Benjamin Wood

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Benjamin Wood

Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Shelbyville, Shelby, Kentucky, United States
Death: February 21, 1900 (79)
New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin O Wood and Rebecca Wood
Husband of Catherine Wood and Ida Mayfield Wood
Partner of Delia Wood
Father of Benjamin Wood and Henry Wood
Brother of Maundred Wood; Adolphus E Wood; Fernando Wood; Florinda Morton; Albinia Baldwin and 2 others

Managed by: Douglas Arthur Kellner
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Wood

Benjamin Wood (1820 – 21 February 1900) was a nineteenth-century American politician from the state of New York during the American Civil War.

He was the brother of US congressional representative and New York City Mayor Fernando Wood. In 1860, he purchased the New York Daily News (not to be confused with the current New York Daily News, which was founded in 1919), of which he was the editor and publisher until he died in 1900.

In 1861 the federal government effectively shut down the paper (by suspending its delivery via the postal service) as being sympathetic with the enemy. Wood was able to re-open the paper 18 months later. During the interval, he wrote one novel: Fort Lafayette or, Love and Secession.

Wood was elected as a Democrat to the 37th and 38th United States Congresses (March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1865.) He was a member of the New York State Senate (4th D.) in 1866 and 1867 and elected to the 47th United States Congress (March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1883)

His wife, Ida Wood, became a famous recluse and miser whose true identity of Ellen Walsh became the subject of a famous court case after her death in 1932, the story of which is told in Joseph Cox's book The Recluse of Herald Square.

WOOD, Benjamin, (brother of Fernando Wood), a Representative from New York; born in Shelbyville, Shelby County, Ky., October 13, 1820; moved to New York City with his parents; attended the public schools; entered the shipping business; purchased the Daily News in 1860 and was its editor and publisher until his death; chairman of Democratic Editors in 1860; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1861-March 3, 1865); member of the State senate in 1866 and 1867; elected to the Forty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1881-March 3, 1883); died in New York City February 21, 1900; interment in Calvary Cemetery, Long Island City, N.Y.


Mushkat, Jerome. “Ben Wood’s ‘Fort Lafayette’: A Source for Studying the Peace Democrats.” Civil War History 21 (June 1975): 160-71.

Photographs of the Wood residence at 61 East 52nd Street, New York NY:

============================ YEARBOOK -New York Sons of the Revolution

220. WOOD, BENJAMIN. 4220."

New York City. Editor. Born in Shelby, Ky., October 13, 1820. Son of Benjamin Wood and Rebecca Lehman, grandson of Henry Wood, jd, and Hannah Edridge, great-grandson of Henry Wood, 2d, and Mary Kay, and great'-grandson of Henry Wood, 1st, who was born in Wales in 1616, came to Massachusetts in 1650, and eventually settled in New Jersey. Henry Wood, the patriot, was born in Peashore, N. J., September 18, 1757, and died in New Jersey in 1814. Although of Quaker parentage, he and his seven brothers (Benjamin, Ezekiel, Isaac, John, Joseph, Josiah and William) promptly joined the New Jersey militia and were called the fighting Quakers. Henry was Major in Col. Maxwell's (Second) regiment.

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Benjamin Wood's Timeline

October 13, 1820
Shelbyville, Shelby, Kentucky, United States
July 30, 1847
Age 26
New York, United States
Age 28
Brooklyn, Kings, NY, USA
February 21, 1900
Age 79
New York, New York, United States