JOHN WOOD, Illinois’ 12th governor was born in Moravia, New York, on December 20, 1798. At the age of 20, Wood left home and headed west. He settled in Quincy, Illinois, in 1822, becoming the very first person to build a cabin and live in the area. He also was influential in the organization and formation of Adams County. Wood entered politics in 1834, serving as a town trustee of Quincy, a position he held for six years. He also was elected seven times as mayor of Quincy, was a member of the Illinois State Senate from 1850 to 1854, and served as Illinois’ lieutenant governor from 1857 to 1860. Governor William H. Bissell passed away on March 18, 1860, and on March 21, Wood, as lieutenant governor, assumed the duties of governor. During his tenure, the investigation of the Illinois and Michigan canal scrip fraud continued. After serving approximately 10 months, Wood left office on January 14, 1861. In February 1861, he secured an appointment as one of five delegates to the Washington peace convention. Wood also was appointed in 1861 as quartermaster-general of Illinois, and served as colonel to the 137th Illinois Volunteers. Governor John Wood died on June 11, 1880, and he is buried at the Woodland Cemetery in Quincy.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.