THE HISTORY OF DANIEL WOOD
Daniel Wood was born 18 October 1800 at Duchess County, New York the second child of fourteen children. His father was Henry Wood, who married Elizabeth DeMelt (or DeMill, DeMell, DeMille). The family were staunch loyalist. When Daniel was three years old the family moved Earnestown, Canada, where they stayed four or five years. Then the family moved to Loughborough, Upper Canada, just north of the Great Lakes. Today it is known as Sidneyham, Frontenac, Ontario. The Woods took up a land grant in Earnestown and took up land again in this new place and built themselves a home. Daniel worked with his father and brothers on the farm during his early life.
It was while in this place that Daniel met, wooed and married a mild, kind, modest, sincere, and persevering young woman by the name of Mary Snider. The wedding took place in March 1824. The couple bought a farm and started life together. Daniel was a man of very strong character and steadfastly true to his convictions; once his mind was made up to the truth, nothing could sway him from the course. The family were very faithful Methodists.
Some eight years or more after the couple were married, two Mormon missionaries came to their town to preach the gospel. These men preached faith, repentance and baptism by immersion--doctrines which found their way to Daniel's heart. He could not forget their message, as his religion did not teach baptism by immersion, and so when a different preacher, a reformed minister, Robert Perry came into town teaching baptism, Daniel and his wife were baptized. Sometime later, Brigham Young and Joseph Young, his brother, came to their town to preach. Afterwards, the couple knew of the truthfulness of the gospel and were baptized by Brigham Young himself on February 17, 1833.
The following year, 1834, Daniel and his wife and their four children sold their belongings in Canada and left to join the saints in Kirtland, Ohio. They traveled by wagon to Kingstone, Canada, then across Lake Erie on the boat Great Britain to the United States. A forty acre farm was purchased at Kirtland and the family lived there for many years, enduring the persecutions and the mobbing of the saints. Daniel helped guard the temple and also the home of the prophet. The family was finally driven from their home and started the trek to Davies County, Missouri. A good share of their possessions were left behind or sold at a discount.
A new home was started in Davies County when the family arrived. The walls were of logs and the roof of peeled bark. It was here that Daniel took very sick, although he would still get up for family prayers. He prayed that he would be made whole, and in less than four hours, he was well enough to do a days work.
The persecutions and mobbing were becoming worse and finally the family moved on to Far West, as the mobs had burned all the prairie land around and their lives were in danger.
Upon arriving at Far West, the Wood family lived in a log cabin with three other families. During one great snow storm, the snow came in to a depth of four inches and covered the children as they were sleeping on the floor. The mobs continued to molest the saints and sometimes the shouting and shooting of the mobs were so close that the Wood children could hear it all. Times were so bad that guards had to be used night and day. A man by the name of William Gray a Mormon, was beaten on the head with the butt end of a gun and died soon afterwards.
The city was placed under guard by the mob. Daniel soon discovered that if he dressed like a Missourian that his family would not be harmed. He put a red patch on his shoulder, the same as they had, and then he could go in and out of the city as he pleased. He was even able to receive supplies from them when wagon loads came in. They thought he was one of the mob. The family has never lacked for food and always had some to share with others.
In 1839 the family started for Illinois where they rented a farm belonging to a Mr. Larkons. They had scarcely any food and only 50 cents in money. The people there were very prejudiced against the Mormons and would not trust them. Daniel Wood felt that he must break this attitude and prove to them that the Mormons were honest and upright. He went to a merchant in the town and persuaded him to lend him $5.00 promising to pay him back in a certain number of days. He took the money and went to another merchant and had it changed into small change. Bright and early on the appointed day, he took the small change to the merchant who had loaned him the money. The man was well pleased with him and Daniel Wood's credit was established for good. The next move was to Bike County where Daniel Wood was President of the branch of the church there.
In September 1845 a great many saints were stricken with fever, or ague, the Wood family included. Henry , the oldest son of Daniel Wood, died with the disease. This was a terrible trial for the family, as Henry had been his father's right hand man.
Some time after this, the family was driven to Nauvoo for a short time while they prepared to make the great move west. In April, 1846, the saints were organized into companies and started to move out. The Wood family had provisions enough for one year, as they did not know what the future might be. Daniel had four wagons, four yoke of oxen, and four or five cows in his outfit.
