E. W. WOOD
From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Mrs. Eugene Wood
Eliphalet Whitman Wood was born October 15, 1872, a son of Stephen George and Elizabeth Townsley Wood. He was married to Osa Catherine Smith November 26, 1896, in Brighton, Iowa. To this union six children were born: Helen, Charles, Merle, Eugene, and Catherine. One daughter, Elizabeth, died in infancy. Although residents of Brighton, Iowa, half of their adult life, Mr. and Mrs. Wood were early day travelers in Powder River County, coming to visit Mrs. Wood's brothers Charles, Sam, and Frank Smith, who had homesteaded near Broadus. In 1926 the decision was made to come to Montana permanently. After disposing of their Iowa property, they leased the Billie Glenn ranch in Custer County. Mr. Wood, Charles and Merle rode the freight out with their machinery, one team, milk cow and bulls. The only horses in this shipment being one team, the cows were driven on foot from Miles City. The two wagons were tied together and loaded with machinery. The milk cow was led behind to act as lead cow. When the Big Pumpkin bridge was crossed, the machinery made such a racket the cow pulled back, fell down, and was dragged across. The result was a crippled cow to trail 50 miles. About 25 miles out from Miles City their horses got away one night. While they were out looking for them, a dog came into camp and ate their grub. When the stage driver, Roy Hayes, came by they ordered more food. He, being very forgetful, forgot each day to bring any, so they enjoyed a diet of potatoes until they reached Volborg. In August of that year they returned to Iowa for Mrs. Wood. Helen, Eugene, and Catherine and the remainder of the livestock. Mrs. Wood remained in Miles City, where she ran a boarding house until Catherine finished school. Helen started teaching school at the Glendale School in Custer County, later in Custer County High School before going to Phoenix, Arizona, where she and Tom Watson were married. They now reside in Los Angeles, California, and have two children, Jane and John. Charles has a ranch in Custer County. His wife is the former Martha Hood of Miles City. Their children are Richard, Kay, and Charlie. Merle and his wife, the former Frances Morang, of Miles City, have two children, Barbara and Laura. Catherine is Mrs. Marcus Tonn. Eugene and Mae Gold were married in Miles City, October 3, 1937. Their children are Helen Jeanne, now Mrs. Walter Jones of Anchorage, Alaska, twins, Sandra and Stephen, and Blanche. After leasing the Tom Scott ranch for several years, Mr. Wood purchased a railroad section near Stacey that is now part of the Eugene Wood ranch. Having started in the purebred Hereford business in Iowa, he continued in Montana. His brand was two OH on the left hip. It is now used by Eugene. One of Mr. Wood's most treasured possessions was his violin. Besides furnishing himself and his family many hours of pleasure, he was often the fiddler at the country dances. Mr. and Mrs. Wood's final move was to the stage station of Beebe in Custer County, where they remained until their deaths in 1952 and 1954.