Local History and Genealogy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dr. H.D. Wood Closes Useful Life

Had Practiced Medicine in the County Nearly Sixty Years - Funeral Services Friday Morning

Dr. H. D. Wood, the dean of the medical fraternity of Steuben County, passed away at this home in Angola yesterday forenoon, December 17, after a long illness and decline due to the infirmities of advancing age.  The funeral services will be held at the late residence on East Gale street Friday morning at 10:00 A. M.  The burial will be in the Powers Cemetery, north of Metz.  The casket will be open for friends who wish to call Thursday afternoon and evening, at the home.

The removal of Dr. Wood from our midst is like the passing of an old land mark.  At the same time he continued his activities until recent weeks, and he had a wide acquaintance here covering a period of two full generations.  Probably no one has been more intimately known in the community in its entire history.  He practiced medicine for nearly sixty years, and enjoyed in a rare degree the utmost confidence of his patients throughout all this time.  Not only was he esteemed locally as a competent physician, but his fame extended throughout all this section of the country, and as a surgeon was counted the peer of any in several states.  He was a doctor of the old school but was peculiarly amenable to all the advancing changes in his profession and kept his knowledge thoroughly abreast of the times.  Despite his advancing years there were many who still held to him for counsel and assistance, and he was kept constantly busy until worn by his duties and the infirmities of his years he took to his bed a few weeks ago, and steadily declined until the end quietly came yesterday.  Thus he will be quietly missed in the community, and he will be genuinely mourned by a large number of people.
His Life                                         
 Hugh Dudgeon Wood was born in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York, June 28, 1835, and died in Angola, Indiana, December 17, 1918, aged 83 years, 5 months and 19 days.  He was the son of Joseph Wheeler Wood, of English descent, a native of New York, and Sarah Farnham Wood, of Welsh ancestry and born in Connecticut.  There were eight children of Joseph and Sarah Wood, and another daughter by the father's former marriage.  Hugh S Wood was the sixth of 9 children of whom only Dr T.F. Wood of Angola and Mrs Melvina Ferrier of Parsons, Kansas survive.  About 1843 the family moved to Williams County, Ohio and a short time later to DeKalb County, Indiana where the father died in 1851 and the mother in 1859.
The subject of this sketch attended the district schools of Willams and DeKalb counties, paying for his expenses most of the time by doing chores. In 1856 he attended the Northeastern Institute at Orland, Indiana, one year, and subsequently was a student at Hillsdale College, where he completed his literary and scientific education in 1859.  During his college life he taught several terms and was thus enabled to work his way thru college, independent and unaided. His vacations and leisure hours were spent in reading medicine with his brother, Dr. W. A. Wood, at that time a resident of Metz, this county. 

In 1860-61 he attended a course of lectures at the medical department of the University of Buffalo in New York, and in February, 1961, began a practice in connection with his brother at Metz, and the following year began to practice alone.  In 1863 he attended lectures at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York and in Philadelphia, and in 1867attended the Bellevue hospital College in New York where he graduated in 1867. In 1869 he  came to Angola to take up the practice left off by his brother W.A. Wood on his death.
By constant study and assiduous application to his practice, he became one of the most competent and successful practitioners in the state of Indiana; and he was called ofttimes long distances in these three adjourning states in consultation and practice.  As a surgeon he was especially skilled and his services were highly esteemed and in great demand.

H lived thoroughly in his profession and active in every work that would further it.  He was one of the organizers and for a considerable time was a member of the faculty of the Fort Wayne Medical College.  He was president several times and for a long term of years was secretary and a leading factor in the Northeastern Indiana  Medical Society.  He was a member of the Allen County Medical Society as well as our own local county Medical Society.

He touched the life of the community in many other activities, aside from professional.  He was always interested in and aided every public movement for the advancement of the community's interests.  He was one of the first workers in the movement to establish Tri-State College in Angola and was the first president of the Board of Trustees.  He assisted actively in the work of the funds for it.  He was a close student of current events, a staunch Republican in politics, and was often tendered political honors, which he refused because he would allow no other interests to interfere with his professional activities.  He was a member of the Masonic Fraternity, a Knight Templar and a member of the Fort Wayne consistory of Scottish Rite Masons.

Dr. Wood was married December 3, 1863, To Joanna Powers, daughter of Clark and Hannah Powers, natives of New York, and early settlers of Steuben county.  She died June 17, 1917.  Four children were born to them of whom two survive, Dr. Weir Wood of Wood County, Ohio and Mrs. Robert B Spilman of

Manhattan, Kansas.

Steuben Republican December 18, 1918