Among the upbuilders of San Joaquin county who have been most prominent in the promotion of its interests and in its development is numbered E. W.S. Woods. He has for a long period been recognized as a forceful and honored factor in agricultural and financial circles and one whose influence has not been a minor element among the leading business men of his portion of California. He has attained to prominence through the inherent force of his character, the exercise of his native talent and the utilization of surrounding opportunities. he has become a capitalist whose business career excites the admiration and has won the respect of his contemporaries, yet it is not this alone that entitles him to rank as one of the foremost men of his day in San Joaquin county, for his connection with the public interests of the city of Stockton has been far-reaching and beneficial and his business affairs have been of a character that have resulted not only in personal benefit, but have also promoted public prosperity.

Mr. Woods is a native of Andrew county, Missouri, born on the 10th of May, 1849, and in the paternal line is of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His father, Johnson Woods, was a native of Indiana and in early manhood wedded Mahala Easton, who was also born in that state. Johnson Woods left Missouri in 1850 and crossed the plains to California, attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific coast. Making his way to the mines he there engaged in the search for the precious metal, spending his last days in Mariposa county. His death occurred in 1852, and he is still survived by Mrs. Woods, who resides in Tulare county, California, and is now in the eighty-fourth year of her age. John N. Woods, a brother of our subject and the senior member of the firm of Woods Brothers, came to California in 1857, settling in San Joaquin county, and throughout the intervening period he has been numbered among the residents of Stockton and is to-day classed among the representative and honored pioneers of this portion of the state.

In 1863 E. W. S. Woods, his mother and his brothers, with the exception of the one mentioned, came to San Joaquin county, the family locating at what is now Acampo, where their home was maintained for many years. There the subject of this review resided during the greater part of the time until 1881, when he removed to Tulare county, California, and at one time he was a resident of Butte county. In 1890, however, he located permanently in Stockton, where he now resides, having a beautiful home at 1109 North Edwards street. He was a youth of fourteen years at the time of his arrival in California. He had attended the public schools of Missouri, but his privileges and opportunities were not greater than those accorded other lads of the period, and that he has won success is due entirely to his own well directed efforts. Since his arrival in San Joaquin county he has been closely identified with the material development and substantial growth of this portion of the state. Quick to recognize and inprove an opportunity, he has progressed steadily in business and has found in each transition stage the opportunity for further advancement. In 1887, in company with his brother, John N. Woods, under the firm name of Woods Brothers, he became interested in the reclaimed lands on Roberts Island, and from time to time they have made purchases there until their realty possessions on the island now comprise eighty-five hundred acres in one body. they also own an eight hundred acre ranch near Lodi, California, a portion of which is planted to grape vines and theirs is one of the finest vineyards in that part of the state. Mr. Woods is well known as a real estate operator and as an agriculturist, and along both lines he conducts a business that has proved profitable. Concentrated effort, indefatigable energy, perseverance and well applied business principles have won for him the victory which he started out to win years ago, making him one of the capitalists of San Joaquin county and a man whose business career commands the admiration and respect of all.

While controlling important private interests Mr. Woods has also found time to devote to the public welfare, and his efforts have been effective in advancing the work of general improvement in San Joaquin county. He is now a member of the Stockton board of education and has served in that capacity for eleven years, acting as its chairman at the present time. He has also been a candidate for county supervisor of San Joaquin county from the second and fourth wards, being nominated on the Democratic ticket several years ago. He believes firmly in the principles of Democracy and puts forth every effort in hispower to promote the growth and success of his party. Socially he is a prominent Mason, belonging to San Joaquin Lodge, F. & A. M., at Stockton and to other branches of Masonry. He has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, is a member of the Consistory at Sacramento, and in his life he exemplifies the beneficent teachings of the craft. He is also a member of Stockton Lodge No. 218, B. P. O. E.

Mr. Woods has been twice married. He first wedded Miss Lydia Downing, of San Joaquin county, California, and they had one daughter, Effie L., who is the wife of John Howard Park, a well known banker of San Francisco, California. His second wife bore the maiden name of Alice M. Markle, who was a resident of San Joaquin county. There are three sons by this marriage: Lloyd H., Armond H. and Maarcy S. The family home is one of the finest residences in Stockton, situated at the corner of Eldorado and Magnolia streets, and is celebrated for its gracious and generous hospitality. Both Mr. and Mrs. Woods occupy a most enviable position in social circles, and the number of their friends is almost co-extensive with the number of their acquaintances.

Success comes not to the man who idly waits, but to the faithful toiler, whose work is characterized by intelligence and force and who has the foresight and keenness of mental vision to know when and where and how to exert his nergies, and thus it happens that but a small proportion of those who enter the "world's broad field of battle" come off victors in the struggle for wealth and position. Some lack perseverance and others business sagacity and still others are dilatory or negligent, but Mr. Woods has paid the price of concentrated effort, of indefatigable energy and of perseverance and well applied business principles and has won the victory which he started out to win years ago.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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