2007 – The Thomas Wood Family


In her “History of Holland, Ohio”, Lola Vesey Merrell states that Thomas Wood was a soldier in the War of 1812. He would have been about 18 years old when the war started and since he was born in the District of Columbia you can wonder if he was there when the White House was burned, or could he have served in Fort McHenry, a short distance away in Baltimore, when Frances Scott Key composed the “Star Spangled Banner.” It could also be that he served in a guard post during this second war for independence and never saw any action. Someday we may know the facts about his service, but at the present we can only speculate. He was born in the newly surveyed District of Columbia (established on July 16, 1790 from parts of Maryland and Virginia) on October 1, 1793, based on the inscription from his tombstone which reads Thomas Wood – Died, Feb. 27. 1860, aged 67 yrs., 4 mo. & 26 day.” Information at this time is sketchy about his parents, but they may have been John and Elizabeth (Clayton) Wood.

His children state in census records after 1880 that their parents were born in Maryland. He may have been born in that part of southern Maryland which became a part of the District of Columbia. Family records state that he married Matilda Grant who was born in Maryland around 1797. That date is also based on the inscription from her tombstone which reads “Matilda, wife of Thomas Wood, Died Feb. 24, 1860, aged 63 yr.”
They were married in Maryland and their first child, Elisa L., was born in New York on 1815. There last child, Mary Jane, was born on July 4, 1835, in New York. Children born in
between were: Martha M, born 1826; John, born 1828; Perry, born 1830; Harrison, born 1831; and James T., born 1833.
The family probably came to the Township in the latter part of 1835 or the first part of 1836, since Thomas was elected as one of the first trustees for Springfield Township when the first organizational election was held at the house of William Ford on October 8, 1836. On April 2, 1838, he was replaced as a trustee but was elected as a constable. In 1858 and 1859, he was again chosen to be a trustee by the voters.
By 1840, Thomas had built a Tavern just west of Holloway Road on what is now Airport Highway. The first church in the township (Methodist Church) held services in the tavern by 1840 in the tavern before moving to the Red or Sage School on Holloway Road (in front of what is now the Fox Run Condominiums). He was very active in raising funds for the erection of a permanent church to the west of the present cemetery in 1860. Descendants of Thomas Wood continue to live in the village and Township, as well as throughout the United States. The family continued to be active in community affairs and local politics throughout the history of the Village of Holland and Springfield Township.