John Wood - The Name

This statue of John Wood resides outside the main doorsJohn Wood Community College was named after John Wood, the man, an early pioneer who played a key role in the settlement and development of West Central Illinois. He was born in New York but came west seeking adventure. In 1821 he came to what is now Pike County.  He and a friend, Willard Keyes, set up a bachelor's lodge near New Canton and made a home for bachelors until they could find brides to aid them in settling the frontier.

In 1822 John Wood headed for the Illinois bulge on the Mississippi now known as Quincy. He built Quincy's first log cabin and widened the Fort Edwards Trail to lower Pike County to help in the settling of his new frontier community. He served as Quincy's mayor several times, served in the General Assembly, and in 1856 was elected Lieutenant Governor. Upon the death of Governor William Bissell in 1860, John Wood became Governor of Illinois, fulfilling a life of adventure and pioneer vision.

It seems appropriate that John Wood Community College, often called a pioneer because of its innovations in education, has been named in honor of John Wood, a pioneer in this area with bold ideas and an innovative mind.