William Barnes Wood

b. 6 November 1830, d. 14 November 1908

William Barnes Wood, 1830-1908
  • William Barnes Wood was born on 6 November 1830 in Montgomery County, Alabama.
  • He was known as Billiy by family.
  • Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1840 in Montgomery County, Alabama. Other (counted but unnamed) members of the household apparently included William Barnes Wood, Green Mark Wood, Willis Breazeal Wood, Joshua Wood and Elizabeth Green Wood. Also in the household were eighty-eight slaves, thirty-one of whom were under age ten.
  • William B. Wood appears in the 1847 Emory College Catalogue of Officers and Students as an "Irregular" student, from Montgomery Co., Alabama, boarding with President Longstreet. In the 1848 Catalogue, he is listed as a Junior student, boarding with Mrs. Lamar and pursuing a course of study in English. Neither the 1849 nor 1850 Catalogue is found at the Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, but he is not listed as a graduate of that class either year.
  • In a letter dated 1 August 1848 to Evelina Alexander Barnes in Tuskegee, Alabama, William Barnes Wood wrote from Oxford, Georgia:
    Dear Mother,
          I arrived here yesterday from Charleston. I stayed in the city 4 or five days & never enjoyed myself better in my life than I did there for the first three days. The fourth day I was so muc[h] fatigued that I could not enjoy myselfe. And there was such an immense crowed that I could not move & it was the hotest place I was ever at. Friday the the Palmetto regiment was received. And I know there was fifty Thousand people in the streets. It was unpleasant to be in the streets. I saw more in the four days I was in Charleston than I ever saw before. There was 15 companys out all in splendid uniform & when they were all united they looked splendely. There was a large dinner given to the P. Regiment, I did not attend the dinner.  I would like to live in Charleston if I had a plenty of money. From six oclock P.M. to 10 PM the streets are crow[d]ed with Carriages & buggies. The streets are fr[ee] to ride on.  They are never dusty--,  Th[e]y are water[ed] from morning until night. -- The streets are ful[l] of Ladies. Most of the Ladies alone after dark shop[ing] & I saw [a] great many in stores as Clearks. in fact nearly every store has one or more Ladies in it. I hired a buggy every day & tried to see as much of the Place as possible I had to pay 1.00 dollar - an hour for a buggy. I saw a gre[at] many pretty Gardens but no Large one. all small. I was in several. I took Tea with Mr. Plane in Charleston, a very Respectable & as fine a family as I ever saw. They treated me like a son.  The old man called me son all the time. They took a good deal of pains to show me ev[e]ry thing & make me feel at home. Mr. Plane has a son here in College. He commenced teasing me about his Daughter in twenty minutes after I got in the house. He had a very good Garden. Wanted to give me cutting from his Garden. If I had been going home I would have accepted of them. I stoped at the finest Hotel in Charleston   I lived high while there. I dont like these suppers in Charleston. They have nothing warm at tea. Everything cold. They made it up at dinner. I generally sat at the table an hour and [a] halfe. To get through all the courses. I acted as though I was raised in a city or tried to act so. I don't think I ate a meal without thinking of Par particularly at dinner.  We had turtle soup & fish all the time. I visited the Markett house two or three times a day. The house is a halfe mile long & crou[d]ed with every thing I could think of. All kinds of fruit. And they was fine. I got hold of one kind of fish or shy? as-space? of the fish that [I] did'nt like. They [have] Shrimps something like the crawfish.  I saw great many crabers. They [made] splendid crab soup.  I caught one or two crabs on the coast. The greatest show was Sulivans Island & the Fourts & castles. We went over to Island on a ship. & it is seven miles. Then went up the coast some four miles. I could see nothing but water. I got great many pretty shells off the coast. I went all over the Fourt Moultrie. It has some 95 pieces of canon on it all arranged ready for battle. I saw Fourt Sumpter & Johnson, Castle Pinckney. There was ever Ships & Boats in harbor all the time. & Some of them very fine ones. The Steam Ship Southerner was the finest thing of the kind I ever saw. They have fine bathing houses both salt & fresh water. The last night I was there they had splendid fire works. It was the prettiest sight I ever saw. Great many Ladies & Gentlemen turn out to every little thing. I saw very few Gentlemen on the streets during the day. But from six un[t]il 10 at night you cant get about. I think [I] saw five hundred carriages & buggies out at [a] time. You see one row going up & one going down all the time. I saw Dr Siebles? in Charleston. He came from Columbia there. I saw Dr Duncan & Col Hayne but didnt get a chance to speak to the Col. I also saw Marks from Montgomery. he had with him one of Dr Henrys sons with with [him] taking him to the north. Well I will stop writing about C[harleston] & tell you something about my selfe & oxford. Judge L— resigned his office here because he thought he would get the Presidency in oxford