Reuben Wood

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Reuben Wood
Reuben Wood 002.png
21st Governor of Ohio
In office
December 12, 1850 – July 13, 1853
Lieutenant Vacant
William Medill
Preceded by Seabury Ford
Succeeded by William Medill
Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
February 6, 1833 – February 1847
Preceded by Peter Hitchcock
Succeeded by Edward Avery
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the Cuyahoga & other counties district
In office
December 5, 1825 – December 5, 1830
Preceded by Jabez Wright
Samuel Wheeler
Aaron Norton
Succeeded by John W. Willey
Personal details
Born 1792 (1792) or 1793 (1793)
Middletown Springs, Vermont
Died (aged 71–72)
Cleveland, Ohio
Resting place Woodland Cemetery, Cleveland
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Rice
Children Loretta Wood
Mary Wood

Reuben Wood (1792/1793 – October 1, 1864) was a Democratic politician from the U.S. state of Ohio. He served as the 21st Governor of Ohio.


Wood was born near Middletown, Rutland County, Vermont in either 1792 or 1793. While living with an uncle in Canada after his father died, Wood was conscripted into the Canadian Army at the outset of the War of 1812, but escaped across Lake Ontario and briefly served in the U.S. Army.[1]


Wood moved to Cleveland, Ohio – then a tiny village of 600 residents – in 1818 with his wife and infant daughter. He reputedly arrived with only $1.25 left to his name to work as a lawyer. He served in the Ohio State Senate from 1825 to 1830. In 1830, he was elected President Judge of the third judicial circuit.[2][3] He served on the Common Pleas Court bench from 1830 to 1833.[1]

Wood was elected in 1833 to the Ohio Supreme Court, and served two seven-year terms from 1833 to 1847.[4] He was defeated in a bid for a third term by a Whig candidate. He took office in late 1850 as governor. His first term was cut short by the implementation of a new state constitution, and he was re-elected in late 1851, re-inaugurated in early 1852. He resigned on July 13, 1853 to take a position as the American consul in Valparaíso, Chile. He remained there until 1855, when he retired to Cleveland.

Wood married Mary Rice, of Clarendon, Vermont in 1816 or 1817. They had two daughters.[3]

Wood was known as The tall chief of the Cuyahogas,[5] or Cuyahoga Chief,[2] or Old Cuyahoga Chief,[6] or Old Chief of the Cuyahogas.[3]


Wood died at his farm, Evergreen Place, eight miles west of Cleveland, on October 1, 1864 from bilious colic.[6] He was initially interred on the farm, and was later reburied at Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland.[3][7]


  1. ^ a b "REUBEN WOOD". The Ohio Historical Society. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Rice, Harvey (May–October 1885). "Western Reserve Jurists". In Williams, William W. Magazine of Western History. 2. Cleveland. p. 203. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Reuben Wood". The Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Judicial System. 
  4. ^ "Ohio Governor Reuben Wood". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ Upton, Harriet Taylor (1910). Cutler, Harry Gardner, ed. History of the Western Reserve. 1. New York: The Lewis Publishing Company. p. 521. 
  6. ^ a b Cleave, Egbert (1875). City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County: taken from Cleave's Biographical Cyclopaedie of the state of Ohio. Cleveland: Fairbanks, Benedict & Co. pp. 35–36. 
  7. ^ Wickham 1914, p. 217.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Seabury Ford
Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
William Medill
Legal offices
Preceded by
Peter Hitchcock
Ohio Supreme Court Judges
Succeeded by
Edward Avery
Party political offices
Preceded by
John B. Weller
Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Ohio
1850, 1851
Succeeded by
William Medill