From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 441-443


Hugh D. Wood, M.D. -- The majority of men who have attained eminence in our country have struggled up from poverty and obscurity to positions of fortune, or fame.  Here nature's true noblemen come to the front by industry and energy and the people recognize their worth and give them the honor due as a reward for the exercise of their learning, genius or moral worth.  They make our laws, shape our institutions and lay the foundation for the development of the minds of the masses.  In the gentleman whose name heads this brief sketch the citizens of Steuben County have a leader in all that goes to make their county, as it is, one of the best in the State.  Of untiring energy and restless activity, he is ever pressing toward the mark that insures the victor with the highest praise given the American citizen and attained only by close application and devotion to the pursuit chosen as his lifework.  Hugh D. Wood was born in Bainbridge, Chenango Co., N. Y., June 28, 1836, and was the son of Joseph Wheeler Wood, who was born in New York in 1801, of English origin, and Sarah Wood, nee Farnham, who was born in Connecticut, Aug. 5, 1804, of Welsh descent.  His parents were married in New York, and about 1843 moved to Williams County, Ohio, removing in 1846 to DeKalb County, Ind., where the father died in 1851, and the mother in 1859.  Hugh D. was the sixth of a family of nine children.   He attended the district schools in Williams County, Ohio, and DeKalb County, Ind., the most of which he paid for by doing chores before and after school hours.  In 1856 he attended the Northeastern Institute at Orland, Ind., one year and subsequently Hillsdale College, Mich., till 1859, which completed his literary and scientific education.  During his college life he taught school several terms and thus was enabled to work his way through college, independent and unaided.  His vacations and leisure hours were spent in reading medicine under his brother, W. A. Wood, at that time a resident of Metz.  In 1860-'61 he attended a course of lectures at the medical department of the University of Buffalo, N. Y., and in February, 1861, began to practice in Metz in connection with his brother, and the following year practiced alone.  In the winter of 1863-'64 he attended lectures at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York, and the medical schools of Philadelphia, and in 1866-'67 again attended Bellevue Hospital College, graduating in 1867.  May 6, 1869, he moved to Angola to fill the vacancy caused by the death of his brother, W. A. Wood, and in 1873-'74 attended a general course of lectures at three of the medical schools of New York.  Thus he has obtained a thorough education in every branch of his profession, and by constant study and practice keeps apace with the leading physicians of the age.  He was one of the organizers of the Fort Wayne Medical College and is Treasurer of the Board of Trustees and Dean of the faculty.  His specialty is surgery and he has performed many difficult operations.  He is Professor of gynecology and clinical surgery in the Fort Wayne Medical College and delivers a lecture there twice each week.  In 1879 he received the degree of A. M. from his Alma Mater, Hillsdale College, Mich.  He is a member of the Steuben Medical Society, and was its President from 1866 till 1869, and Secretary several years of the Northeastern Indiana Medical Society, of which he was President in 1872, and Secretary since July 1, 1874; of the Indiana, Ohio and Michigan Tri-State Medical Society of which he was one of the Vice-Presidents in 1876; of the Allen County Medical Society; of the Southern Michigan Medical Association, of which he was President in 1883; of the American Medical Association and the International Medical Congress.  He has been Secretary of the Steuben County Board of Health since its organization in 1881.  As a physician he stands in the front rank in Northeastern Indiana, and the Northwest, and his practice is extensive and lucrative.  He regards his profession from an elevated standpoint and the "quack" is in his eyes most despicable.  The young physician struggling into a living practice finds in Dr. Wood a true friend and adviser.  He inspires them to better and more extensive study and encourages with his sympathy and friendly interest.  Believing that the world has a place for each of its children, he has no need to discourage the weakest of his young brethren, but assists them to find the place best calculated to advance their material interests.  A courteous, affable gentleman, and a public-spirited, progressive citizen, he is a useful member of society, and his opinions, fearlessly expressed, are regarded with favor by his friends, and with repsect by those differing from him.  He was the first mover in establishing the Tri-State Normal College Association, located at Angola; raised nearly all the money for the grounds and buildings, and was its first and present President.  Dr. Wood was married Dec. 3, 1863, to Joanna Powers, daughter of Hon. Clark and Hannah (Ketchum) Powers, natives of New York.  Mrs. Wood was born in Steuben County, Dec. 15, 1845.  But one of their three children is living, a son -- Weir.



Submitted by Kim Davoli