Mississippi. He was certain he would he get it, but was disappointed. Some on[e] was a head of him. I was very sorry he was not Elected. He has quit taking boarders. I have engaged board at Mrs Lamars one of the most Respectable families in oxford. I am now staying at Mr Paynes. Will stay there while I am [in] oxford   I have given out going to Athens. I have just got back from Charleston & am to[o] tired & my feet are so soar from walking on the pavement,  The commencement is certain now. I could see more than one day of commencement if I was to go there now. I may get to see John before the vacation is out. I was just glad to get back to oxford but I can't stay long here. I am [a] little afraid to leave oxford on account of the Fever - that [is] one reason why I did not stay longer in Charleston, I was afraid of the Fever. There was two Thousand on board the cars from Charleston to Hamburg, one man died on the Cars. he was perfectly well when [he] got on board but died in a short time  It [was] so hot.  I forgot to mention Augusta. I was in Augusta some 6 or 8 hours. It is a dull place After being in Charleston. It is the prettiest place I ever saw, It is much prettier than Charleston,
         your - son Wm B Wood
    I will write again soon. I may stay in oxford nearly all vacation as I have some very good friends here with me. I stayed with Mrs Williams last night - a very kind old Lady. She has taken me over to Covington in her Carriage some times.  I have just found? at? several familys - I am very well treated here. Tell Par where I am boarding - write soon
          Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
  • In a letter dated 20 March 1849 to Evelina Alexander Barnes in Montgomery, Alabama, William Barnes Wood wrote from Oxford, Georgia:
    Dear Mother,
         Your welcomed letter was received yesterday & I now sit down with pleasure to reply. You spoke of the immence quantity of rain that fell some days ago in Montgomery. It rained here about the same time for several days, & is at it again. I am glad that you have such a beautiful garden, would that I were there a short time to see it. I never see any flowers here. Their is only one Lady here that pays any attention to gardening either in the ways of Flowers or vegetables. All the people care for about here is to make money & to get to heaven. the latter is quite important. They score[n] the Universalist here on all occasion. it hurts me some times to hear the way they go on. You would not set in the church & listen at them. I am glad Par had such a fine stand of corn. Very few about here have planted. There are no large farms in this Country. I was very sorry to hear that Col Campbell had been so unfortunate in since getting to Louisiana. I hope Par has sold out & as you said I hope he may be so fortunate as to get a healthy place. I did not know that Duncan intended going to L--- I have received only one letter from him & that some weeks ago. How & whare is uncle Campbell. Is Bolling Thompson living with his Mother. I don't think he ought to have married against his Mother wishes. I mearly give that as my opinion without knowing any of the circumstances. I think it an absurd thing in Mr Rogers marrying Miss Norman. I expect John B— is thinking about marrying as he has quit College & is acting the Gentleman. I wrote to Brother Willis last week. tell him I have broken the ice & I wish him to follow as he has repeatedly sent me word that he would write. I am glad that Eliza Stock is so pretty & smart. hope Harris has recovered. Tell Mary Jane I feel flattered by having such a fine boy named after me. From the way you wrote I doubted it the childs being named after me, You said Mary Jane told you to tell me so you wrote as if she did it to please me. I expect that is the way of it, is it not? I saw a paper this evening from Montgomery & in it was the reception of the Ex-President. I would have like very much to have seen him - Mr Polk. You said you were glad to hear that I was studying so very hard, Mar, I think you put to much stress on the study. I wish that I could study hard. I read a good deal but I don't study my text books a great deal. They are such as do not suit me. I can read any time, when I can stoop over a day lesson. I thought I would mention this as I did not wish you to be under the wrong impression, but dont think I am here doing nothing. You asked me to mention my studies. Moral & Mental Philosophy. (Mechanics very dry) & Geology. I will finish Mental Philosophy this week & then I will have to take up the Evidences of Christianity & I have an idea of studying Divinity. My love to th all the family. You asked when would I get through here - the class with which I recite with will Graduate the first day of June next & it will be useless for me to stay here then until the term closes which will be about 4 weeks. I would have only one study & it would be foolish to pay board just to stay here then. Give my respects to Anaky & the rest of the Negroes. Can Campbell ride his pony yet.- Give him my love
         Your affectionate Son, Wm B. Wood
    Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
  • He and Elizabeth Green Wood and Campbell Wood accompanied Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes to Texas in 6 January 1850.
