Back to former Ohio governors
Reuben Wood

Gov. Reuben Wood

  • December 12, 1850 - July 13, 1853
  • Democratic
  • January 1, 1792
  • October 1, 1864
  • Vermont
  • Married Mary Rice; two children
  • Resigned
  • Ambassador
  • Army


REUBEN WOOD, the twenty-first governor of Ohio, was born in Middletown, Vermont. His early education was attained through studying on his own. After the death of his father, Wood was sent to live with an uncle in Canada. He was drafted into the Canadian army during the War of 1812. However, he escaped back to the United States, where he served briefly in the U.S. army. After his military service, he studied law, and then established his legal career in Cleveland, Ohio. Wood first entered politics as a member of the Ohio State Senate, a position he held from 1825 to 1830. He also served on the Common Pleas Court bench from 1830 to 1833; and was an Ohio Supreme Court justice from 1833 to 1847. Wood next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor in the 1850 general election. He went on to reelection to a second term in 1851. During his tenure, the state’s court system was restructured; and the fugitive slave law was contested. Wood resigned from the governorship on July 13, 1853. He then served in Chile as the U.S. consul, a post he held from 1853 to 1855. Governor Reuben Wood passed away on October 1, 1864, and was buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

*Note: birth month and date are not known. Birth year is either 1792 or 1793.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The Ohio Historical Center

Recent Ohio Governors