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Perry Wood ~ ~ ~ 1864-1953
Submitted by: Shirley Harlan

Former City Man, Perry Wood, 89, Dies in Nebraska.
Perry Wood, 89, of Omaha, Neb., former Oklahoma pioneer and long time resident of Ponca City, died early Tuesday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Joe Swoboda of Omaha.
Funeral services are pending with the Gill Funeral Home in charge of local arrangements. The body will be sent here from Omaha Wednesday.
Born at Charleston, Ill., June 17, 1864, he moved with his parents to Douglass, Kans. when he was 21. He first came to this state at the opening of old Oklahoma when he made the run in 1889, and remained in Oklahoma about one year then returned to Kansas.
Following the opening of the Cherokee Strip, Wood came to Ponca City and opened the old Casino cafe on East Grand where the W. W. Viruta dry goods store is now located. He managed this cafe for five years, then left Ponca City for a number of years, two of which he spent in Kansas City.
Mr. and Mrs. Wood returned to Ponca City and opened the present Wood's Cafe at 121 South First approximately 37 years ago and operated the eating establishment until they sold it to C. H. Putt.
Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Swoboda and Mrs. Frank Reese, 506 South Seventh; two sons, Harry Wood, 324 South Palm, and John Wood of Oklahoma City; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Wood died here in 1943.

Wood was enroute in April, 1889, to take part in the first run for homes, which was opening the first six counties to homesteading. When Wood and some of his friends reached the Salt Fork River, just south of this city, it was bank full and had no bridge. Wagon after wagon kept arriving on the scene.

The travelers crossed the river on a railroad bridge. Horses were led across the stream and the men of the party assisted each other in drawing and shoving the wagons across. They made it without an accident.

© The Ponca City News
Feb. 3, 1953

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