  • On Wednesday, 20 March 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "William B. Wood returned from Houston & Edmon & the waggon with Adam & Family & Leanty."
  • On Saturday, 6 April 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Billy Barnes Wood Killed a fine Buck."
  • On Sunday, 28 April 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood returned from the Trinity, left W. Breazeal on his way up to Gov. Wood's neighborhood." And on Saturday, 11 May, "Willis S Breazeal Started home. Sent Jim with the little waggon to carry his trunk to Montgomery. River very high, crossed in the Keel boat of Captain Davis; Mules & Horses swam over.
  • On Sunday, 26 May 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "A very fine day, had Green & wife & Rush to dinner."
  • Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1850 in Montgomery County, Texas. Other members of the household included William Barnes Wood, Elizabeth Green Wood and Campbell Wood.
  • On Sunday, 30 June 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Green M. Wood & wife & children & Willis B. Wood wife children & Duncan G. Campbell all Dined with us to day at the new place."
  • On Tuesday, 16 July 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: William B. Wood started to Houston this morning with Edmon & Waggon & six mules for the Pianno & some few articles," and on Sunday, the 21st, "Wm B. Wood returned from Houston this evening."
  • On Tuesday, 13 August 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: Mr Barnes got to W. B. Woods last night," and on Thursday, the 15th, "Wm B. Wood went home with Mr Barnes to hunt a screw Builder."
  • On Tuesday, 27 August 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood started this morning to Houston," the day after Green "Started a Waggon to Houston. On Saturday, the 31st, "Wm B. Wood got home from Houston this evening," and on the following day, ""Edmon returned from Houston with the waggon."
  • On Friday, 13 September 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent two waggons to Huntsville for plank with Billy."
  • On Sunday, 22 September 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "A beautiful day, all in fine health. Mr & Mrs Carothers, Green & Wife & Willis & wife & all their Children & Mr Powell spent the day with us."
  • On Tuesday, 24 September 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood started to Houston," and Saturday, the 28th, "Wm B. Wood got home at night."
  • On Thursday, 10 October 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent two waggons to Huntsville for planks; Wm B. Wood went also," and on the following day, "Waggons returned from Huntsville."
  • On Sunday, 3 November 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "G. M. & W. B. Wood & their familey's with us & some Gentlemen from Grimes County."
  • On Sunday, 10 November 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Plesant day, all dined with Willis B. Wood."
  • On Tuesday, 12 November 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mrs Wood Lizzie & Billy started to Houston."
  • He became Greenwood overseer during November 1860, shortly after his 20th birthday.
  • He served as overseer of Greenwood plantation from November or December 1850 until sometime after March 1853.
  • On Wednesday, 25 December 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mr. J. Abercrombie and Family and W. B. Wood and Family and Mr. Peter C. Harris to dinner with us."
  • On Sunday, 2 March 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood made J. C. Abercrombie a visit at the Promise Land."
  • On Saturday, 26 April 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent Bob & Saten with Carriage & pedlar waggon with Mrs Fluker & Mrs Menard to Montgomery. Wm B. Wood went with them to see them safe."
  • By deed dated 5 September 1851 in Walker County, Texas, Thomas Carothers of Walker County sold to Peter Coffee Harris of Macon County, Alabama, 892 acres of land for the sum of $2,676. Witnessed by William B. Wood and Sam F. Spiller, recorded 17 September 1851.
         On 5 April 1852, Harris sold the same property (described as 880 acres more or less) on Winters bayou to his son-in-law Willis Breazeal Wood for the sum of $5,000. Recorded in Walker County 23 June 1852.
  • On Thursday, 25 December 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood killed a deer, a long shot, he DID."
  • On Sunday, 1 February 1852, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood went on a visit to G. M. Wood," and on the following day, "Sent Saten and John to G. M. Wood to help him fence his ground, Peter still there making three hands." And on Saturday, 14 February, "The three boys came home from G. M. Wood."
