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WOODS,  Oliver Harris

WOODS, Oliver Harris[1]

Male 1824 - 1916  (92 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document

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  • Name WOODS, Oliver Harris 
    Born 17 Sep 1824  St. Clair, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Census 16 Jun 1860  Mount Pleasant Township, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    1860 Census
    Military 26 May 1865 
    Company A, 11 Missouri Infantry, (Confederate) Private 2173 
    Regiment History
    Soldier LIst
    Miltary Rank
    Census 3 Sep 1870  Mount Pleasant Township, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    1870 Census
    Census 21 Jun 1880  Mount Pleasant Township, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    1880 Census
    Religion Methodist 
    Died 27 Oct 1916  Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Address:
    Dry Valley Cemetery 
    Notes 
    • [Data furnished by Velma Lucile Montgomery and June Ann Reese.FTW]

      RELATIVE: LUCILE REESE is descendent & contributed most of data.

      FGS: Have Family Group Sheets on many of his children.
      Lived with grandparents Benjamin Woods Sr.
      MARRIAGE: Recorded in Lawrence Co., MO Book ABC, pg 51. This is 14 miles from Bellville, Ill

      DEATH: Certificate @ MO Dept of Health, Probate @ Lawrence Co., MO.

      CENSUS: Have 1850, 1860, 1880 Soundex.

      LINK: Listed parents on death certificate & family knowledge.

      MILITARY: In July 1862 enlisted in Confederate Army. Had religious experience on battlefield.
      Confederate 11 Regt Missouri Infantry, Private in Company A, Muster Roll Jan&Feb 1864 Enlisted Nov 21 1862 in Vanburen, by Capt Phillips for 3 years. Last paid by Elgui to Aug 31, 1863 Back Suject: Hon. roll General Order Number 64/2 Aug 10, 1864

      (Jim Reese notes on picture from Lucile.)
      Harris came with parents to MO in 1836.
      Confederate soldier no furlough till end under General Sterling Price. Methodist, Apple Orchard, Loved flowers.
      Check picture--don't know who Finis is, supposedly a great talker and last survivor. Also who is Bertha? (who live long life)CJR 23-July-2000


      Members of the Woods family that have been Residents of what is now Mount Pleasant Township, since long before Lawrence County had a separate existence, came originally from the state of Georgia. Benjamin Woods, the grandfather of the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch, was born in Georgia in 1777 while Georgia was yet one of the thirteen colonies (English), which a few years later became the United States of America. When he was a youth of eighteen he migrated to the then new Territory of Tennessee, and there he later married Elizabeth Winters. These parents had a family of seven children with the good old fashioned names: Joshua, John, Lewis, Benjamin, Ruben, Elizabeth and Polly.

      Benjamin Woods moved with this family to Illinois, and lived there for several years, but he evidently had the pioneer instinct in him, for in 1836 he traveled from Illinois into Southwest Missouri and located in what is now Mount Pleasant township, and which at that time was still a part of Barry County.

      Mr. Woods was a preacher of the Protestant Methodist Church, one of those men who went to and fro through the scattered pioneer communities, preaching the gospel; burying the dead; marrying the young people; and living a life of self sacrifice and danger that puts to shame many so called preachers of these latter days. Among his other good deeds he selected the location and laid out the Dry Valley Cemetery in 1846. This is in the Southwest part of section 25, in Mount Pleasant Township. Here he was laid to rest in 1852, and his wife was laid by his side in 1858.

      The oldest son of this pioneer preacher was Joshua Woods, who was born in Tennessee on the 25th of January, 1796. Boy as he was, he shouldered his musket and fought in the American ranks against England in the war of 1812. When the war was done he returned to Tennessee and when his father moved to Illinois he accompanied him. There in 1820 he was married to Eveline Thomas and became the father of her three children: Marvel L., Louisa, who died at three months of age; and Harris who is the subject of this sketch.

