An American Family History

Clara Fox Wood

Anna Benson
Anna Benson Wood

Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa and is in Lincoln Township.

Clara & Fred
Nebraska was not settled by many European-Americans until 1848. In the 1860s, the government took Native American land and opened it for homesteaders. Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867,
Clara FoxFred Wood
Clara and Fred Wood

Lucas County is in south central Iowa. It was founded in 1846 and the county seat is Chariton.

The 1918 influenza pandemic was also called the Spanish flu. It was caused by an unusually deadly strain and most victims were healthy, young adults. The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920. One third of the world's population, became infected.

In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

The Civil War had more casualties than any other American war. Disease and infection were the biggest killers.

Clara Fox Wood was the oldest child of John Newton Fox and Sarah Jane Ricketts. She was born in Benton Township, Lucas County, Iowa on April 29, 1863 during the Civil War.

She married Frederick Chancier Wood, who was a barber, when she was 29 and he was 42 on July 4, 1893 in Lucas County. Fred was born in July 8, 1850 in Ohio. He was the son of Nimrod Wood and Rebecca Clowser.

Fred had been married before to Anna Benson. Anna was born in April, 1854 in Ohio. Her parents were Emerson Benson and Mary Dillon. Fred and Anna had three children:
Jesse Benson Wood (1877),
John William Wood (1877), and
Blanch Mary Wood Duckworth (1880, married Eddie Lee Duckworth).

In connection with the fire of last Thursday evening occurred two accidents which proved quite severe and entailed human suffering in a large degree...F. C. Wood, the barber, was the other victim and his injuries are more serious. He fell from a dray to which was fastened on behind the hook and ladder wagon. The hind dray wheel passed over his left arm and body, and the ladder wagon over both legs below the knees. The arm was bruised and the bones crushed, while sustaining painful internal injuries. His limbs were scratched and bruised. The unfortunates were conveyed to their homes, the wounds and fractures properly dressed and we are pleased to state they are resting comfortable at present, though it will be several weeks before they will have use of the crippled members. October, 25, 1894 H

Clara's Family
Front: Fred Wood, Lois Wood, Clara Fox Wood
Middle: Rebecca Wood Kurchinski
Back: Goldie Wood Smith, Faye Wood Duncan, Fern Wood Child, and Catherine Wood.
photo courtesy of Frank Child

Clara and Fred had six daughters who were all born in Iowa. Fern Wood Child was born in February, 1895. She married Frank B. Child and lived in Des Moines. They had two children Lois Shirley and Frank W. Child. Fern died in 1988.

Leah Faye Wood Duncan was born in January, 1897. She married Lyle Duncan and lived in Ottumwa. She died in 1972.

Rebecca J. Wood Kurchinski was born in December, 1898. She married Karl Kurchinski. Her children were Carl Kurchinski, Leona Lowe, and Clara Clark.

Goldie Wood Smith was born in 1902. She married Carol Smith and lived in Dallas, Texas.

Catherine Wood Johnson was born in 1904. Her first husband was Glen Marsh. Her children were Phillis Thomas and Richard March. She died in 1983.

Lois Wood was born in 1907 and passed away in 1918 at the age of eleven.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Wood, of Des Moines, formerly of this city, mourn the death of their little daughter, Lois, aged about 10 years, which occurred at their home in that city on Sunday night after an illness of about two weeks. Funeral services were held there yesterday. The sympathy of many Chariton friends will be extended to the sorrowing relatives. Miss Cora Tacker went up Tuesday to attend the last sad rites. March 14, 1918, Chariton Patriot

The family appeared in the 1900 census in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa. 

According to the local paper, Fred was in two accidents in 1903. In September a train engine fell through a bridge and in December he fell from a load of wood onto the back of his head.

In August, 1904 the local paper announced that he was moving to Thomas, Oklahoma.

At the time of the 1910 census, they were living in Fillmore County, Nebraska.

In 1916 Fred

was struck by an automobile as he was crossing the southeast corner of the square on Tuesday evening and was carried several feet. Fortunately he was not seriously injured.
Chariton Patriot, January 27, 1916

In 1920 they were living in Des Moines, Iowa.

Fred died in December, 1930 when he was hit by a street car in Des Moines and Clara followed on January 24, 1934.

