly. He became the first Democrat nominated at an Illinois state convention,as well as the last Illinois governor who fought Native Americans. His gubernatorial term was noted for its inconsistency,as he had limited financial experience and the state suffered the aftereffects of the Panic of 1837 as well attempted to fund a costly Internal Improvements Act passed by the state legislature over his predecessor's objections.
Forgottonia,also spelled Forgotonia,is the name given to a 16-county region in Western Illinois in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This geographic region forms the distinctive western bulge of Illinois that is roughly equivalent to "The Tract",the Illinois portion of the Military Tract of 1812,along and west of the Fourth Principal Meridian. Since this wedge-shaped region lies between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers,it has historically been isolated from the eastern portion of Central Illinois.
Quincy Senior High School is the regional public high school for Quincy,Illinois. It is the largest high school in Adams County,Illinois,and the only high school in Quincy Public School District 172.
The John Wood Mansion was built between 1835 and 1838 by John Wood,who in 1860 became the 12th governor of Illinois on the death of Governor William Bissell. The Wood family moved into the Greek Revival home situated at 12th and State Streets in Quincy,Illinois from an unusual two-story log cabin in 1837. Quincy is the county seat of Adams County. Wood founded both the county (1825) and city (1835).
Walter Coles was a Virginia planter,military officer and Democratic politician who served in the Virginia House of Delegates and in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Daniel Greene Garnsey was an American politician from New York,Michigan and Illinois.
Samuel Drake Lockwood was an Illinois lawyer and politician who served as the state's Attorney General,Secretary of State,Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and the state's trustee on the board of the Illinois Central Railroad.
Archibald Williams was a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Williams was a friend and political ally of President Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Jonas(born September 12,1801,in Exeter,England;died June 8,1864) was the first permanent Jewish resident in Quincy,Illinois. He was a member of the Illinois and Kentucky state legislatures,a leading lawyer,Freemason,and a valued friend of Abraham Lincoln.
John Patton Erwin (1795–1857) was an American Whig politician. He served as the Mayor of Nashville,Tennessee from 1821 to 1822,and from 1834 to 1835.
Ozias Mather Hatch was an American politician. He was the 13th Illinois Secretary of State,serving under William Henry Bissell,John Wood,and Richard Yates Sr. During the governorship of Wood,Hatch handled most of the duties of Governor of Illinois.
Woodland Cemetery is a historic cemetery located at 1020 South Fifth Street in Quincy,Illinois. Planned by politician John Wood and opened in 1846,the cemetery is a product of America's rural cemetery movement of the mid-nineteenth century. The cemetery's grave markers include smaller Victorian monuments and large Gothic Revival and Neoclassical structures. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Louise Maertz was an American Civil War nurse,writer,and clubwoman based in Illinois.
The 1834 Massachusetts gubernatorial election was held on November 10.
George Macaulay Irwin was an American arts visionary,businessman,editor,musician and conductor. Irwin is known for his work with arts organizations on the local,state,and national levels,as well as his efforts in preserving historic architecture. He was also the founder of America’s first arts council,the Quincy Society of Fine Arts,the founder and first chairman of the Illinois Arts Council,founder and first president of the Americans for the Arts,and worked as a consultant on the committee that established the National Endowment for the Arts.