      The wife and mother died in 1825 and was laid to rest in Shiloh Cemetery, in St. Clair County, Illinois. In 1831 Joshua Woods married as his second wife, Mrs. Crochee D. (Chewing) Starr, born May 18, 1806. To this marriage were born seven children of whom the only survivor is Joseph Woods, a resident of Mount Pleasant Township: Minerva, Sarah, Eveline, Joseph, Elvira, George, and Emma. Harris Woods being the only one of the first family remaining. Joshua Woods died October 2, 1886, in the ninety-first year of his life. His wife died July 31, 188l. They both sleep in Dry Valley Cemetery.

      Harris Woods was born in St. Clair County, Illinois on the seventeenth of September, 1824, a son of Joshua. and Eveline Thomas Woods as stated above. His father moved to Barry, now Lawrence County, and located on 160 acres of government land. That was long before the land had even been laid out into sections by the United States, but when that was done this quarter section became a part of section 25, of Mount Pleasant Township. Eventually Joshua Woods owned over three hundred acres, part of this land was timbered and part prairie. The old pioneer dealt in cattle and fed an average of fifty head or more a year. The land he broke with teams of oxen, frequently having four or five yoke at a time.

      His son, Harris received some schooling in St. Clair County, Illinois, and in subscription schools after the family moved to Missouri, but the Woods and Prairies literally swarmed with all sorts of wild game, and the boy spent much more time hunting than at his books. He also did his full part in helping to break the land and bring it into cultivation.

      Arriving at maturity he became one of those teamsters who formed the only method of getting the products of this region to market or to bring back the things which could not be procured here. He made several trips to Boonville, Missouri, hauling goods to and from with an ox team. Imagine on our latter days boys starting on such a trip and with such an outfit as that. He also took loads of flour and meat into the Indian Territory, where as he crossed Grand Saline, he traded the articles for a load of salt, which he hauled back to his home settlement. He also put in one year freighting with horses between Sarcoxie and Boonville, and he helped to take two droves of cattle from here to Decatur Illinois. He planned to make a trip to Indiana, but his father was taken ill and he gave it up.

      When the Civil War came on Mr. Woods enlisted in 1862, in Company A., Burns Regulars, of Parsons Brigade of the Confederate Army. In this command he served throughout the war. He was offered a lieutenancy, but refused it, saying that he preferred to see it through as a high private. On his return from the army he found in his home a three year old son whom he had never seen.

      He had married on February 7, 1850, Arena M. Spilman, a native of Allen County Kentucky, born December 18, 1831. She was a daughter of John and Mary (Polly Boucher) Spilman. Mrs. Woods died on Christmas day, 1894. She was the mother of sixteen children: Marvel L., deceased; Samira E., (Mrs. James Anderson), deceased; Mary Melvina Lynn; Frances H., wife of L.T. Motley, of Mount Pleasant Township; America L., deceased; Wilson H., deceased; Oliver J. of Newton County: Laura L. Mrs. Robert Montgomery of Barry County; Landen P. and Loren D. born July 15, 1861. L.P. resides in Mount Pleasant Township; L.D. in Placerville, Colorado. John E. deceased; Albert T., Placerville, Colorado. Edwin, deceased, Sanford F., Newton County and Rosa May F., Mrs. Charles D. Carver, who resides with her father. She was first married to Jacob R. Bridges, who died in 1896 and has one son living, Walter R. Bridges. She has two children by a second marriage, Carl F. and Raymond Carver.

      Mr. Woods first farm was bought in 1851, forty acres in section 28, where he still lives. To this he added later one hundred and twenty acres. From this he gave an acre and a half for a church site, and an acre for a school house. He has always been successful in raising and dealing in all sorts of live stock.

      He is a member of the Methodist Church, South, and Stewart many years, and is at present a trustee. He organized the first Sunday School Association in Mount Pleasant Township, and presided at the first township convention held. He was a Sunday School superintendent for five years and township Sunday School president for the same time.


      "History of Lawrence County Missouri-1917", pp. 274-277

      This is transcribed from a handwritten copy of a letter written by Harris Woods.

