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WOOD, REUBEN

WOOD, REUBEN (1792-1 Oct. 1864), 16th governor of Ohio (1850-53), was born in Middletown, Vt., son of Nathaniel and Lucretia Wood. He moved to Canada at 15 and studied law, was conscripted into the Royalist Militia during the WAR OF 1812, but fled to the U.S. and served briefly in the U.S. Army. He arrived in Cleveland in 1818, bringing his family in 1819 aboard the first steamship to visit the city, WALK-IN-THE-WATER. Wood was elected president of the village of Cleveland in 1821. In 1825, he was elected to his first of 3 terms in the Ohio senate; in 1830, he was elected judge of the common pleas court; in 1832, he was elected to his first of 2 terms as judge of the Ohio Supreme Court (1833-47), serving the last 3 years as chief justice. Wood was elected governor in 1850, however in June 1851 voters approved the new Ohio constitution requiring the election of officials in odd-numbered years; Wood was again elected governor in 1851. In his 1851 inaugural address, he expressed his abhorrence of the Fugitive Slave Law and urged its repeal. Wood narrowly missed being nominated for president at the 1852 Democratic Natl. Convention, losing to Franklin Pierce. He resigned the governorship in 1853 to become consul in Valparaiso, Chile. A year later he returned to Cleveland and resumed his law practice. Wood married Mary Rice in 1816 and had 2 daughters, Loretta and Mary. Wood and his wife are buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.