Since Henry's death, Mary (Daniel's wife) had had poor health; so a young convert to the church, Peninah Cotton, 18 years old, was brought in to help. She remained with the family and in January of 1846 became Daniel Wood's second wife. Peninah's grandmother on her mother's side was full blooded Indian. As far as we know, she was the first one with Indian blood to join the church. This girl helped greatly on the journey because of her knowledge of plants, herbs and berries and also her ability at making moccasins and gloves from skins.
Daniel Wood and family moved out with the first companies of the saints. When they arrived at Far West, Brigham Young asked Daniel Wood to remain there until the following spring before going to the valley as he was needed at Far West to help the saints who would arrive there. Daniel was disappointed at not being able to go on with the first company, but was faithful to the prophet and did as he was asked.
As soon as the grass was high enough for feed, in the spring of 1849, the journey started. Daniel had three wagons, four yoke of oxen, one span of horses, three cows and a carriage which Mary drove and in which the children rode. One wagon carried three pigs, twenty-four chickens, three geese and a cat. The journey was full of trials and hardships, but after three months of travel, they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley July 23, 1848. Daniel was a captain of one company. They were joined later by Brigham Young in Gersah Pulciphur County. In October of 1849, Daniel move his family to North Canyon, Sessions Settlement (later known as Bountiful). They were one of the first six families that settled there. They built a house, or cabin, near the site where the Kimball Mill was later-built. They moved into the cabin in November. Later Daniel traveled over all the valley and decided on a track of land north and west of his present cabin. A new home was built on 120 acres of ground and the family was established.
Daniel Wood began a private school with his own children and six others. Emma Mariah, his third wife, taught for awhile until Charles Pearson, a young convert to the church, took over. Charles was adopted as a son later by Daniel.
In 1863, under instructions of Brigham Young, Daniel built a family meeting house. It was 30' x 50' and had a bell brought across the plains. The first meeting was held November 18, at 7:00 p.m. with Daniel Wood presiding and his family and many neighbors present. Two of his wives and his daughters formed the choir. Opening song: Come, Come, Ye Saints; opening prayer: Peter Wood; song: Ye Elders of Israel. Daniel Wood and Brother Sessions then spoke and Joseph Holbrook played the violin accompanied by Daniel Wood Jr. on the cello. Daniel's three wives, Mary, Emma and Peninah bore their testimonies. Song by the choir. All were invited to bear their testimonies if they cared to. Daniel Wood then invited any one of his neighbors to be present every Wednesday evening. Daniel C. Wood closed the meeting with prayer.
Many parties and entertainments were held in the Wood meeting house, besides the weekly meetings. At first candles were used for light, but later it was lighted by kerosene lamps. Some members of the Wood family were musically inclined and an orchestra was formed to play for parties and church. Later they played for family and friends- throughout the valley and gained quite a reputation.
Daniel planted a variety of fruit trees, covering five acres, the largest in the valley. In the north east corner of his farm he kept one quarter acre to be used as a burial plot. Nathan Wood was the first to be buried there (the son of Daniel and Emma Moriah). Daniel Wood, his wives, many of his children and grandchildren are buried in this cemetery. Three orphaned Indians are also buried there, which Daniel his wife Peninah adopted.
The family was active in helping to construct the Bountiful Tabernacle; especially John, Daniel,' Heber and Peter Wood. Daniel, the father, helped to bring down the timber from the mountains.
In 1869 Daniel Wood and his son Peter went on a six month mission to Canada. They traveled by train, as the railroad was then completed from coast to coast through Ogden. In May 1869, Brigham Young broke ground for a railroad connecting Ogden and Salt Lake. The government refused to help, so the people donated funds and labor to build the line. All native material was used, and it was called the Utah Central Railroad with Brigham Young as the President. It later was called the Oregon Short Line and was completed in January, 1870.
While Daniel Wood was on his mission, this railroad was put right through the center of his property without getting his consent. When he returned home on March, 1870, much to his surprise the conductor called out "Woods Cross" and Daniel Wood got up and said, "Yes, he's damn cross." So Daniel alighted from the train in the middle of his own field at the station.
Later that month a petition was presented to Brigham Young for the removal of the station and switch out to the road to its present location. This was later accomplished, but the name Woods Cross was placed on record in honor of Daniel Wood and still remains.
Daniel Wood was very good to new immigrant families. Several times he took them in from the sidewalks and brought them home where they were cared for until they could establish themselves. He was also a great lover of horses and always drove a very fine team and carriage.