      State of Ark, April the 5, 1863
      Pulaski Co Camp near Little Rock

      Dear wife and family I take pleasure in the opportunity of informing of you that I am well and harty at present and I hope those few lines may find you all alive and in good health plenty to eat and wear. Dear father and Mother Brother Sister and relations I hope you are all doing well and are in food spirits. I was sick at vanburen of fever three or four days and then mumps then a hard march to the rock then fever for several days then jaundice. I am able for drill and other duty. I will now inform you of the boys James and Berry Parmley is ded. William Lynn is ded. John Green. John Burnem. James Snow are all ded of your acquaintance. The boys are all fatening up and getting saucey Dec the 27 was the last certan nuse I had from you. A letter wrote to uncle Ben myself and others I would like much to here from you and the children to know how you are getting along arena and what you call your jeb boy Marvel I want you to be a good boy and mind your mother and grandpa Marvel L. was well and harty and about starting to Texas the last I hurd from him I left puss with him he sold her for $100 confed flower is worth one dollar per pound meal 2 dollars per bu hens $3.00 turkeys $7 eggs 2 dollars pr doz potatoes 50 cents per pound sugar 50 cts molasses $5 pr gal fish one dollar per pound biscuit pies ginger bread pound cakes from one to three dollars apiece and plenty and money plenty I have not drawn any money yet I have not suffered for money I have plenty of friends here wee will make adraw on Jef shortly. Father I went and staid with uncle Joel inlow he has three boys and one daughter living one daughter died when I was their he lives 6 miles from little rock among the swamps iff you have any chance to send a letter I want you to do so and let me kno what is going on in the country Wilson Powers is well and harty evy was well and daughter Wilson is at pine bluff below here William Winters and uncle John went to ft smith with a load of tobacco General Sterling Price is with us and has command of the Mo troops Arena I want you to rite the first opportunity you have to send a letter and let me know how you have for along since I left you and how my little match boys are growing how they favor each other and aword from all the rest of the children iff you can send a letter you must back it to Parsons brigade hunters ridgment Co A and let the bearer designate ….(unreadable)…..where the army is

      Harris Woods to Arrena Woods and family
      Father Mother and all inquiring friends
      I remain yours until death

      Harris Woods, son of Joshua and Eveline Woods, was born Sept. 17, 1824 in St. Clare County, Illinois, which is about fourteen miles from Bellville. His mother died when he was one year old. He lived with his grandparents Benjamin Woods Sr. and his wife Elizabeth about six years. When his father married Chroch Star. She was a kind and sensible stepmother and my father always loved and respected her. He had one brother Marvel Low Woods Sr.; one sister, America Louise, who died when a few months old; one half brother, Joseph Benjamin; five half sisters; Minerva, Elvira, Sarah Ann, Eveline and Emma; one step sister Elisa Jane Star.

      In the year 1836, when he (Harris) was 12 years old, grandfather and family left Illinois and came to Lawrence County Missouri, where they took up land in the Dry Valley Community, some, of which is still occupied by their descendents. Grandfather Joshua Woods was a farmer and fruit grower -- he soon planted apple seed and grafted them and set out orchards. My father, when a young man, also took a great interest in fruit growing.

      When a young man, Harris made several trips, in a two horse wagon, hauling produce from Sarcoxie dealers to St. Louis and bringing back a load of goods for the store. On some of these trips he went back of. their old home near Bellville and got seed to plant and twigs to graft to replenish the orchard. He told me that on one of these visits he got pear seed from which those large old pear trees which grew in Grandpa's yard were grown. Apple trees were scarce at the time and they would often ride several miles to get seed or twigs to plant or graft. (Remember there were no nurseries, no catalogs, no railroads, few post offices, and very meager postal service in the country at that time.)

      When father left to join the army he left a fine young orchard on the farm with mother and I'll never forget the large red June trees which we children delighted to climb and pluck the fine red apples first hand. After he returned after the war he established a commercial nursery and for several years supplied the neighbors and surrounding community with hundreds of trees.

      He loved flowers too and was always interested in the old fashioned flower garden which was planted every year somewhere about the yard. After he became old his love for flowers increased and he spent: much of his time cultivating and admiring them.

      Harris Woods and Arrena Spillman were married February 7, 1850. They first moved into Grandfather Woods' old log house near the old spring where they lived until the fall of 1854 when they moved into the house in which they spent the rest of their lives. This house is now occupied by their youngest daughter, Rose May and Charley Carver. It is situated about eight miles east of Sarcoxie and about seven miles northwest of Pierce City, Missouri. It has housed four generations of the Woods family and is still a very comfortable residence. My father hauled the lumber of which it was made from Boonville, Missouri. It was all rough and the carpenters dressed all the ceiling with a hand plane. They used one whole summer and early fall building the large one and half story house. It was among the first if not the first frame dwelling houses erected in that part of the country.

