Samuel Woods, who is a popular and successful farmer residing in the Ray school district of San Joaquin county, has spent practically all his life in the county and has worked out his career on broad lines of success. A native of Marion county, Missouri, where he was born July 14, 1841, he was a son of Samuel M. and Elizabeth (Leffler) Woods, his father a native of Virginia and of Scotch extraction, and his mother a native of Pennsylvania, of German stock.

When the son Samuel was eleven years old, in 1852, the family, consisting of parents and eight children, set out from Missouri and after a trip across the plains lasting some six months arrived in California. The first few years were spent at various places. Their first location was in San Joaquin county, where Collegeville now stands, then the father mined gold at Orleans Flat in Nevada county, and subsequently they moved to Sacramento county, which remained their home until 1857, when permanent location was made in San Joaquin county on the ranch now owned and occupied by Mr. Woods. Samuel M. Woods was a typical California pioneer. During the winter of 1853 he conducted the old-time Western Hotel at Stockton, and for a while in 1856 was proprietor of the hotel at Pleasant Grove in Placer county. From 1857 until his death in November, 1880, he was engaged in ranching and similar pursuits in San Joaquin county. His good wife passed away in November, 1870. Of their children, three survive: Hugh M.; Samuel; and Susan E., widow of the late Laurel L. Creech, a former pioneer merchant of Stockton.

Mr. Samuel Woods has thus spent all the years since boyhood in San Joaquin county, where he received his education in private and district schools and became trained to honest and efficient industry. The old homestead ranch of which he became owner consists of three hundred and twenty acres of choice land, most of which is devoted to grain and stock-raising, and forty acres are in vineyard. For several years Mr. Woods served as a director of the old Mokelumne school district, since consolidated with the Franklin district and named the Ray school district. He is a Democrat in politics and public-spirited on all occasions. He is interested as a stockholder in the Stockton Creamery Company, which conducts its establishment two miles south of his ranch.

September 25, 1882, Mr. Woods married Mrs. Frances A. Ellis, widow of Abner Ellis, a former resident and early settler of San Joaquin county. Her parents were John and Elizabeth (Turner) Plummer, both native Missourians. Mrs. Woods was born in Butte county, Iowa, October 25, 1845, and in childhood she lost her father in Missouri. In 1852 her mother came out to California, and in 1854 married for her second husband S. H. Axtell, at Placerville. In the same year Mr. and Mrs. Axtell, accompanied by the latter's two children, moved to Woodbridge in San Joaquin county. Here Mrs. Woods grew up, and in 1866 married Abner Ellis, by whom she had four children, three of whom are living, as follows: Mary E., wife of Jacob Brock, Jr., of San Joaquin county; Cassandra B., wife of Henry C. Meyer, of Stockton; and Ada P., wife of Adolph Eddleman, of San Joaquin county. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Woods have four children, Clarence L., Clara J., Reta P. and Frances E., all of whom live at home.

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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