Husband: Cecil Karl (Buck) Wood
Father: Lewis E. Wood [R005]
Mother: Emma (Burger) Wood [R005]
Born: 11/9/1891, at “Wood home near Nimrod Hall”
Died: 7/29/1948. Buried in Horeb Baptist Church cemetery, Bath

First wife: Grace Crozen (Fig. R557a; sister of Bess Crozen, second
    wife of Millard Wood [R551])
Born: 8/13/1890
Died: 12/6/1969, buried in Staunton Va.

Ruth Wood, d. 5/1918 in Parkersburg W.Va.
William Wood, married Louise ___
Paul Wood, married Anna May ___

(1996) Buck was the black sheep of the family. By age 16 he had run away from home, and wrote from Huntington W.Va., Carbon Ind., and Hamilton Ohio; he expressed an ambition to go on to California.

By 1917 he was married and living in Parkersburg W.Va., as were his brothers Mill, Doc, and Russell. He worked on the railroad, apparently as an engineer. (On 10/19/1919 Doc wrote his mother, “I believe Cecil [27] had a little collision, ran in to another standing train, side swiped it and tore up a few cars, no one was hurt. I think he was somewhat to blame. I donot know just what the outcome will be, but don’t think it likely that he will loose his job.”) In 1925 his work, it’s not entirely clear what kind of work, stationed him at New Martinsville W.Va. From there he was only able to visit his family in Parkersburg twice a month, for a day or two at a time. He still wrote his mother from New Martinsville in 5/1927.

In 11/1927 Emma received a letter from Buck postmarked Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Dear Mother Suppose you will be surprised to hear from me in this land I am hear for a cause whitch I am not to blame for...now I will try and explain just as near as I can the whole thing it came about in this way.” The daughter of the owner of his boarding house, presumably in New Martinsville, had gotten pregnant, and she laid the blame at his door. Buck protested his innocence, but said his lawyer had advised him to leave the state and keep the matter out of court until he, the lawyer, could clear things up. Buck ended the letter by asking Emma to “see if dad will lone me $200 dollars untill spring.” He said he would travel under the alias Ray B. Smith thereafter. The request for a loan was honored; [S089] includes a receipt for registered mail received by Ray B. Smith in Winnipeg on November 8.

Thereafter Ray B. Smith travelled through the midwest―from Winnipeg to St. Paul Minn., then Sioux City Iowa, Omaha Neb., Lincoln Neb., Chicago Ill., and Detroit Mich., writing his mother every week or two. He was scrupulous about concealing his identity, always ready to move on to the next city and the next boarding house if people asked too many questions. He couldn’t get work; his letters talk mostly about the impossible employment situation, and on top of that because of his need for anonymity he couldn’t provide references. So there were repeated requests for cash advances. He finally found work on an automobile assembly line in Detroit. He seemed unable to communicate with his lawyer, and his Parkersburg brothers were slow to intercede for him. Buck was still on the lam a year later when his mother died (11/10/1928). At that point the record of his movements in [S089] ends. On 1/4/1931 Lewis Wood wrote his son Kemp “I had to help Cecil quite a bit,” referring to money.

Eventually Buck reentered society, he and Grace divorced, and he moved to Florida; I don’t know in what order. In Florida he worked as a locomotive engineer for the Florida East Coast Railroad. In time he remarried.

Second wife: Emily Randall, d. 1 or 2/1958 in St. Petersburg Fla.

My family lived in Jacksonville Fla. in that period, and I met Buck several times when he came to dinner. I thought him an affable person, and easier to take than my other uncles and aunts. Emily is spoken of as an exceptional person; I don’t remember meeting her. She left my mother some silverware when she died.

Buck died at a young age, 56. His was one of the few Horeb Church funerals I attended (it occurred in the summer, while I was at Camp Nimrod). The service was held in the lower parlor at Nimrod Hall, which had a piano. Instead of reflecting on eternity and redemption, I was absorbed in practical matters. The coffin had to be passed out of the parlor through a window, onto the front porch. I remember how, as each pair of pallbearers reached the window frame, they had to let go of the handles and hurry from the room, soon to reappear on the porch outside and resume their grasp.

I inherited a handsome plaid shirt from Buck, made of expensive Palm Beach material, which I wore until it fell apart.

Sources: [S003, S089, S133, S143]