Col. Samuel Newitt Wood

Is your surname Wood?

Research the Wood family

Col. Samuel Newitt Wood's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Samuel Newitt Wood

Also Known As: "The Fighting Quaker"
Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: Mount Gilead, Morrow County, Ohio, United States
Death: June 23, 1891 (65)
Hugoton, Stevens County, Kansas, United States (assassination)
Place of Burial: Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, Kansas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of David Wood and Esther Ward Wood
Husband of Margaret Wood
Father of David Wood; William Lyon Wood; Mary Elizabeth Wood and Florence Sarah Wood
Brother of Asa Wood; Hannah B.M. Wood; Abigail Mosher Townsend; Phebe B. Wood; Joseph Mosher Wood and 5 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Samuel Newitt Wood

Samuel Newitt Wood (December 30, 1825 – June 23, 1891) was an American attorney and politician.

Wood represented Chase, Morris, and Madison counties in the Kansas Territorial Legislature in 1860 and 1861, was a member of the first Kansas State Senate in 1861 and again in 1867, a member of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1864, 1866, 1876, and 1877, and speaker during the last session.

Early life & family

Samuel Newitt Wood was born at Mount Gilead, Ohio, December 30, 1825, fifth child to David and Esther Ward (Mosher) Wood. His paternal grandfather was a leader in the meetings of the Orthodox Quakers until his death. His maternal grandfather became a leader in the more progressive wing of the Society of Friends known as the Hicksites. Having been raised a Quaker, Wood’s hatred for slavery grew very strong. His family home was the site of a station on the Underground Railroad. In 1849, during one of his many attempts to carry runaway slaves to freedom, he met his future wife, Margaret Lyon, daughter of William and Elizabeth Lyon. They were married on October 3, 1850. Their children were: David, born August 25, 1851; William Lyon, born March 10, 1853; Florence, born January 20, 1857; Dearie, born July 7, 1865.

Political career

Involved in politics from an early age, Wood was chairman of the Liberty Party Central Committee of his county in 1844. Wood was a delegate to and spoke at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Convention which organized the Republican Party in 1856, and a delegate to the Leavenworth Constitution Convention in 1858.

On on July 27, 1861, he was appointed and commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln as Collector of Customs at Paso del Norte, New Mexico.

Before the American Civil War, Wood was an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States and later was an advocate for the women's suffrage movement. He also participated in Jacob Branson's rescue which brought about the short-lived Wakarusa War in 1855.

In 1867, Wood was appointed Judge of the 9th Judicial District.

Newspaper publisher

Wood was part owner of the Kansas Tribune of Lawrence in the 1850s. He later established the first newspapers at Cottonwood Falls, The Kansas Press, and at Council Grove, The Council Grove Press. Wood was also connected with The Kansas Greenbacker of Emporia, The Topeka State Journal, The Woodsdale Democrat, and The Woodsdale Sentinel of Stevens County, Kansas.

Military career

Wood's service in the Civil War began as captain of Company I (nicknamed the "Kansas Rangers"), 2nd Kansas Infantry, which fought at the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Afterward he was assigned to a battalion of Missouri troops, "Fremont's Battalion," which he had recruited, serving as major and subsequently lieutenant colonel. He fought at the battle near Salem, and formed a part of the command of Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis in his campaign through Arkansas. In 1864, Wood was appointed brigadier general of the Kansas State Militia.

Stevens County seat war

As the founder of Woodsdale, Wood strongly advocated that his town would become the county seat of Stevens County, which locked him in a contentious battle with the rival town of Hugoton. One of the events of this confrontation was the Hay Meadow Massacre, in which Hugoton supporters disarmed and murdered four Woodsdale supporters. Wood attempted to prosecute the men, but it was ruled that no court had jurisdiction in "No Man's Land" (the Oklahoma Panhandle) where the event took place.


As a direct result of the vicious county seat fight, Wood was assassinated outside the Hugoton courthouse on June 23, 1891, by James Brennen. Wood was buried in Prairie Grove Cemetery in Cottonwood Falls.


Woods County, Oklahoma was named in his honor. Woodsdale is now a ghost town, with nothing remaining of the settlement.