  • On Sunday, 6 June 1852, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: Mr Abercrombie, Mr Hardy & Talbot McGar & Mr Randal [probably Dudley Randall] here to dinner, Mr Powell & Wm B. Wood brought plenty of fish & a venison from the lake for Dinner.
  • On Thursday, 8 July 1852, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mrs Wood & Ella, Mr Powell & Wm B. Wood all left for Huntsville at 5 oclock this morning," and on the following day, "Mrs Wood & all the rest returned from Huntsville."
  • On Sunday, 27 February 1853, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Loaded the first flat Boat with 66 Bales cotton, got everything ready for a start tomorrow morning -- Wm B. Wood Master, Jonathan Ridgeway, George Ridgeway, Mr Trimble, -- Warnica & Stephen hands."
         On 8 March, "Billy Returned home from the Boat." Then on the 22nd, "Loaded the three Boats, finished about sun set. . . . Billy & Stephen went down to the first Boat," and on 2 April, "Stephen got home from Lynch burg this evening."
  • He married Cornelia Josephine Mitchell, daughter of James L. Mitchell and Ann Anderson Hall, on 24 November 1853 in Plantersville, Grimes County, Texas, second cousins; their maternal grandmothers, Jane Abercrombie Hall and Nancy Abercrombie Barnes, were sisters.
  • On Friday, 30 March 1855, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Saten and Tom hawling Brick for Wm B. W."
  • Evelina Wood wrote on 14 May 1855, to her daughter Lizzie Powell, undergoing treatment for cancer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee: ". . . Billie came up this evening to read the letters and took them to Josie, he intends writing to Mr Powell by this mail. Lewis says all well at his place. . . ." Letter in private collection of B. M. Henwood, descendant of Wm Wood Powell; original transcription by R. E. Reichardt.
  • On Wednesday, 4 July 1855, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Billy and wife started to Galveston to Meet Mr. Powell and Lizzie, with two carriages and drivers." And on Monday, the 9th, "Billy, wife and all returned this evening with Mr. Powell and Lizzie and child and nurse, got home this evening."
  • Green Wood wrote to Bolling Hall Jr. in Alabama on 26 August 1855, ". . . Billy has gone to Church - JoseyMary Jane are with Lizzie, - she has mended considerably but requires a good deal of attention . . ."
  • On Saturday, 13 December 1856, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Six hands at Wm B. W's raising cabins."
  • On Monday, 22 December 1856, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood laying off field next to pasture for Horizontal rows with the Afleck level, two plows running off after him," and on the following day, "Wm B. Wood still laying off the Big field next the pasture with the Afleck level."
  • On a blank page in Book 9, Green Wood recorded: "February 6th 1857, Mr. J. S. Collard measured last years New ground Field 100-6/10 Acres including the nuke or corner next to Graham's. Wm B. Wood Finished laying the same field off in Horizontal ditches and rows, used the Afflect Level."
  • On Wednesday, 2 February 1859, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. Wood laid off by the Level Horizontal rows & grade ditches."
  • On a blank page preceding the week of 6 February 1859, Green Wood recorded: "[Sunday] February 6th 1859, G. M. Wood and Wm B. Wood left this morning for Galveston. Returned 11th, Fryday."
  • On Saturday, 27 August 1859, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent 11 hands to help Wm B. W. raise Screw lever."
  • On Tuesday, 13 December 1859, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wm B. W's Son Mitchell died this evening, Flux."
  • William Barnes Wood and Cornelia Josephine Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1860 in Montgomery County, Texas. Other members of the household included Evelina Wood, Robert Micajah Powell and William Wood Powell. Robert M. Powell was the widower of William Barnes' sister Elizabeth Green Wood.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1860 census.
  • William Barnes Wood is listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule with 10 slaves (3 of whom were age 10 and younger, and none over age 60) and 3 slave houses, for an average of 3-4 persons per cabin.
  • On Wednesday, 27 June 1860, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mrs. Wood, Mr. Powell, Ella and Wood Powell and Wm B. W. and wife and daughter all left for Sour Lake." And on Monday, 1 July, "Bob returned from Sour Lake with the Waggon and six mules, left all well." On Monday, 9 July, "Started Bob with waggon and six mules to Sour Lake to bring the Bagage." And on Sunday, 15 July, "Mrs. Wood, Mr. Powell and the rest returned from Sour Lake. Mr. A. W. Speight and Lady came also.
