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Daniel Wood

Daniel Wood
October 16, 1800 - April 25, 1892

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 Durchess County, New York, on the 16 of October 1800. He was the second of 14 children born to Henry Wood and Elizabeth De Melt (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 on this farm until he was 24 years old. Then he bought a farm and married Mary Snyder in Ernestown, Canada on 9 of March 1824. They lived on this farm for eight years. At this time the L.D.S. 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 interest and subsequently investigated the church. They were baptized along with his brother on the 21 of Feb. 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 40 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 al his holdings at a discount and leave with the saints for Davis Co., Missouri, where they remained until October, then they were forced to move on to Far West.

Again because of Mob persecutions, they left in Feb. 1839 for Nauvoo and found happiness and prosperity until 1845, when he was forced to sell his farm and move in to Nauvoo for safety. Daniel at this time was selected as one of the secret guards for the Nauvoo Temple. Hid oldest son, Henry, while relieving Daniel became ill from exposure and died, at the age of 15. The boys death cased 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 18 years old Peninah Shropshire Cotton. She was very capable, efficient, gentler, honest and faithful. She joined the church in Hancock County, Illinois, the only one of her family to embrace the Gospel. Her Grandmother, Nancy Fulkerson, was a full blood Indian. As far as we are able to find, she was the first Lamanite blood to join the church.

Peninah serviced 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 ion the 21st 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 27th of January 1847 Peninah gave birth to her first son, Daniel II.

In May 1847 they left with Brigham Young for Farr West. As Daniel was an excellent farmer and cattle man, 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 waved 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 Zerah Pulcipher, with Daniel acting as Captain over 50 wagons. Daniel himself had 3 wagons, 4 yoke of Oxen, one span of horses, a carriage in which Mary rode with the small children, One wagon was equipped for 3 pigs, a pen with 24 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. Kimbal and Daniel H. Wells were captains in this company, under President Young. Grandfather Daniel Wood was also captain over 50 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 build a cabin near the site where the Heber C. Kimbal mill was later built. (Where the mineature (miniature) mill is standing, built by the DUP on 4th East about 10th South in Bountiful.) They moved into this cabin on the 15th of Nov. 1848. Mary used on of the wagons, pulled up close to the cabin, as a bedroom, and Peninah used the cabin with the children. On the 8th of Dec. 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 Farr West, besides cooking and caring for all the Wood children and Mary.

During the winter of 1848 and 49 Daniel gathered logs and built a home for Mary at what was the called South Salt Lake, near the Salt Lake County Building now. Pres. Young had allotted him a 5-acre tract of land here. The house was completed in March 1849 and Mary and her 5 children moved in. He planted an acre of fruit, a half acre of berried 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 mile north and 1 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 1850, February, immediately had it surveyed. This is now Woods Cross.

The Saints worked together in the old adobe yard 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 workroom, a large living room, and the children's bedrooms, and he later added a schoolroom. The upper floor was a bedroom. When the house was completed, Mary came to live in 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 Grandfather wood school fees.

In 1863 he built a family meetinghouse, under the instruction of Brigham Young. The building was 30 by 50 feet, one large room. There was a tower and a bell that rang 15 minutes before meeting time. The first meeting was held on the 18th of Nov. 1863 in the evening. The meeting began at 7 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 of the truthfulness of (the) 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 can closing prayer was offered by Daniel Wood Jr. Family meetings were help 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 Bros. 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 5 acres of varied fruit trees in the couth east corner of his farm. In 1864 he laid off a acre plot in the northeast 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 5th West, or U.S. Highway 89. mile east and 1/8 mile north of the Woods Cross Oregon Shortline Depot.

In 1867 and 68 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 6-month mission to Canada, to preach the Gospel. They left by Rail from Ogden on Oct. 7th, 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 Jan 10, 1870, and later became the Oregon Shortline. It was the only Railroad built west of the Mississippi river without Government subsidies. Everything used in building it was produced by the people themselves. Robert Boulton 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 Daniels from Woods Cross.

While Daniel was on his mission in Canada, the railroad went through hisproperty 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, 1870m 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 16, at his meetinghouse, 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 11 present and was presented to Brigham Young. The station and switch was moved out to the road where it now stands. The name Woods Cross was the name recorded in Daniels honor.

Daniels wife Mary died Oct 5th 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 the Seventies of the 24 Quorum by Joseph Young on Oct. 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 92 ears. He was buried in the family plot by the side of this wife Mary. At the time of his death, his 7th wife Margaret was the only surviving wife. A lovely Monument and markers are in his family plot, and a lovely wrought iron fence surrounds it, hand hammered and forged by his son Joseph Wood. It is truly a work of art. Oak leaves and acorns beautifully formed from iron in in his shop on part of the original Daniel Wood farm.

On Jan 12, 1947 two daughters 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.

Daniels first Big House destroyed by fire in 1890. It was later rebuilt on the same foundation, but was torn down and replaced by a modern brick home.

Written by Josephine Wood Naylor, Granddaughter, daughter of Joseph Wood, in 1947.
Retyped by Staci Bailey, Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter, May 21, 2003.

Tribute to Daniel Wood by his son Peter C. Wood
History of Daniel Wood from a Unknown book
Daniel Wood Obituary

Daniel Wood History Homepage
Daniel Wood Cemetery
Daniel Wood Orchestra