From Texas Under Many Flags – Published in 1930
Transcribed by Katherine LeMaster Dendy
John A. Wood, whose home is near Cresson in Johnson County, has lived nearly all his life in that locality, and his personal recollections go back to the time of the Civil war and when this region was menaced by Indian raids. His frontier experiences merged into the settled routine of a farmer and stock man, and his activities have brought him a satisfying competence.
He was born in Missouri, April 14, 1850, and in 1859 his parents, Mallie and Tillitey (Branson) Wood, came to Texas. They located in what was then Johnson County, where Mallie Wood followed farming and the trade of blacksmith. During the Civil war he served two or three years in the Rangers under that noted frontier character of this section, Colonel Buck Barry. Once he was in a fight with four Indians in which three of the red men were killed and the other ran away. This fight occurred in Callahan County. Mallie Wood died near Caddo in Johnson County in 1894, and his wife passed away at the old home place in Johnson County in 1902. She was a native of Kentucky. There were five children, John A. being the second in age. The only other survivor is James Thomas Wood, who is a retired farmer at Burleson, Texas. He had six children by his first marriage to Miss Meredith, and two children by his marriage to the widow Pierce.
John A. Wood had been in Texas about two years when the war broke out, and after that his educational advantages were only those of his individual experience. He attended altogether a log cabin school for about three months in Johnson County. Up to the age of twenty-three his place was on his father’s farm. He married and then bought a tract of land in Johnson County, where he spent eight years farming and stock raising. Selling this he acquired 400 acres in Hood County, eight miles southwest of Cresson. Mr. Wood kept on buying other land until he had a thousand acres, all of which he still owns, and he was active in the game of farming and stock raising for about thirty-five years, during that time experimenting with all kinds of live stock, sheep, hogs and cattle. All his land is in Hood County, but some years ago he established his home on four acres at the line of Hood and Johnson counties, his home being on the Johnson County side while two acres of his home place is in Hood County. Mr. Wood has kept his investments in land and improvements, and only once has been interested in a bank, losing a small amount of money when it failed. He joined the Masonic Lodge at Caddo in Johnson County and is a Royal Arch Mason and has long been active in the Christian Church.
He married in Johnson County in January 1873, Miss Crilla Hanner, a native of Missouri, who came to Texas after the war. She died April 14, 1891, at the old home place in Hood County. Mr. and Mrs. Wood had eight children: Berdie Mae, born in November 1873, is the mother of three children by her marriage to John Heath, formerly a farmer and groceryman, now a wheat and cotton buyer at Chillicothe in Hardeman County; Miss Ruth died in 1924; Georgia is the mother of two children by her husband, Matt Johnson, a farmer in Ackton [sic] community of Hood County; the fourth child died in infancy; John Tilden, born in August, 1882, is a farmer at home; Nallie, born in 1884, married Earl Woolford, and has three children, and he is a mechanic and gin operator at Granfield in Tilden County, Oklahoma; the seventh child also died in infancy; and Roger, born in 1888, a farmer on his father’s place, married Maggie Brown, and one of their two children is living.
Texas Under Many Flags, Volume III. Clarence R. Wharton, Author and Editor. 1930: The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York.