Daniel Wood was born in Dutchess County, New York, October 16, 1800. He was the sebond child of Henry Wood and Elizabeth DeMelt. His father remained in Earnestown, Canada, with his family in the year 1803 where he lived about five years, when he moved to the town of Sidneyham, Canada. Here he remained and became the happy parents of fifteen children; nine sons and six daughters. He made it a point to start his sons out with forty acres of land, one yoke of oxen, two cows and ten sheep.
At the age of twenty-two Daniel married Mary E. Snider and started out with his apportionment and was prospered in this place for eight years, being blessed with three children John, Henry and Rebecca, when the elders of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found him and a number of prosperous neighbors. They only preached a few times, but they left with the little village a strong desire to investigate and be baptized, and by continuing their meetings as best they could alone. He became so convinced that he should be baptized that he requested it of a Methodist. Shortly after Brigham and Joseph Young appeared and explained the order of the church of Christ more perfectly, and had the privilege of leading the little already prepared-colony down into the waters of baptism.
He was ordained an elder and remained and preached until the summer of 1834 when he sold his possessions and with his wife and three children went to Kirtland, Ohio. He bought a farm four miles south of Kirtland and lived there until 1838 when he went to Davis county, Missouri, arriving there the eleventh of June. There again he took up a farm but was unable to remain on account of the mob. So about the first of October he went to the Far West area. Here the mob surrounded them again and Joseph Smith and others were betrayed into the enemies hands and the city was put under guard. They were out of provisions, having been driven from their grain. So Daniel went in with the mob (called Soldiers) and with the rest gave the number of his family and received his rations, they not being aware that he was a Mormon.
In February they started for Illinois. He had a cow he paid sixty dollars for. A party wanted to buy her; he asked $18 but did not sell. On the road another came to buy and he asked $20. Again another came and he asked $22, and still another came and he sold at $24. He ought to have gotten rich if he had not sold so soon, as he told the last he was going to raise $2 every time.
He bought forty acres of ground about eighteen miles from Nauvoo. Here the mob followed and his son stood guard night and day while his mother was sick with ague and unhoused.
In 1845 he removed to Nauvoo. Here he became acquainted with Peninah Cotton, an orphan girl, and married her. They soon prepared to leave not knowing where they were going. All they knew is that they were following the inspiration of Brigham Young. Brigham asked them to build a cabin, and grow crops for the companies to come. So all could have at least occasionally green, fresh food, on the plains, as many families were asked to do along the plains route. He landed in Salt Lake in the fall of 1848. He came to Bountiful immediately and built the fourth house in the settlement. It was the first on Mill Creek and was located where the county road now runs, just a little south of where Simmon's house now stands.
In about two years he located his farm, having 180 acres. Four years later he undertook the mammoth task of building that large adobe house, and completed the main part and soon afterward added the back rooms. This was the largest and best house in this part of the country at the time.
His family being quite large, he started school in his,own house, taught by his wife, Emma, and as soon as possible he employed a male teacher. The school continued the greatest part of the year, his own children faithfully attending, he obtaining good support from the outside. Thus his school was a good start for the new country a thousand miles from civilization.
About 1860 he built a family meeting house about 20 x 40, one story, with basement and belfry from which came the welcome chimes of his seventy dollar bell. To this building he moved his school. Meetings were held on every Wednesday night and on other special occasions. He had a choir and a string band in his own family, and was not too sanctimonious to have a jig even at his family meetings. One evening when Joseph Young was present at the meeting, the band started up and he jumped out on the floor and showed those present how nimble he was. The general public was invited and they responded well, as he often had good speakers from the city and elsewhere.
Every Christmas while others were feasting, his family was fasting and having meeting of prayer, and making right the little misunderstandings and disputes of the old year. These meetings were continued until quite recently.
He was in Canada, on a mission, when the Utah Central R. R. was put through his field and the depot located on his ground, but the family wrote the particulars, which did not please him, and when he came home it was late at night and when the conductor woke him by announcing the name of the station, "Woods Cross" he replied, "Yes, and ground too good to raise corn on to be used for a railroad.
He has been a great worker in his day, even at the age of seventy five he could take a hand with most of the younger men. He lived to the good old age of ninety-two. His firm frame might have been seen plodding along the streets only a few weeks before his death, and the day before he was taken sick he sat in his little private cemetery, on his farm, where he had twenty-five of his family laid, and showed his daughter where he wanted to be put away to rest. This little treasure was his main one of late, and he kept an old chair there where he passed away many hours.
He leaves a large family to mourn his loss, as he had ten wives, thirty-two children, and about one hundred grandchildren.
His funeral services were held in the East Bountiful Tabernacle, Wednesday 2 p.m. The stand and casket was beautifully decorated. On either side of the pulpit stood four nicely draped flower pots, six of which contained living plants in bloom, and remaining two contained bouquets. On the white casket was placed a sheaf of wheat and a beautiful arch of artificial flowers with these words in violet upon a white background; "Welcome Home."
P. G. Sessions, Richard Duerden, E. Pace, David Stoker, Louis Grant, Archie HIll, Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant were the speakers.
The local brethren spoke on the views the deceased had entertained and on the praise worthy traits of his character. Joseph F. Smith occupied most of the time. Said he had passed away proving faithful to the end. The speaker mentioned that all the children of the deceased were in the faith. The principle of death was commented upon and explained it to be only a separation of the body and the soul for a time, and that the Savior had redeemed us from the fall brought into the world by Adam. He further said that as we are laid away so we all rise again on the resurrection day. When a child is laid away it will still be a child when it is resurrected. He though it would cause confusion in families if members, who are small when laid to rest. He maintained what members of the body which had been severed at or before death, could again be united with the body at the resurrection as was the case with John the Baptist who appeared before Joseph Smith as a whole man, also Peter and James, the latter of whom was beheaded. He thought the stunted, the cripple and the afflicted would, after the resurrection, grow to their full statue, being perfect in every particular. In his closing remarks he hoped he would be able to remain faithful and unwavering to the end as the departed brother had done.
Heber J. Grant mentioned a brief rule by which true doctrine would be told from false, which is, that true doctrine always brings us hope and joy.
After the audience had viewed the remains they were taken to their final resting place in his own cemetery. Sexton Taylor's hearse headed the procession, which consisted of fifty-six vehicles.
Retyped from a copy by
Norma Jean M. Wood
18 February 1990