John Stephens Wood

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"John S. Wood" redirects here. For Major-General John Shirley Wood, see 4th Armored Division (United States).

John Stephens Wood (February 8, 1885 – September 12, 1968) was an American politician from the state of Georgia, USA. He served in the United States House of Representatives, 1931–1935 and 1945–1953.

Wood was born on a farm near Ball Ground, Cherokee County, Georgia, February 8, 1885. He attended the public schools, North Georgia Agricultural College, Dahlonega, Georgia, and graduated with a law degree from Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, in 1910. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced the practice of law in Jasper County, Georgia.

In 1915, Wood turned up at the scene of the lynching of Leo Frank with Judge Newt Morris on the morning after the lynching, and drove the vehicle in which Frank's body was conveyed to the undertaker. Whether he had any prior knowledge of or involvement with the lynching is open to dispute, as he and Judge Morris may have been simply trying to ensure Frank's body had a decent burial.[1][2][3]

Entering politics, Wood was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1917; served as Solicitor General of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, 1921–1925; and was a Superior Court Judge, Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, 1925–1931.

In 1931, Wood was elected as a Democrat from Georgia's 9th congressional district to the 72nd United States Congress and was reelected to the 73rd Congress as well (March 4, 1931 – January 3, 1935). He was unsuccessful in seeking renomination in 1934 and resumed the practice of law.

Ten years later, in 1944, Wood was elected to the 79th United States Congress serving until the 82nd Congress (January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1953). As chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee, he had a prominent role in investigating the American Communist Party and the entertainment industry; the investigation resulted in the Hollywood Blacklist. Wood was criticized for failing to investigate the Ku Klux Klan. He did not seek reelection in 1952 and resumed the practice of law in Canton, Georgia until failing health forced his retirement. Wood died in Marietta, Georgia, September 12, 1968, and was interred in Arlington Cemetery, Sandy Springs, Georgia.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas Montgomery Bell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th congressional district

March 4, 1931 – January 3, 1935
Succeeded by
B. Frank Whelchel
Preceded by
B. Frank Whelchel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th congressional district

January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1953
Succeeded by
Phillip M. Landrum

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Times, 18 August 1915
  2. ^ Steve Oney And the Dead Shall Rise pages 564, 621
  3. ^ Harry Golden A Little Girl is Dead