Daniel was very proud of his family and always bore a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. He had seven wives and thirty children, and five adopted children. His wives were: Mary Snider, Peninah Cotton, Emma Mariah Ellis, Laura Ann Gibbs, Margaret Morris, Sarah Grace and Eliza Hunsey (or Hundy).
Daniel Wood died on April 15, l892, at the age of 92 years. His life had been full and rich in the service to his church, his fellow men and his God. He held many positions of trust in the church. He was ordained one of the seven presidents of seventies of the 24 quorum of 70 by Joseph Young. Later he was made a high priest.
There are many in this church today who are grateful for the heritage this man has left us. Through his lineage has come an apostle of the Lord in this generation, as well as countless numbers who are striving to become worthy of the noble heritage he left us.
Retyped from a copy by
Norma Jean M. Wood
Daniel Wood's family was one of the first six families to settle in Bountiful, Utah, formerly called North Canyon Ward, and later Sessions Settlement.
Daniel was born in Dutchess County, New York, on the sixteenth of October, 1800. He was the second of fourteen children born to Henry Wood and Elizabeth DeMelt (DeMill or DeMell). He was taken to Earnestown Canada when he was three years old as his father had been granted a tract of land by the British Government.
He worked with his father and brothers an this farm until he was twenty-four years old. Then he bought a farm and married Mary Snyder in Earnestown, Canada on the ninth of March 1824. They lived on this farm for eight years. At this time the LDS Elders came to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the people in this area. Grandfather Wood and his wife became very interested and subsequently investigated the church. They were baptized along with his brother on the twenty first of February 1833, by Elder Brigham Young.
In 1834 he sold his farm in Canada and with his wife and four children moved to Kirtland, Ohio, then the center of the Church, to cast his lot with the Prophet Joseph and his following of Saints. He bought a forty acre farm near Kirtland, and cultivated and improved it. He and his family lived on it, loyally supporting and assisting the Prophet and Saints in every way he could, and enduring hardships they had never known before.
In June 1838, because of the persecution of the saints he was obliged to sell all his holdings at a discount and leave with the saints for Davis County, Missouri, where they remained until October, then they were forced to move on to Far West.
Again because of mob persecution, the left in February 1839 for Nauvoo, Illinois. Again Daniel bought a forty acre farm, eighteen miles south of Nauvoo and found happiness and prosperity until 1845, when he was forced to sell his farm and move into Nauvoo for safety. Daniel at this time was selected as one of the secret guards for the Nauvoo Temple. His oldest son, Henry, while relieving Daniel became ill from exposure and died, at the age of fifteen. The boys death caused his mother to become ill, and from this she never recovered, but was a semi invalid the rest of her life. It became necessary to have help in his home to care for Mary and his other five children. He hired eighteen year old Peninah Shropshire Cotton. She was very capable, efficient, gentle, honest and faithful. She had joined the Church in Hancock County, Illinois, the only one of her family to embrace the Gospel. Her Grandmother, Nancy Fulkerson, was a full blooded Indian. As far as we have been able to find, she was the first Lamanite blood to join the church.
Peninah served faithfully and well in his home for one year then Daniel, following the admonition of the Prophet, asked her to be his second wife. They were married and sealed in the Nauvoo Temple on the twenty first of January, 1846, just four months before its dedication. Daniel and his family were present at the dedication.
In the early spring of 1846, they crossed the Mississippi River on the ice with the other Saints and took up land in Kanesville, Iowa. Daniel had an excellent crop and shared it with the other Saints. On the twenty seventh of January 1847 Peninah gave birth to her first son, Daniel II.
In May 1847 they left with Brigham Young for Far West. As Daniel was an excellent farmer and cattleman, Brigham Young asked him to remain here and plant and harvest. He asked him to send as much as the Saints leaving in September could carry, and then to plant another crop in the spring for the Saints left behind. He instructed Daniel to come with the company that left in the Spring of 1848. Peninah proved an excellent helper. She loved farm work and was a good hand with poultry and animals. She also made moccasins and gloves from skins and weaved hats of straw for the hot weather. Daniel was very disappointed not to leave with Brigham Young in the first company, but remained faithful to his call and raised food for the Saints.
In the spring of 1848 as soon as the grass was high enough for feed, he left in the company of Gersah [Zerah] Pulcipher, with Daniel acting as Captain over fifty wagons. Daniel himself had three wagons, four yoke of oxen, one span of' horses, a carriage in which Mary rode with the small children. One wagon was equipped for three pigs, a pen with twenty-four chickens, three geese, and a pet cat. One wagon was equipped with furniture, food and clothes, and one wagon loaded with farm equipment. He was indeed a wealthy man, compared with most of the Saints. The journey was long and very eventful, but they proved to be good travelers. Peninah had an excellent knowledge of plants that were useful for food and medicine. Their evenings in camp were interesting and refreshing.
