About George Lemuel Woods
George Lemuel Woods (July 30, 1832 – January 7, 1890) was an American lawyer, judge, and politician. A member of the Republican Party, Woods served as the third Governor of Oregon from 1866–1870 and was then appointed Utah Territory Governor by President Ulysses S. Grant, serving from 1871–1875.
George Woods was born July 30, 1832 in Boone County, Missouri. In 1847, his parents Caleb Woods and the former Margaret McBride moved to Oregon Country with the 15 year-old George. In Oregon, the family settled in Yamhill County where George was educated in the public schools before attending McMinnville College. In 1853, George was married to Louisa A. McBride, and the couple would have two sons. After college he worked on the family farm and studied law, passing the bar in 1858 and setting up a private practice.
In 1857, Woods organized Republican clubs in the state and was a noted speaker of the party. In 1863, he became a judge of Wasco County. In 1865 he was appointed to serve on the Idaho Territory’s Supreme Court. In 1866, Woods was elected as the third Governor of the state of Oregon. His term began on September 12, 1866 and continued until September 14, 1870. Woods failed to win renomination and was then appointed by President Grant as the Governor of Utah Territory in 1871. Woods was critical of Mormon leader Brigham Young, and was not reappointed in 1875 at the end of his first term.
After leaving the Utah governorship Woods moved to California where he remained for ten years. He then returned to Oregon in 1885 where he died on January 7, 1890, and was interred on January 12. Woods was buried at River View Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.