Lee County Biography

Franklin W. Woodford
Dixon Township


Franklin W. Woodford, an intelligent and respected farmer residing on section 28, Dixon Township, is the only son of Truman 0. and Harriet (Alexander) Woodford. His father was a native of Connecticut and with his parents, Truman Woodford, when a small lad, removed to Onondaga Coumty, N. Y., the family locating in the wilds of Pompey Township, far from any other settlement. There they spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying at the age of ninety years, while the mother was called to her final rest at the age of eighty. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church. Truman 0. Woodford was the fourth in order of birth in their family of six sons and three daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters are yet living in the Empire State. One of the family, Harvey M., now deceased, was a soldier of the War of 1812.

The father of our subject was the only one who came West. In Onondaga County, N. Y., he married Miss Alexander, who was born in that county and was a daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth (Maxwell) Alexander, who came of New England families of Scotch origin. They lived upon a farm in Onondaga County, where the death of Mr. Alexander occurred at the age of ninety years, his wife dying in her fifty-first year. It was in 1855 that Truman 0. Woodford brought his family to Lee County, Ill., and located on the farm now occupied by our subject. It was then a wild and barren tract of land but he transformed it into rich and fertile fields. Some years later he removed to Dixon, where he lived a retired life until called to the home beyond in 1883, at the age of seventy-six years. His wife is still living in Dixon, and although now seventy-eight years of age, retains both her mental and physical faculties to a remarkable degree. She is a lady well known throughout the community and is greatly beloved by her many friends. Mr. Woodford voted with the Republican party and in religious belief was a Presbyterian. Besides Our subject, there was only one other child in the family, a daughter, Louisa, who is now the wife of Isaac W. McCasky, a merchant of Chicago.

Franklin Woodford, one of the well known and highly respected citizens of Dixon Township, was born in the town of Pompey, Onondaga County, in 1833. When his parents emigrated to Illinois, he accompanied them and located upon the old home farm which his father had purchased in 1852. It is now his property and comprises three hundred acres of arable land, under a high state of cultivation. This desirable and valuable farm is pleasantly situated on the outskirts of Dixon, in fact ad- joins the city limits near Rock River Park. Its close proximity thus enables the family to enjoy the comforts and luxuries of city life as well as the pleasures of country life. On the east the farm is bordered by the Rock River, which is another attractive feature of the place. The improvements there seen are many and are in keeping with the enterprising and progressive spirit of the owner. The place is well stocked and in all its appointments the farm is most complete.

Mr. Woodford was a single man when he came to Illinois, however, he soon afterwards returned to the Empire State and the cause of the journey was explained when he brought back with him a bride. The maiden name of the lady was Rosetta Potter, and she is a native of Erie County, N. Y. Her parents, Levi and Lydih (Gould) Potter, were also born in Erie County, where they grew to mature years and were married. Mr. Potter for some time followed farming and also engaged in merchandising. After the birth and marriage of their only child, Mrs. Woodford, they came West, locating in Chicago, where Mr. Potter died in 1878, at the age of sixty years. Four years previous his wife had been called to her final home, at the age of fifty-two. He had been reared under the auspices of the Society of Friends but was excommunicated on account of marrying outside of the church, his wife being a Universalist, he had taken quite a prominent Part in Public affairs, was a stanch Republican in politics, filled a number of minor offices and while residing in New York represented his district in the State Legislature.

Mrs. Woociford received excellent educational advantages and attended school in East Hamburg. By her marriage she has become the mother of five children: Burt P., H. Louise, Mary L., Julia Marion and Agnes H. The family circle yet remains unbroken. The children were all provided with good educational advantages, having attended the city schools of Dixon and are thereby well fitted for the practical duties of life. The family is one well and favorably known throughout the community and in social circles its members rank high. In politics, Mr. Woodford is a Republican but has never sought the honor of emoluments of political office. About thirty-seven years have passed since he came to the county and with the history of its development and progress he ha~ since been connected. All social, educational and moral interests find in him a friend and among the valued and representative citizens of the community is numbered the gentleman whose name heads this sketch.

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