Richard A. Woods
From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing
biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
RICHARD A. WOODS, who carries on general farming on section 26, Rozetta Township, Henderson County, has the
honor of being a native of Illinois, for his birth occurred in Morgan County, in 1839. His parents were John and
Mary (Gilbreath) Woods, and the family numbered eight children, namely: Henry, Elizabeth, Richard, Fatima, William,
Mary, Emily and Martha.
No event of special importance occurred during the childhood and youth of our subject, whose boyhood days were
quietly passed on his father's farm. He was ten years of age when the family came to Henderson County. During the
summer months he worked upon the home farm, and in the winter season he attended the subscription schools, which
were held in a log schoolhouse. When twenty-two years of age he started out in life for himself with no capital
save a young man's bright hope of the future and a determination to succeed. He began to earn his own livelihood by
working as a farm hand, and was thus employed until the breaking out of the late war, when, prompted by a spirit of
patriotism, he responded to the country's call for troops and on the 12th of August, 1862, became a member of
Company K, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He was mustered into service at Quincy, and then went to the South. He
was never wounded or taken prisoner, but was always found at his post, faithfully defending the Old Flag and the
cause it represented. When his term had expired he received an honorable discharge at Camp Butler and at once
returned to his home.
Mr. Woods than began farming for himself on rented land, for he had not the capital with which to buy property.
At the end of three years, however, he had saved a sufficient sum to purchase a farm in Warren County, and there he
lived for six years. On the expiration of that period he rented the farm on which he now resides, and as soon as
possible he purchased it, becoming owner of a tract of one hundred and sixty acres, which he has placed under a
high state of cultivation. In connection with general farming he carries on stock-raising. He has a well-improved
place, supplied with all modern accessories and conveniences, and is regarded as one of the practical and
progressive agriculturists of the community.
Mr. Woods was married on the 19th of September, 1867, the lady of his choice being Miss Calista A. Reed. Their
union has been blessed with a family of seven children, namely: George, Ada L, Ida L, Jesse L, Otto, Earl, and one
who died in infancy. The family is widely known in this community, and the members of the household have many warm
friends. In his political views, Mr. Woods is a Republican, and has served as School Director. He holds membership
with the Methodist Church, and is a warm friend to all worthy public enterprises which are calculated to advance
the general welfare. The greater part of his life has been spent in Henderson County, and he is numbered among its
early settlers, having witnessed much of its growth and development. The agricultural interests of the community
find in him a worthy representative, and it is with pleasure that we present this record of his life to our