Mrs. Fred C. Wood Stricken
Mrs. Fred C. Wood, of Des Moines, formerly of his city, suffered a stroke of paralysis on Monday and his been in serious condition. Mrs. Wood was formerly Miss Clara Fox and her home was in Chariton for many years, prior to moving to Des Moines. Her many friends here hope for her early recovery. Chariton Patriot, December 23, 1926

They are buried together at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

Children of:
John Newton Fox and
Sarah Jane Ricketts
  • Clara Fox Wood
  • Eliza Fox Smith
  • Bonham Fox
  • Merrit Fox
  • Orpha Fox
  • Etta Fox O'Dea
  • Mae Fox McKelvey

    Isabelle Solinger
    and R. Groves
  • Edward Groves
  • Isabelle Solinger
    and John Shelton
  • Clyde D. Sheldon
  • Leonard William Shelton
  • Maud May Shelton Netherow
  • Thomas Del Shelton
    John Fox and
    Isabelle Solinger
  • Earl Fox



    Former Chariton Lady Died Last Week in Des Moines
    Mrs. Fred C. Wood, 73, for many years a resident of Chariton, died at her home in Des Moines on Wednesday evening, January 24. She had been in usual health and was down town on Tuesday. At an early hour on Wednesday morning she suffered a stroke of paralysis, from which she never rallied.

    Funeral services were held at the Capital Hill Christian church on Saturday afternoon at two o'clock, and burial took place in Glendale cemetery.

    Clara Fox was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Fox and was born in Lucas county, Iowa on April 29, 1861. She was married in Chariton Iowa to Fred C. Wood who died about three years ago.

    They were parents of six daughters, one of whom, Lois, died at the age of eleven years. Those surviving are Mrs. Carol Smith of Dallas, Texas: Mrs. Lyle Duncan of Ottumwa, Iowa, Mrs.Carl Kurchinsky, Mrs. Glenn Marsh and Mrs. Frank Child, all of Des Moines: also one step-son Jesse Wood of Texas.One brother, Bony Fox of Bushyhead Oklahoma, and three sisters, Mrs. Jos. Smith of Moorcroft, Wyoming, Mrs. L L. McKilvey (sic) and Miss Orpha Fox of Des Moines and one half brother, Earl Fox of Chariton are living.


    The Chariton Leader
    December 16, 1930

    Fred C. Wood Killed by Car-Former Chariton Barber is Fatally Injured when Struck by Street Car

    Fred C. Wood, of 2220 East Thirteenth Street, Des Moines, who was a resident of Chariton for many years before moving to the capital city, and who was engaged in the barber business while living here, was fatally injured on Wednesday of last week when he was struck by a street car at the corner of East 12th street and Grand avenue. He was 80 years of age.

    Funeral services were held on Saturday afternoon at 230 o'clock at the Capital Hill Church of Christ in Des Moines, of which Mr. Wood was an elder. The Rev. Deloss Marken conducted the services and interment was in Glendale cemetery.

    Mr. Woods first wife died many years ago, also a son, Jesse, and a daughter. He was again married while living in Chariton to Miss Clara Fox, who with several grown children survives him.


    March 4, 1891 Patriot
    At his home in Benton Township on Monday. March, 2nd 1891, Nimrod Wood, age about 70 years.

    The funeral took place on Tuesday March 3rd, under the auspices of Lodge No. 64, I. O. O. F. of which the deceased was a member. Quite a number of Odd Fellows from Chariton attended. Mr. Wood was born in Delaware county, Penna, near what was then known as Bishop's Mills and removed to the state of Ohio when quite a young man, thence to Lucas county Iowa about thirty-five years ago. He was among the early settlers and was an upright man and a good citizen.


    The Chariton Leader, Chariton, Iowa
    Thursday, May 9, 1907

    Rebecca Clowser
    was born September 20, 1823, in Noble County, Ohio, and died in this city, May 7, 1907, from troubles peculiar to old age several weeks ago she was severely burned but these injuries had healed and it was thought her recovery was perfect but it may have had a telling effect on her vitality which did not at first appear.

    She was united in marriage to Nimrod Wood on January 27, 1849, and to them were born four sons and one daughter, one son dying at the age of 17. Her husband preceded her to the grave, passing to the unknown world several years since.

    The surviving children are Mrs. William Holmes, Fred, Isaac and J. H. Wood.

    She came with her husband to Lucas County in an early day and together they carved a home out of the wilds, enduring the trials and privations of the first settlers and were rewarded in their old age with plenty. She was for more than forty years a professor of religion and ever held consistent to her faith. She bore life's trials with fortitude and has gone to a Christian's reward.

    Funeral services are being held today at 2:00 o'clock p.m., conducted by her pastor, Elder D. L. Dunkelberger.

    Rebecca Clowser Wood
    Rebecca Clowser Wood
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