When they reached the Elk Horn River, Daniel and fifty other wagons were asked to join the company under Brigham Young, which had arrived during the night and had camped on the other side of the river. This made 300 wagons in Brigham Young's company. Heber C. Kimball and Daniel H. Wells were captains in this company, under President Young. Daniel Wood was also captain over fifty wagons. They traveled a day apart in order to leave feed for the animals.
After three months of travel they landed in the Salt Lake Valley, 23 July 1848. They landed about noon and camped at South Salt Lake, had lunch and began plowing to plant corn and potatoes. As much of the desirable land in Salt Lake Valley had been taken up, or spoken for, early in October they moved to North Canyon Ward and built a cabin near the site where the Heber C. Kimball Mill was later built. (Where the miniature mill is standing, built by the DUP on Fourth East and Tenth South in Bountiful.) They moved into this cabin on the fifteenth of November 1848. Mary used one of the wagons, pulled up close to the cabin, as a bedroom, and Peninah used the cabin with the children. On the eighth of December 1848 Peninah gave birth to her second son, Heber. Although she was expecting her baby, she had driven a heavy wagon, all the way from Far West,besides cooking and caring for all the Wood children and Mary.
During the winter of 1848 and 1949 Daniel gathered logs and built a home for Mary at what was then called South Salt Lake, near the Salt Lake County Building now. President Young had allotted him a five acre tract of land here. The house was completed in March, 1849 and Mary and her five children moved in. He planted an acre of fruit, a half acre of berries and later a garden. His son John was left in charge of this farm.
After traveling over the entire Salt Lake Valley, he decided the land one-half mile north and one and one-half miles west of Kimball Mill was the best and most fertile land in the valley. It was covered with willows and swamp, but he filed on 120 acres in February, 1850 and immediately had it surveyed. This is now Woods Cross.
The saints worked together in the old adobe yard one-quarter mile west of the present Oregon Short Line R. R. Station, and made sun baked adobe brick. Later they made a kiln. By late October Daniel had completed a two story home, called the Big House. The lower floor was the kitchen and work room, a large living room, and the childrens bedrooms, and he later added a school room. The upper floor was bedrooms. When the house was completed, Mary came to live with the rest of the family. There were now three wives. Daniel had married Emma Mariah Ellis.
Daniel began his private school in 1854 with six of his own children As pupils and his wife Mariah as teacher. She taught the school for a few years with some of the neighbors children also attending. Then Daniel hired a young English convert, who had been educated in Law in England. This young man, Charles Pearson, was an orphan and Daniel later adopted him as a son. He taught the Wood School for many years and the neighbors brought produce to pay Daniel Wood School fees.
In 1863 he built a family meeting house, under the instruction of Brigham Young. The building was thirty by fifty feet, one large room. There was a tower and a ball that rang fifteen minutes before meeting time. The first meeting was held on the eighteenth of November 1863 in the evening. The meeting began at seven p. m. with Daniel presiding. He now had seven wives, and all of them with their children, and many neighbors and friends were present. They had a choir of his wives and daughters, who sang "Come, Come Ye Saints," to open the meeting. Opening prayer was by his son Peter Wood. The choir then sang "Ye Elders of Israel." Daniel was the first speaker and he bore a powerful testimony to the truthful truthfulness of restored Gospel and instructed his family to live and observe the teachings of the restored Gospel. then Brother Joseph Holbrook played a violin solo, accompanied by Daniel Wood Jr. on the cello. Parigreen Sessions was the second speaker. Then William S. Muir complimented Daniel on his fine building and family, and bore his testimony to the truthfulness of Joseph Smith's Mission and the Gospel. Daniel then asked if anyone else wished to speak, and his wives, Mary, Peninah, and Emma bore their testimonies and expressed thanks for their blessings. The choir then sang and closing prayer was offered by Daniel Wood, Jr. Family meetings were held every Wednesday with the public invited. Many parties and entertainments of various kinds were held in the wood Meeting House.