      To Harris and Arrena were born sixteen children: Marvel; Samira Eveline; Mary Melvina; Frances Henry; America Louise; Wilson Harley; Oliver Joshua; Laura Lenora; Landen Price and Loren Davis (twins); John Emmett; Ellis Porter; Albert Thomas; Edwin Armstrong; Sanford Finis; and Rosa May Florence. All lived to be grown except Emett who died in 1872 at the age of eight years and nine months.

      When the Civil War came on Harris took the part of the South and in July of 1862 joined the regular army enlisting in Company A, Parsons Brigade, Burns Regiment under General Sterling Price. He was in many battles, was never wounded and never returned home until peace was made in 1865. When he laid down his gun, he laid down his prejudice and grudges if he ever had any and taught his family to do likewise. So he fought for what he thought was right and was never ashamed of it. All of his children have been proud to say that, "my father was a southern soldier."

      Great was the joy when he returned home and great was the task of getting things together so as to make a living which only those who lived at the strenuous time can ever understand -- they toiled and struggled for many years and God blessed their effort as he always does those who work uprightly.

      Among other things he did, him and Eddy Motley got their tools together went into the woods, cut trees and made old fashioned sorghum mills, one apiece and several for the neighbors. At this time sugar was a luxury which only a few could afford, and molasses was stored by the barrel in most all the country homes and used plentifully.

      At the time a furnace was made out in the open and about four large kettles fitted into it and in these the juice of the cane was boiled down into molasses or sorghum.

      Harris was happily converted to the Christian faith while attending a revival in the army and after returning home united with the Dry Valley Methodist Church South. He served the Church as Steward, Class Leader, Sunday School Superintendent., Property Trustee, and was always willing to do his part to support the church financially. In 1893 when the Dry Valley Church was built, he donated the lot and land enough for a churchyard He was a great S. S. worker and when the Union S. S. Workers of Lawrence County undertook to get the county enrolled as a banner county of the State, he was elected President of Mt. Pleasant Township and by his untiring efforts for several years succeeded in getting it up to all requirements.

      He was always a friend to education and served many years on the school board and always took a liberal part in anything that was for the good the community, and when a new school house was to be built in 1876 he donated the land on which it was built and now stands.

      Oliver tells me that Pa told him, not many years before he died that he helped to organize the old Dry Valley School District. The house, a very good frame building was built for church and school by donation, sometime between 1845 and 1850. There may have been some select schools taught in it. In 1853 when our present Public School system was inaugurated, it was turned over to the district and the school maintained by taxation. It was in the edge of Lawrence County, but took in territory in Newton, and Jasper Counties. It took considerable time to collect the taxes from the different counties, but stood the ravages of the War and within its walls hundreds of children were educated who went out into the world and made good citizens. While it was used for a church, Methodist Church South, many were converted to the Christian Religion, but most all have passed on to their rewards ere this is written.

      When about 70 yrs. old he was a great walker and did not care to be bothered with a horse and buggy, but delighted to walk to Wentworth, a distance of about four miles and get the mail for his own and fifteen other families. He provided himself with a mailbag and went every Tuesday and Friday, taking letters to be mailed--the neighbors depended on him especially in busy seasons. By and by this got to be quite a task for my mother to look after so much mail in the house. She suggested that a box be put up outside the front gate and all mail of the neighbors left in it. This was done and it is likely the first Rural Free Delivery mail box put up in the State of Missouri. It was used until it was superseded by our present rural route system of April 1, 1903.

      In the home was kind and even tempered and liberal with what means he had. He liked for his friends to visit him and had a lot of visitors. He always enjoyed a good joke if it was not injurious to anyone. As a neighbor he was peaceable and accommodating and, strictly honest. I am certain that he never tried to. cheat anyone out of penny in all his long life.

      I can say about him as I did about my mother that he may have had his faults but his virtues so far outnumbered them that they were very obscure.

