|Birth: ||Mar. 24, 1856|
|Death: ||Sep. 17, 1930|
John B Woods is the son of Wiley S and Virginia Hinchman Woods.
In 1880, John B Woods and Wife Helen Vanderhoof, along with their son Sherban, went with Helen's Parents William and Ann Vanderhoof to the Dakota Territory. These families were one of many from Cass Co MI. to be attracted by the Westward movement. Mr. Vanderhoof had contacted his brother, who had gone on ahead, to buy a claim for him in Dakota Territory, near the settlement of Madison, now in SD. In the latter part of August in 1880, the Vanderhoof and Woods families left in covered wagons to travel over 700 miles to their home. It took them 6 weeks to make the trip, but without any serious difficulties.
They drove a Studebaker wagon on the box of which was fastened a row of hoops. Over these was stretched a heavy canvas, which protected them from from rain and the heat of the sun. The wagon was filled with articles needed for the trip and there was still room for the women and children to sleep in it. John Woods drove another wagon where the men slept.
They left their Decatur home located a mile west of the village on what is now M-40. Their first stop was at the Code school, where they said good-bye to the teacher, Miss Mary Caldwell and their school mates. They next stopped at the Christie and Bradley farms, at Mile Ryans and the O'Rourkes.
They drove on to the Johns home in Silvercreek, where they spent the night. The next day they drove to Niles and spent the night with a relative, George Hoppin. This was the last they spent at a house until they reached Gilman, Iowa, where they spent the night with another relative.
They drove through rain and mud the first ten days, and camping by the roadside was far from pleasant. A two burner stove and oven enabled the woman to provide meals. It was very hard work. After supper was over and the horses feed and groomed, the families sat around the campfire and enjoyed an hour or two of rest and comfort until bedtime. Mr Vanderhoof would read a chapter from the bible and say a prayer, before retired under the canvas for the night. Jack the big black and white dog would curl up under the wagon where the women and children slept.
The two wagons were placed close together, and only once did they feel any danger from prowlers. Jack's angry growls kept them away. The horses were tied to the backs of the wagons.
The farmers along the sold them grain and hay and milk and vegetables. One of the great events for the children was crossing the Mississippi River.
Mr Vanderhoof's membership in the Odd Fellows Lodge was a great help to them. The Pin he wore on his coat lapel brought them many friendly greetings and questions about their trip.
At Gilman Iowa they enjoyed for the third time another night of sleeping in a bed at relatives. They started out the next day, and in another week to ten days reached LaVeme, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderhoof's son, David worked in a store there, and helped make their stay peasant.
The travelers were nearing their destination. After leaving LaVeme came Dell Rapids, Dakota Territory, then Madison, and then Herman, on a pretty lake of the same name. When driving into Herman, they saw ties being laid for the railroad, and thought their goods that they had shipped from Decatur would be arriving soon, but they had to wait many months for them.
A group of Odd Fellows and other gathered and directed them to their claim.
Their winter in Dakota Territory was the hardest they had ever experienced, excepting the terrible blizzard of 1886. I think they were there for about eight years before returning to Decatur, VanBuren, MI. While in Dakota Territory, the had three more sons, Clarence B., James and John Wiley.
After returning to VanBuren Co., they had four more children, Carrie, Harry, Harold and Violet.
Wiley S Woods (1821 - 1864)
Virginia Hinchman Woods (1825 - 1858)
Helen M Vanderhoof Woods (1859 - 1897)
William Sherban Woods (1879 - 1897)*
Clarence Woods (1883 - 1978)*
Harold Woods (1884 - 1909)*
James David Woods (1886 - 1907)*
John Wiley Woods (1887 - 1936)*
Carrie Woods Baldwin (1889 - 1957)*
Harry Woods (1892 - 1894)*
Violet Woods (1897 - 1898)*
Sarah Catherine Woods Lewis (1848 - 1939)*
John B Woods (1856 - 1930)
Amanda A Woods (1858 - 1858)*
James S Woods (1858 - 1906)*
Van Buren County
Created by: Sharon Risner
Record added: Sep 09, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21461132