Senator Gilbert H. Wood View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 7/15/1885
Party Affiliation:
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 15 (1874) - 16 (1876)
Home County: Muscatine
Gilbert H. Wood
Muscatine County
Born in Grafton, Worcester Co., Mass., October 3, 1816, and his ancestry can be traced back to the Puritan fathers. He was educated in his native town, but being of a studious nature, on leaving the school-room he did not consider that he knew all that was needed, but supplemented his knowledge gained from text-books by extensive reading and observation. After the death of his father he left his native State, and went to Madison, Ind., where he remained six years engaged in the boot and shoe business. Then he returned to Worcester and commenced his railroad life. His first contract was on the Providence and Worcester Road. After that he went to Vermont and took a contract on the Vermont Central; also work in Maine. In November, 1850, our subject was married in the city of Providence, R. I., to Miss Elizabeth E. Marsh, of which State the lady was a native. In December following the young couple went to Chillicothe, Ohio, where Mr. Wood, as a member of the firm of Cushing, Wood & Co., contracted for the building of 100 miles of the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad. The work being satisfactorily completed in 1855, and desiring to turn his attention to farming, Mr. Wood emigrated to Muscatine County, where he purchased 360 acres of land on sections 26 and 27, of Lake Township. The only improvement upon the land, which in itself was a wild, uncultivated tract, was a small log cabin, but as time passed he transformed it into one of the most beautiful farms in the county. In 1867 Mr. Wood took the contract to grade ten miles of the Muscatine, Tipton and Anamosa Railroad, from Tipton to the Northwestern Railroad, which contract or grading he finished. In 1874 Mr. Wood was nominated by the anti-Monopoly party for the State Senate, and was elected and served the county with enviable distinction. During the second season of his term the election of United States Senator came up, and he resumed his old party relations by entering the Republican caucus, and voting for the nomination of his old friend, Gov. Kirkwood. He was also an extensive stock-dealer, and to him, Muscatine County owes much for her present high grade of horses and cattle. He was the first to introduce the Short-horn cattle, which he imported from Ohio, and he gave special attention to the breeding of Bashaw horses. To all educational, social or moral interests, he gave his earnest and hearty support, and was prominent in the promotion of any enterprise for the public welfare. His death occurred July 15, 1885, leaving a wife and one child to mourn their loss.