Leavenworth Evening Republican
Articles in database from Leavenworth Evening Republican: 1
End of Sam Wood. Hugoton -- This city was thrown into a ferment yesterday by the shooting of Col. Sam N. Wood by James Brennan. Col. Wood was in attendance upon the court...and got into an altercation with Brennan over the former troubles over county seat wars and Brennan deliberately shot Wood down, killing him almost instantly. The murder of Col. Wood took place in the presence of his wife. Wood was shot three times, dying in a few moments....This is the first bloodshed in this county over the seat troubles since July 25, 1888, when Sheriff Cross and party, consisting of Hubbard, Wilcox, Eaton and Tonney, were shot and the first four killed....
His Eventful Career. Col. Sam Wood was a native of Ohio. He was born at Mount Gilead, Dec. 30, 1825. He was the son of David and Esther Mosher Wood, Quakers. From early youth he was educated to uncompromising opposition to slavery and became an abolitionist of the most pronounced type. At the age of 19, he was made chairman of the Liberal Party in his native county and in 1854 he was admitted to the bar in Morrow County.
An earnest opposer of the Kansas and Nebraska law, Wood moved to Kansas in 1854 to assert his principles in that fight. He located near Lawrence, where he resided during the exciting times of 1855 and 1857. His bravery soon made him prominent in the anti-slavery party and he at once took a prominent part in the early struggles....He was not only an effective stump speaker but a fighter, and incurred the hatred of the border ruffians....At a meeting out of which grew the "Waukarusa War," he was one of the principal speakers. He was a Kansas delegate to the Pittsburgh convention in 1856, at which the Republican Party was first formed as a national organization....
Wood was an extremist in everything he did. His outspoken manner on any and all subjects of consequence often made him many and bitter enemies, who connived at his political death. But he was irrepressible and would bob up at the next state convention with as much energy as at the previous one when he had been so unmercifully sat down upon.
The first home of this pioneer on Kansas soil was a claim taken in 1856 six miles west of Lawrence. Here he erected a small frame house for his wife and two children and lived there for a short time only. He both wrote and spoke in the cause of the free state party. His contributions to the few newspapers of the day were numerous, scarcely an issue passing of all papers near his home but they contained one of those characteristic rasping, personal articles in which he so delighted in attacking an enemy. He was thoroughly posted on the Bible, having read it through more than 25 times.
In 1859 Wood established the Kansas Press at Cottonwood Falls. The same year he was elected to the territorial legislature and re-elected in 1860. He was afterward elected to the senate and in each house was made chairman of the judiciary committee. He was appointed collector of customs at Paso del Norte, Tex., by President Lincoln, but resigned at the breaking out of the war.
As captain of the Kansas Rangers, Wood won distinction at Wilson's Creek and in other battles. He was removed to Missouri and placed at the head of Fremont's battalion and finally made lieutenant colonel. After the war, he was several times elected to the senate and house. He was speaker of the house in 1867.
In that year he established the Chase County Leader. He was appointed judge of the Ninth Judicial District in 1867. During 1869 and 1870 he was engaged in the cattle business in Texas. In 1872 he left the Republican Party, which he had helped to found, and ardently supported Horace Greeley for the presidency....He edited the Kansas Greenbacker at Emporia from 1878 to 1879, and was editor-in-chief of the Kansas State Journal in 1881.
...Col. Wood's career during the past three years has added to his notoriety if not to his fame. First he became conspicuous because of the Stevens County troubles from which he absented himself when they became too warm. Then his well known ability gave him a prominent place among the counselors of the People's Party. He was made clerk of the last house judiciary committee and outlined the course which the People's Party took in much of its financial legislation. He early got into a quarrel with Speaker Elder and the two men were at outs most of the session.
His main fight during the legislature was to secure the impeachment of Botkin. He caused the impeachment proceedings to be instituted in the house and furnished the evidence which was submitted to the senate.
Wood's reputation was based on the fact that he was a remarkably quick thinker....Wood was one of the most amusing stump speakers in Kansas and could draw an audience at any time. Physically he was one of the most powerful men in the state. When freighting across the plains with an ox team, a sheriff undertook to arrest him for some trivial offense in the city of Topeka. The sheriff was knocked down and he called upon three bystanders to assist him. Wood drew his coat and whipped all three men and went on his way unmolested.