In 1864 he organized the Wood Brothers Orchestra, composed of his sons, to fill the need for music. Daniel C. Wood, Jr. was the leader and played the cello, Heber played the violin, George and James also played violins, Peter played the flute and Edwin the banjo. Joseph, who was only nine years old played the tambourine and tap danced at first. Later he played the cello and the base violin. These boys played for parties, dances, weddings and church entertainments all over the valley.
Daniel planted a few fruit trees each year until he had five acres of varied fruit trees in the south east corner of his farm. In 1864 he laid off a-quarter acre plot in the north east corner of this orchard as a burial lot, where they buried Nathan Wood, son of Emma and Daniel. He was the first child buried there but several grandchildren, and children and all but one of his seven wives, are buried there with Daniel. (A complete record of this cemetery can be found in the history of the Wood Cemetery, by Josephine Wood Naylor.) This cemetery is located on the west side of Fifth West, or.U. S. Highway 89 one-half mile east and one-eighth mile north of Woods Cross Oregon Shortline Depot.
In 1867 and 1868 they had a terrible pest of grasshoppers which much damage throughout the valley. Daniel and his sons dug trenches and ran water around his crops which helped to protect them from the hoppers.
He and his sons John and Heber, Daniel and Peter, took turns working on the new Bountiful Tabernacle at the time it was built, and Daniel helped to get timbers from the mountains for it's completion. He and his wives and children were present at the dedication of this building, which was the second ward house built in Utah.
In 1869 he and his son Peter went on a six month mission to Canada, to preach the Gospel. They left by rail for Ogden on October seventh, as the railroad had been completed from the East to the West coast. On May 10, 1869 the Golden Spike had been driven at Corrine, completing the railroad. That same day Brigham Young broke ground in Ogden to start the railroad from Salt Lake City to Ogden, and Southern Utah towns. The United States Government refused to appropriate funds for this line, so the people built and paid for it themselves. The line was called the Utah Central Railroad with Brigham Young as President. It was completed by January 10, 1870, and later became the Oregon Shortline. It was the only railroad built west of the Mississippi River with out government subsidies. Everything used in building it was produced by the people themselves. Robert Bulton was the first engineer and Davis Egbert was the first telegraph operator at Woods Cross Depot. Wm. S. Muir had been the supply agent during the entire construction of the road. He was a friend of Daniel's from Woods Cross.
While Daniel was on his mission in Canada, the railroad went through his property without getting his consent. The station was built near the center of his field, with a switch adjoining. When he arrived home on March 7, 1870, to his surprise the conductor called, "Woods Cross." He stood up and said "Yes, and darn cross, and I'd like to get off." The train stopped and he stepped off at the station in the middle of his farm.
A meeting was called on March sixteenth, at his meeting house, to which the citizens were invited. A petition was presented for the removal of the switch and station, from the middle of his field out to the road. 'The petition was signed by the eleven present and was presented to Brigham Young. The station and switch were moved out to the road where it now stands. The name Woods Cross was the name recorded in Daniel's honor.
Daniel's wife Mary died October 5, 1873 and was buried in the family plot.
Daniel Wood had thirty children, seven wives, five adopted children, including three Lamanite children. He was very proud of his family. They all worked together on the Wood farm, until they started to marry and move to other parts of the country. He was a successful farmer, good neighbor, and staunch Latter-day Saint. He bore a strong testimony of the Gospel. He held many offices in the church. He was ordained one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies of the Twenty Fourth Quorum by Joseph Young on October 28, 1855. He was a High Priest when he died, and had unwavering faith in the power of the Priesthood he held.
He was a lover of fine horses and animals. He always drove a fine team and carriage. He died April 25, 1892 at the age of ninety-two years. He was buried in the family plot by the side of his wife Mary. At the time of his death, his seventh wife Margaret was the only surviving wife. A lovely monument and markers are in his family plot, and it is surrounded by a lovely wrought iron fence, hand hammered and for ged by his son Joseph Wood. It is truly a'work of art. Oak leaves and acorns beautifully formed from iron in his shop on part of the original Daniel Wood farm.
On January 12, 1947 two daughters [were] living, both daughters of Daniel and third wife Marian, they are Emma Adelaid Wood Cook wife of the late Amos Cook, and Elizabeth Wood Knighton, wife of the late John Knighton.
Daniel's first Big House was destroyed by fire in 1890. It was later built on the same foundation, but was torn down and replaced by a modern brick home.
Written by Josephine Wood Naylor,
Granddaughter, daughter of JosephWood, in 1947.
Retyped from copy by
Norma Jean M. Wood