Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 476] of Fayetteville, Wilmington township, Lawrence Co., Pa., is an excellent representative of the artisan class of our population who in their chosen lines have full well kept pace with the steady growth and progress of this section in every line. Mr. Woods is a member of that craft, which has, since the dawn of history, made the working of wood and iron an industry to be proud of. No art requires a steadier arm, a truer eye, or more experienced and riper judgment than does that of shaping the reddened metal into the thousand and one forms of usefulness which make it of more real utility to mankind than either silver or gold.

Mr. Woods was in one sense born in the business. His father, Eli Woods, was for years one of the most reliable and best known wagon-builders of this section. The grandfather, Chas. Woods, was a native of the Emerald Isle, who came to America when a young man, and by means of those powerful levers to success—industry and thrift—made for himself a good name wherever he resided. His son, Eli, born in Mifflin Co., Pa., was given a good education, and for a number of years, before attaining his majority, followed agricultural pursuits. Next he was employed in a brick yard, where he became familiar with the principles and essentials that govern that industry. Being impressed with the needs of the people for proper conveyances, and having a liking for work of a mechanical nature, he commenced to learn the trade of a wagon-maker at the shop of his step-father, which trade he had in three years' time fully mastered. He was now of age and the possessor of a remunerative trade, so he rented a shop and started out in the struggle of life at a point in Mifflin County. As his business grew, and he found that he could handle work in a larger field, he purchased the property now occupied by the subject of this sketch at Fayetteville, building thereon a house, barn and shop. Here he held a splendid trade for many years, employing in the various lines as many as seven hands. Those were the days in which good work prevailed. Every piece, either iron or wood, that went into a wagon, was shaped by the trusty hand of a competent workman. The timber used was from the best selection of the forest and well seasoned. Many of the first jobs built at the old shop are in use to-day. Eli Woods married Margaret Dull, daughter of George Dull of Center Co., Pa., and to them seven children were born: Howard; Edwin W.; Emma H., deceased: Mary; William, our subscriber; George M.; and Charles E. The family was reared in the precepts of the Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Woods has been a life-long member, and still at his advanced age attends quite regularly. The political views of Mr. Woods have been Republican. His patriotism stood the severest test possible, when in 1864 he put on the blue uniform, shouldered his musket, and went away to the front. He enlisted for three years or during the war, and was mustered out at its close in 1865. He served under Capt. Joe Camp, and when in the service received disabilities, which entitled him to a small pension, which the Cleveland era of economy took away for a short time along with many other pensions at the expense of our veterans.

William C. Woods, the subject of this history, was born in Fayetteville, April 21, 1858. His first schooling was received in the local educational institutions of his native town. At the completion of his studies in the schools, he went into his father's shop and learned how to build wagons, becoming skilled in every branch of the work. Liking the blacksmithing part of the trade best, and seeing a more remunerative career in it, he turned his attention more to that line, and as a result has built up the best business of its kind in this locality. Mr. Woods now conducts a general blacksmithing business, being prepared on short notice to turn out anything that can be shaped on the anvil in the best style of modern workmanship. Anything that comes from his shop, be it the tiniest bolt or the heaviest truck tire, is known to be well and faithfully made. He employs only the best of help, and all the work is carried on under his immediate supervision.

Mr. Woods was happily united in marriage to Miss Maggie Mercer, daughter of Hon. Lyle Mercer, and two children have come to their household to bless the union; Florence R. and Mary E. they are named. Following the family traditions, Mr. Woods is in religious matters a Presbyterian, and in politics a Republican. He is in more ways than one a valuable citizen. With business acumen of the highest order, he unites a broadness and liberality of mind that makes him popular and influential. Having an education much above the average, and being a well-read man, in close touch with all that is transpiring, he is a citizen whose opinions are sensibly grounded. He is public-spirited and believes that the best way to honor ancestry and to be remembered with deep feeling and reverence by posterity, is to live each day's life in the best manner within one's power.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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