|HON. WILLIAM J. WOOD.|
Hon. William J. Wood is again devoting his energies to
his ranch and stock interests, having occupied the responsible
position of registrar of the United States land office at Sundance
until March 1, 1918, when his term of office expired. In this
connection his duties were discharged with marked promptness and
fidelity. He was born in Nodaway county, Missouri, on the 17th of
August, 1870. a son of the Rev. J. S. F. and Sarah (Elliott) Wood.
The father was a minister of the Baptist church and was very active
in promoting the work and interests of that denomination for a half
century. He is still living at the age of eighty-three years but has
now retired from the active work of the ministry and makes his
home in Santa Ana, California.
William J. Wood is indebted to the public school system of Maryville, Missouri, for the educational opportunities which he enjoyed. At the age of fifteen years he became identified with a mercantile enterprise as a clerk in Maryville and in the fall of 1887 he removed to Shenandoah, Iowa, where in connection with a young man of about his own age he established a candy factory. A year later, however, he sold out his business interests there and removed to Lincoln, Nebraska, where in connection with two brothers of the name of Rogers he became engaged in the produce business and in that partnership arrangement spent the succeeding three years at Lincoln and at York, Nebraska. He afterward removed to Mound City, Missouri, and during the time he was conducting the business he made thirty-one trips to New York city with produce shipments. The call of the west, however, was to him an irresistible one and in 1892 he came to Wyoming. He homesteaded on Beaver creek, in Crook county, near Alva, and was identified with the cattle industry for eleven years. When the range became too restricted he sold his holdings in 1903 and took up his abode in Sundance, where through the following four years he engaged in general merchandising, but in 1907 he disposed of his mercantile interests and removed to Hulett, where he carried on commercial pursuits until 1911. He then returned to Sundance and through the succeeding three years was engaged in the real estate business, but in the fall of 1913 he became identified with the Crook County Mercantile Company, having stores at Hulett and at Moorcroft. He was associated with that corporation until the spring of 1916, when there was a division of interests and Mr. Wood retained his holdings in the Hulett store. He is a man of marked business enterprises, keen sagacity and sound judgment and his business interests have by reason of his intelligent direction of his affairs, brought to him a substantial and gratifying measure of success. He also maintains heavy interests in ranching and is prominently connected with the sheep and cattle industry in Crook county, owning a ranch near the Little Missouri Buttes, and is now devoting his time and labor to his ranch interests.
On the 7th of February, 1897, Mr. Wood was united in marriage to Miss Carrie M. Davis, of Sundance, and they occupy an enviable position in the social circles of this section of the state. Mr. Wood is a member of Blue Mountain Lodge, No. 9, A. F. & A. M., and also of Hulett Lodge, I. 0. 0. F. He is a recognized leader in the ranks of the democratic party and in 1905 he was elected to represent his district in the Wyoming legislature, at which time there were only three members of the house who were supporters of the democratic party. In 1913 he was once more elected to represent his district in the general assembly and was made speaker pro tem of the house. In 1914 he was appointed under President Wilson to the position of registrar of the United States land office at Sundance in which capacity he very successfully served until March 1, 1918. His official record was one marked by unfaltering devotion to the general good and by unfailing fidelity to the trust reposed in him. He won for himself a most creditable position as a public officer, and is a representative business man and a progressive citizen, and all who know him speak of him in terms of high regard.