      He died October 17, 1916. His funeral was preached by an old friend Rev. Markie Robb, at the Dry Valley Church on Sunday October 19 in the presence of many relatives and friends.

      He was aged 91 years and 19 days.

      Written by Mrs. Lenora Montgomery .
      (typed copy of April 4, 1940 by rec)

      (Handwritten comment by VLR Died of cancer of the mouth, no doubt caused by smoking a pipe for many years. Age 92 when he died.)
    Person ID I692  ReeseFamily
    Last Modified 25 Feb 2014 

    Father WOODS, JOSHUA,   b. 25 Jan 1796, Robertson, Tennessee, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Oct 1886  (Age 90 years) 
    Mother THOMAS, EVELINE,   b. Abt 1807, South Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1825, Shiloh, St. Clair, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 18 years) 
    Married 1820  St. Clair, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Notes 
    • Marriage License in St. Clair Co, IL Marriage Book B, at page 38. Book now in Perrin Collection in IL state Archives in Springfield. License issued 31 Oct 1820. The exact date of the ceremony is not recorded
    Family ID F245  Group Sheet

    Family SPILMAN, Arrena,   b. 18 Dec 1831, Allen, Kentucky, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1894, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Married 7 Feb 1850  Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Married by Reuben Woods, J.P.
    Marriage Index
    Children 
     1. WOODS, MARVEL LOWE,   b. 14 Nov 1850, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Nov 1903  (Age 52 years)
     2. WOODS, SAMIRA EVALINE,   b. 26 Apr 1852, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1912, Neosho, Newton, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years)
     3. WOODS, MARY MELVINA,   b. 5 Aug 1853, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 May 1928, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     4. WOODS, FRANCES HENRY,   b. 25 Dec 1854, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Oct 1917, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     5. WOODS, AMERICA LOUISA,   b. 27 Dec 1855, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jul 1895, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)
     6. WOODS, WILSON HARLEY,   b. 12 Jul 1857, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Feb 1883, Colorado, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 25 years)
     7. WOODS, OLIVER JOSHUA,   b. 31 Jan 1859, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Aug 1943, Barry, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     8. WOODS, LAURA LENORA,   b. 11 Mar 1860, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jun 1949, Exeter, Barry, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
     9. WOODS, LANDON PRICE,   b. 5 Jul 1861, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jul 1936, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     10. WOODS, LOREN DAVIS,   b. 5 Jul 1861, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     11. Woods, John Emmet,   b. 19 Sep 1862,   d. 15 Aug 1872  (Age 9 years)
     12. Woods, Ellis Porter,   b. 15 Jan 1867,   d. 14 Sep 1894  (Age 27 years)
     13. Woods, Albert Thomas,   b. 4 Feb 1868,   d. 18 Nov 1946  (Age 78 years)
     14. Woods, Edwin Armstrong,   b. 17 Jun 1869,   d. 17 Jun 1913  (Age 44 years)
     15. Woods, Sanford Finis,   b. 4 Oct 1870, Wentworth, Newton, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Sep 1951, Sarcoxie, Jasper, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     16. Woods, Rosa May Florence,   b. 7 Jan 1873,   d. 24 Apr 1948  (Age 75 years)
    Photos
    Family farm
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2016 
    Family ID F249  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 17 Sep 1824 - St. Clair, Illinois, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 7 Feb 1850 - Lawrence, Missouri, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 16 Jun 1860 - Mount Pleasant Township, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 3 Sep 1870 - Mount Pleasant Township, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 21 Jun 1880 - Mount Pleasant Township, Lawrence, Missouri, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Address:
    Dry Valley Cemetery - 27 Oct 1916 - Lawrence, Missouri, United States
    Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Harris with family
    HARRIS_WOODS(2).jpg
    ca 1900
    ca 1908
    HARRIS_WOODS(5).jpg

    Documents
    Certificate of enrollment in MO Militia

    Headstones
    Military Headstone
    Original broken headstone

    Histories
    Letter from Pulaski Company Camp near Little Rock

  • Sources 
    1. [S10] Data furnished by Velma Lucile Montgomery and June.
      Date of Import: Jul 14, 2001




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