J. N. WOODS, the veteran merchant of Marion, was born near Salem, Livingston County, June 15, 1816. He is a son of David and Sarah (Neal) Woods, the father a native of Albermarle County, Va., and the mother of Bourbon County, Ky. The grandfather, William Woods, emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky about 1810, settling in Livingston County, where he died in 1821. He was a farmer, and for a number of years preached for the Baptist Church. Subject's maternal ancestors were Virginians also. His grandfather, John Neal, left his native State before the beginning of the present century, and was one of the early pioneers of Bourbon County, where he died many years ago. David Woods, subject's father, came to Kentucky as early as 1804 or 1805, and settled in Bourbon County, which was his home until 1813, at which time he moved to Livingston County, locating near Salem. He purchased a large tract of real estate in the eastern part of the county, and became quite wealthy; he died October, 1825, at the age of fifty-seven years. His widow died in 1834. David and Sarah Woods were the parents of seven children, only two of whom are living: J. N. and T. N. The following are the names of the deceased children: Kitty, William S., H. W., David, and Maria Ann. J. N. Woods remained with his mother until his eighteenth year, when he was apprenticed to learn the tanner's trade; after serving his apprenticeship he opened a tannery near Salem, which he operated two years, after which he engaged in the mercantile business at Salem in partnership with Joseph Watts, with whom he remained about eighteen months. In May, 1846, he came to Marion and effected a co-partnership in the mercantile business with S. Marble, whose interest in the store he purchased two years later, remaining in business until 1850, when he closed out and went back to Salem. He opened a store in Salem, which he ran about a year, when he moved to Princeton, Ind., where he sold goods for a time, then again moved to Marion and carried on a large mercantile establishment until the war, when he discontinued his business for some time. He afterward opened his store, which he has since operated, and is now the oldest merchant in the county. Mr. Woods has been very successful in his business enterprises, acquiring a handsome competency for his declining years. He was married in May, 1848, in Madison, Ind., to Mrs. Mary A. Marble, daughter of Samuel and Clementine (Musgrave) Crawford, of Jefferson County, by whom he had two children, one child who died in infancy. By previous marriage, Mrs. Woods had one child, Henrietta Marble, wife of T. J. Cameron, of Marion. Mr. Woods has been a stanch Republican ever since the organization of that party, and during the war was a strong Union man. He was elected to represent Crittenden County in the lower legislature in 1871, and served one term of two years.


Source:  J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin, & G. C. Kniffin. Kentucky. A History of the State. Louisville, KY, Chicago, IL: Battey, 1885. Page 741.