The venerable and highly honored citizen of Centralia whose name appears
above has through a long life of industry and fidelity to duty shown that he
is worthy of a place in the history of Marion county along with his fellow
citizens of worth. John Woods, a retired farmer, was born in Tennessee,
December 29, 1827, the son of Willis and Mary (Willis) Woods, both natives
of North Carolina, who went to Tennessee in an early day, and in 1828 came
to Marion county, Illinois, settling south of Odin, taking up a claim, later
locating near Kinmundy, Illinois, just northwest of Centralia. He died in
1859 and his wife is also deceased. He was twice married, his last wife
being Nellie Berge, of Connecticut. She is deceased. The father of the
subject was always a farmer, a man well known and highly respected, a
Democrat, but never aspired for office. He and his wife were members of the
Christian church. Six children were born to them as follows: Louisa,
deceased; John, our subject; William, deceased; Mary, deceased; Green,
deceased; the youngest child died in infancy.
Mr. Woods had little chance to attend school, having lived at home until he was twenty years of age and assisted with the work about the place, attending subscription school a few months in the winter. He was married March u, 1847, to Catherine McClelland, who was born in April, 1831, in Centralia township, the daughter of Isaac and Sarah (Welsh) McClelland, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Tennessee. He came to Illinois in 1820, settling near Walnut Hill, Marion county, later coming to Romine Prairie and then to Centralia township, north of Centralia in Sandoval township. He secured seven hundred acres of land. He engaged extensively in farming and stock raising and became a prominent man in his locality. He held many local offices and spent the latter part of his life in the city of Centralia. He died in 1881, his wife having preceded him to the silent land in 1848, and he married a second time, his last wife being Mary J. Collum, of Maryland, who is deceased. Six children were born to Mr. McClelland, all by his first wife, namely: Alexander, who is now deceased, lived in Sandoval township; John went to Oregon in 1883 and died in 1906; Rachael married Thomas N. Deadman, and she is now deceased; Catherine is the wife of the subject; Elizabeth, who is deceased, married W. K. Bundy, of Raccoon township; Rebecca J., who married Richard Collins, lives in East St. Louis.
Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. John Woods, four of whom are now living, namely: Isaac N., who remained single, is deceased; Willis died young; Mary F., who is deceased, married Asa Mattocks; Luella married William Ingrahm, of Centralia; Sarah Ellen, who remained single, is deceased; Cella Ruth married Erastus Root May 6, 1883, and eight children have been born, namely; Lawrence, Nellie, John, Kate, Jessie, Clyde, Marie and Charles, all living. John died when young; Susan married John Heyduck, of Centralia, an engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad, and they are the parents of five children, Lawrence, John, William R., George H. and Ruby May, George, who was the fifth child in order of birth, is a farmer on the old home place in Centralia township, who married Martha Sanders, and they have four children, Buell, Myrtle, Helen and Mabel.
After his marriage our subject and wife located in section 15, Centralia township, where he secured one hundred and sixty acres of land, which was entirely unimproved, but he was a hard worker and soon had a comfortable home and carried on general farming and stock raising in a most successful manner. He was popular in his township and was School Director for fourteen years and held a number of minor offices. He was always a stanch Democrat and he and his good wife are members of the Christian church. Mr. Woods retired from active business life in December, 1898, and has since lived in Centralia. He and his wife are well preserved for their years and they can tell many interesting things that happened in the early days in Marion county.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 603-604.