Victor H. Woods, whose skill and ability in the line of his profession were the means of securing his election to the position of surveyor general of California, which position he is now filling with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents, was born in Iowa, on the 13th of February, 1868, his parents being James E. and Mary H. (Patton) Woods, both of whom were representatives of old American families established in the new world when this country was still numbered among the colonial possessions of Great Britain. The father was born in Connecticut, the mother in Ohio. At the time of the Civil war James E. Woods gave proof of his loyal devotion to the country by enlisting in the Fifth Iowa Infantry, and served under General Rosecrans throughout the period of hostilities. Following his return from the south he was elected county recorder of Keokuk county, Iowa, filling the position from 1866 until 1873, when he came to California, bringing his family numbering six children--Victor H. and his five sisters. The father located first at Mayfield, Santa Clara county, and followed the profession of surveying throughout the western states. He devoted a number of years to that work and then retired from that field of activity, taking up his abode on a ranch in San Mateo county, which he still owns and operates.
The early boyhood days of Victor H. Woods passed without special incident. He attended the public schools of Mayfield, California, and afterwards the public schools of San Francisco, being a graduate of the Mission grammar school of the latter city, of the class of 1883. The succeeding year was spent in Wyoming, in connection with a government corps of surveyors. In 1885 he entered upon a course of special study in the University of the Pacific at San Jose, studying surveying and engineering from 1885 until 1887. On leaving that institution he took up the active work of the profession, which he followed in California and other coast states, and in January, 1893, he located in San Luis Obispo. In November, 1894, he ws elected county surveyor there and filled the position for two terms, or eight consecutive years. In 1902, his ability in the line of his profession being sidely recognized, as well as his fitness for office, he was nominated and elected surveyor general of the state for a term of four years, so that he is the present incumbent in the office, and in the discharge of his duties has manifested an aptitude and fidelity which indicates a thorough knowledge of the work and a paatriotic loyalty to the best interests of the state. His election came as a Republican candidate, and of the party he has ever been a stanch advocate.
In December, 1898, Mr. Woods was united in marriage to Miss Adelaide C. Spafford, a native of Chicago, Illinois, and a daughter of James M. and Elizabeth (Hovey) Spafford. They have two children, Helen Evelyn and Frances Dorothy. Mrs. Woods is a member of the society of Daughters of the American Revolution, and in Sacramento, although her residence here has been comparatively brief, she has already won many friends and therefore the hospitality of many homes is extended to her. Mr. Woods holds membership relations with the Masons and the Elks, and also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is connected with the Rebekah degree of Odd Fellowship. He is now well known throughout the state by virtue of his office and also by reason of the important character of the work to which he has given his attention throughout his business career. Thoroughness has characterized him in all his undertakings, and added to this trait he manifests in office the public-spirited citizenship which is too often lacking in those who fill positions of high authority and responsibility.
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