COL.SAMUEL NEWITT WOOD ........ Birth: Dec. 30, 1825 Mount Gilead Morrow County Ohio, USA Death: Jun. 23, 1891 Hugoton Stevens County Kansas, USA

Samuel Newitt Wood (1825-1891) - Free-State advocate and politician, he was born at Mount Gilead, Ohio on December 30, 1825, the son of Quaker parents, from whom he gained his anti-slavery sentiments at an early age. He went to public schools and while still a young man, became greatly interested in politics. In 1844, although too young to vote, he was Chairman of the Liberal Party Central Committee of his county. Four years later he supported Martin Van Buren, the Free-soil candidate for president. One of the lines of the Underground Railroad passed near his home in Ohio and Wood was one of the conductors on the route. In 1859, on his return from a trip with some freed slaves, he made the acquaintance of his future wife, Margaret W. Lyon. He taught school and at the same time, read law and was admitted to the bar on June 4, 1854. Long before that time he had determined to cast his lot with Kansas to assist in her admission to the Union, free from the taint of slavery, and two days after being admitted to practice, he was on his way to the territory. Early in July, he settled on a claim four miles west of Lawrence. He immediately entered into the political and social life of the area and became an acknowledged local leader of the Free-State Party. He was one of the men who rescued Jacob Branson from Sheriff Jones, an act which brought on the Wakarusa War. He was a delegate to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Convention which organized the Republican Party in 1856, to the Philadelphia Convention the same year, and to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention in 1858. The following year he moved to Chase County, represented Chase, Morris and Madison Counties in the Territorial Legislatures of 1860 and 1861, was a member of the first State Senate in 1861 and again in 1867, a member of the House in 1864, 1866, 1876 and 1877, and speaker during most of the last session. In 1864, he was appointed Brigadier-General of the Kansas State Militia, and in 1867 Judge of the 9th Judicial District. For two years he was in Texas, was one of the original stockholders of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, was part owner of the Kansas Tribune of Lawrence in the 1850s, established the first newspaper at Cottonwood Falls -- the Kansas Press; and at Council Grove -- the Council Grove Press. He was later connected with the Kansas Greenbacker of Emporia, the Topeka State Journal, the Woodsdale Democrat and the Woodsdale Sentinel of Stevens County. He was always a reformer or a progressive in politics, and was a member of the Republican, Greenback, Labor and Populist parties. He was killed on June 23, 1891, by James Brennan, as the result of a vicious county seat fight referred to as the Stevens County War in southwest Kansas.

Biography from: LEGENDS OF KANSAS

Family links:

 David Wood (1792 - 1847)
 Esther Ward Mosher Wood (1798 - 1864)

 Margaret Lyon Wood (1830 - 1919)*

 David Wood (1851 - 1944)*
 William Lyon Wood (1853 - 1927)*
 Florence Sarah Wood Abbott (1857 - 1936)*
 Mary Elizabeth Wood (1865 - 1879)*

 Asa Mosher Wood (1820 - 1821)*
 Abigail Mosher Wood Townsend (1821 - 1910)*
 Phebe B Wood Paxson (1822 - 1885)*
 Joseph Mosher Wood (1824 - 1886)*
 Samuel Newitt Wood (1825 - 1891)
 Jonathan Wood (1828 - 1911)*
 Hannah B. M. Wood (1830 - 1832)*
 Stephen Mosher Wood (1832 - 1920)*
 Asa Mosher Wood (1834 - 1905)*
 Ruth Theresa Wood Pierce (1835 - 1910)*
 David John Mosher Wood (1840 - 1918)*
  • Calculated relationship

Inscription: With the peace of God, rest old Pioneer


Burial: Prairie Grove Cemetery Cottonwood Falls Chase County Kansas, USA

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Created by: Jason Townsend Record added: Aug 13, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 40623670

view all

Col. Samuel Newitt Wood's Timeline

December 30, 1825
Mount Gilead, Morrow County, Ohio, United States
July 25, 1851
Age 25
Mount Gilead, Morrow County, Ohio, United States
March 10, 1853
Age 27
Mount Gilead, Morrow County, Ohio, United States
January 20, 1857
Age 31
Mount Gilead, Morrow County, Ohio, United States
July 7, 1865
Age 39
Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, Kansas, United States
June 23, 1891
Age 65
Hugoton, Stevens County, Kansas, United States
Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, Kansas, United States