William Wood, Jr. (1892-1922) c. 1900
Today’s photograph is of William Wood Jr., son of American Woolen Company owner William Wood, Sr., and his wife Ellen Wood. William, Jr. is posing here with his dog, Keogh, on the front porch of Arden, the Wood’s Gothic Revival style estate on North Main Street. The photograph is taken from a Wood family photo album which includes a number of photographs of William, Jr., his sister Rosalind, and his dog, which looks like it could be a Jack Russell Terrier.
William, Jr., graduated from Harvard University in 1915 and married Edith Goldsborough Robinson in 1916. After graduation he worked for the American Woolen Company, beginning his career as an apprentice wool sorter and working his way up to being a director and vice president. William, Jr., served in the Navy during World War I and was chosen as a candidate for the Harvard Cadet School for Officers. After completing his service, William, Jr., returned to American Woolen Company where, “he was admitted by his fellow directors to be genius of executive skill and insight.”
In 1922 at age 30, William, Jr. was killed in an automobile accident along a stretch of Route 28 in North Reading called “Dead Man’s Curve.” His obituary stated that “His unselfish and generous disposition found expression in the opportunities presented to bring together in mutual confidence employer and the employed.”
William, Jr.’s father William Wood, Sr., was President of the American Woolen Company from 1905 to 1924. At the time, the company was the largest woolen manufacturer in the world, employing 40,000 in sixty mills in eight states. The company was headquartered in Andover. Wood, Sr., built Shawsheen Village in Andover, a planned community for Woolen Company middle and upper management. Upper management lived in the brick section on the west side of Main Street. Middle management lived in the white clapboard section on the east side of Main Street.