  • On Tuesday, 7 October 1862, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Paid P. G. Powell Substitute for Wm B. Wood $250 on my Note." [It has not been confirmed, however, whether this was Col. Powell's brother Peter.]
  • On Monday, 28 December 1863, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Let Billy have the two Ox wagons to Haul Mr. Powell's cotton to Huntsville."
  • On Tuesday, 25 October 1864, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "7 Hands to Wm B. Wood to help raise House."
  • On Saturday, 19 November 1864, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent 16 hands to Wm B. Wood,s to help move his corn; his large crib and stable fell down last night."
  • William Barnes Wood appears on the voter registration list for Montgomery County, Danville Precinct, dated 5 August 1867 as "W. B. Wood, Rejected-- having held office."
  • William Barnes Wood and Cornelia Josephine Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Danville, Montgomery County, Texas. Other members of the household included Evelina Wood, Evelina Alexander Barnes, Campbell Wood, Ella Abercrombie Wood, Eliza Stocks Wood, Elizabeth Ames Wood and Powell Wood.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1870 census.
  • William Barnes Wood and Cornelia Josephine Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Montgomery County, Texas. Other members of the household included Virginia A. Mitchell, Kinnie Mitchell and Jane L. Mitchell. It is educated guess that Jennie is Virginia Mitchell, daughter of Josie's brother James. And it is likely that "Kinnie" and Jane are children of brother Charles, born after the 1860 census. It is an educated guess that Charles Mitchell died of consumption after his discharge from the 5th Texas Infantry.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1880 census.
  • Evelina Wood wrote from Willis, Texas, to her grandson Wood Powell in Christian County, Illinois on 12 April 1887, ". . . I came to town last Sunday - Billie, Josie and Lina's two oldest children with us. . . . Lina has been quite sick recently – was not well when I left – I passed last Friday with her. she has a beautiful place a nice but very small house. She keeps a cook & grown nurse. Her time is taken up with out doors work. She says she is determined to raise her meat this year & sell butter enough to pay for her sewing. She can’t bear house work. She is now raising bronze turkies. they are very much larger than the other kind. has sent on for Pekin ducks. Jim A. has been in the Alliance store in Willis the last 7 weeks. He gives the farm no attention whatever, goes home Saturday nights & returns Mondays. Josie keeps Josie Lee altogether and she is a deal of trouble. Her dear patient grand ma says she can not do without her. Billie has so little to do at home for the want of rain. He comes to Willis about three or four times per week. A great deal lovely weather & east wind but no rain. ground too hard to finish planting cotton, garden almost at a stand still – Billie sets out cabbage plants by watering the ground so as to pull them up & water the ground to set them out. His corn looks green & pretty but almost quit growing. . . ."
         Letter in private collection of B. M. Henwood, descendant of Wm Wood Powell; original transcription by R. E. Reichardt.
  • Evelina Wood wrote from Willis, Texas, to her grandson Wood Powell in Christian County, Illinois on 12 April 1887, ". . . Ella is assisting Mrs. Woolridge in preparing for Maud's wedding (the only daughter) She marries on the 14, next Thursday night. A Mr. Watson who stands well in Willis. he is a dry goods clerk in T. W. Smith's store. Ella assisted in making ten large cakes yesterday & they are finishing them this morning. Ella’s afternoon will be devoted to icing & embossing them. she had several cakes baked here & will prepare some of the meats in her kitchen. Mrs. W. knows very little about such things. . . . Billie & Josie will be in to the wedding. Dr. W. lives across the street from us. I expect to witness the ceremony. . . ."
         Letter in private collection of B. M. Henwood, descendant of Wm Wood Powell; original transcription by R. E. Reichardt. Minimal punctuation added to enhance readability.
  • William Barnes Wood and Cornelia Josephine Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Montgomery County, Texas. Josie also was enumerated in the household of her daughter Lina Abercrombie in Huntsville.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1900 census.
  • At the time of his death William Barnes Wood was living in Houston, Harris County, Texas, and died at "his old home" near Willis, Montgomery County, where he went November 1st, 1908, to be present at the election, collect his rents, etc., according to his brother Campbell's account.
  • William Barnes Wood died on 14 November 1908 at age 78 in Willis, Montgomery County, Texas.
  • He was buried at Willis Cemetery in Willis, Montgomery County, Texas.
  • Last Edited: 23 Jul 2015

Family: Cornelia Josephine Mitchell b. 31 December 1834, d. 28 September 1930