Standing high in the estimation of the people, the late Walter H. Wood was a worthy member of the pioneer family of that name, and at his passing was mourned by his devoted family and a host of friends. A native son, he was born at San Felipe, Santa Clara County, December 5, 1868, a son of Uriah and Phoebe L. (Smith) Wood, the father a native of Cattaraugus County, N. Y., and the mother was an Ohioan, but grew to womanhood in Illinois. Uriah Wood was born September 5, 1829, and when ten years of age he accompanied his parents to Illinois.

The Woods are of remote German extraction, but long identified with the United States. The paternal great-grandfather, David Wood, was a native of New York who suffered the terror of being taken captive by the Indians when a boy, but made his escape and reached home in safety. Some years afterwards, when he had grown to man's estate, he became a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The paternal grandfather, Uriah D., was born and reared in New York and in early manhood engaged in lumbering in the Alleghany mountains. In 1839 he took his family from New York to Illinois, making the trip with horses through Ohio and Indiana, settling in Whiteside County. However, he removed to La Salle County within the next two years, and here devoted himself to farming.

Uriah Wood, the father, in company with three other young men started for the West in 1852, crossing the plains with oxen and arrived at Hang-town, Cal., in September of 1852. He engaged in various occupations, the last being teaming in the redwoods. Money being scarce he accepted as payment horses and cattle, and thus accumulated 100 head of cattle. By exchanging and selling, his herds were increased, and all the time he was buying land. until he had acquired some 5,000 acres. All of his real estate was incorporated under the title of Uriah Wood Company, he acting as president and his four sons being directors in the organization. In 1885 that family removed to San Jose. In 1862 he was  married to Miss Phoebe L. Smith, and they were the parents of four sons, Chester W., Walter H., of this review; Ralph W., deceased, and Louis E.

Walter H. Wood began his education in the public schools, supplementing with a course at Brewer Military Academy at San Mateo, and later at the College of the Pacific, San Jose. His first business venture was in the banking business in Seattle, Wash., but that was of short duration; then he established an export and import business in the same city and was thus engaged until 1894, when he returned to the Santa Clara Valley and assisted his father and brothers in the management of their extensive stock business in Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties. Later he engaged in the dairy business near Los Banos, Merced County, and was very successful in this enterprise. At the time of his father's death on June 13, 1914, he assumed full charge of the large land holdings and stock business.

Mr. Wood was married at San Jose in 1893 to Miss Maude E. Madegan, a native of California, born near Petaluma, Sonoma County, a daughter of
William and Alice Mary (Cooper) Madegan.. Her father descended from a Scotch-Irish family and the mother was of English parentage and a native of New York. At the time of her marriage, she was a student at the College of Notre Dame in San Jose. They are the parents of two children, Doris M., the wife of Ed. Koch of San Jose, and Aletha..

 Mr. Wood was a man of sterling worth and character; he was a great lover of outdoor life and spent his vacation periods each year with his family, seeking the restful peace And quiet of the National Parks, especially Yosemite. It was in July, 1918, that he made his last trip into Yosemite. After having spent a time with his family in the park, he had returned with a number of his business friends from San Jose on a hunting and fishing tour and was stricken suddenly ill, which resulted in his death on July 29, 1918, at the Yosemite Hospital.

Mrs. Wood is conducting the business interests of the estate bequeathed to her and the children and shows remarkable aptitude in all financial and business matters. She enjoys the association of a host of friends and acquaintances, extending gracious hospitality of her beautiful home at 425 South Second Street, San Jose. Politically Mr. Wood was a stalwart Republican and fraternally he was a member of the Elks of San Jose.
From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 907


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight