JOHN M. WOOD. This gentleman has been one of the successful merchants of Springfield, Greene County, Mo., since 1857, and owes his nativity to the city of Rockford, Ill., where be was born December 19, 1836. When but two weeks old the family left the Sucker State and took up their residence in Tennessee, and until he attained his seventeenth year that State continued to be his home. He then came with the family to Greene County, Mo., and for some time thereafter was an attendant of the public schools, his initiatory training having been obtained in Tennessee. While in that State he assisted his father in the cotton mill and tannery but after coming to Greene County he began farming, on Grand Prairie about five miles from Springfield, but after four years' experience as a tiller of the soil he came to Springfield, and in 1857 began clerking in the store of Sheppard & Kimbro, with whom he remained two years. He then opened an establishment of his own on the west side of the public square and put in an excellent stock of general merchandise, and there continued to do business until 1861, when he closed out his stock and did not again continue it until 1864, when he opened a store on the east side of the public square near St. Louis Street. He dealt in groceries up to 1867, then added a general line of goods, but in 1869 moved to the northeast corner of the square, where he continued in the general mercantile business until 1880. Up to 1883 his stand was at the corner of College Street and the public square, and since that time his establishment has been located at 305 South Street, where he is doing an exclusive dry goods business. When he started in business in Springfield he had a capital of small proportions, but the city was then quite small and the business be did was larger than he anticipated. He has been a very active and industrious man all his life, the soul of honor in all his business transactions, and has prospered accordingly. He has always taken an active interest in the affairs of his section, has aided most liberally all worthy causes, and in politics has always supported the Democratic party. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. The residence in which he now resides at 706 College Street was built before the war, and during that struggle between the North and South three cannon balls passed through it when Gen. Marmaduke made his raid through Springfield. At that time it was owned by Mrs. Eliza Weaver, who later became his stepmother. She was living in the house at the time and was caring for a wounded soldier when one of the balls passed through the room, shattering the soldier's knapsack which was hanging on one of the bed posts. Mr. Wood was married in 1860 to Miss Sarah A. Shackelford, daughter of Dr. William and Eliza Shackelford. She was born in Greene County in 1839, and has borne her husband six children: John S., who lives on College Street, is a civil engineer; he was married to Miss Skinner, of this city, and has two children, John S. and Kittie. James W. is a traveling man for the Page-Baldwin Hardware Company , and makes his home in Springfield; He married Miss Nettie Laphan and lives on East Elm Street. Bessie is the wife of William Johnson, an attorney of Springfield, lives on Elm Street, and has one child, William W. Lydia, Sallie and Benjamin T. reside at home. Mr. Wood and his family attend the Christian Church, in which he is an elder. He does an annual business of between $25,000 and $30,000, which shows without further words that his patronage is liberal. He started in business alone and is now conducting his own establishment, but at different times he has been associated with J. J. Weaver, E. L. Weaver, John W. Williams and a Mr. Griffith, Mr. Wood purchasing the latter's interest in 1892. He is a man of unblemished reputation and has many friends.
Springfield-Greene County Library