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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

Francis H. Woods

Hon. Francis H. Woods was born in Albany, his parents emigrating here from county Longford, Ireland, early in the present century. He received his education at Capt. Michael O'Sullivan's school and the Albany Boys' Academy, where he won the principal's prize for his essay on "Mahomet." He soon began to take an active part in the public duties of life and while a delegate from Engine Company No. 11, was elected president of the Albany fire department in 1865 and by his prudent management secured the stability of the relief fund. In 1865 he was admitted to the bar, having studied in the office of Warren S. Kelly and subsequently going into partnership with ex-Judge James A. McKown.

His political career began in 1867, when he was elected to the Assembly by a handsome majority and served with credit on the committee on judiciary. In 1873 he was elected a justice of the Justice's Court, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Dennis B. Gaffney. He was again elected for a full term by 3,000 majority and again for a third term without opposition, 5,000 Republican ballots being cast for him. After an honorable and impartial career, Mr. Woods retired from the Justices Court in 1883. On this occasion many members of the bar united in presenting him with a handsomely engrossed testimonial.

In the fall of 1883 he was unanimously nominated by his party for the office of surrogate and was elected by a commanding majority. He discharged the duties of that office for the full term of six years with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. On his retirement every newspaper in the county made him the subject of a laudatory editorial notice, commending him for his industry, courtesy, learning and integrity.

The period of Mr. Woods's incumbency as surrogate is the brightest chapter in his career, as it is one of the most honorable and creditable in the county history. In 1890 he served as a member of the State commission appointed by Governor Hill to revise the judiciary article of the constitution. He is now serving as postmaster of the city of Albany and has shown a progressive spirit in the management of that office, where his unusual executive ability finds a good field of display. His appointment was made on the suggestion of President Cleveland, with the approbation of Senator Hill.

As a Democratic orator, Mr. Wood's most notable work was in Mayor Nolan's campaign, in the various addresses he made while accompanying Mr. Manning and the Democratic Phalanx to the Chicago convention which nominated Grover Cleveland; at the great Fort Plain meeting with Mr. Apgar, being the first Cleveland meeting in the interior of the Stale. He displayed great activity, was at his best in scores of outdoor gatherings in the campaign of 1888, and accompanied John Boyd Thacher in a part of the novel cruise of the boat Thomas Jetferson down the Erie Canal, making speeches of electric power at Schenectady, West Troy and Albany from the bow of the boat. In the campaign of 1893, as president of the Mills Club, he displayed notable activity on the stump. He is a born orator; his appearance on the platform is indicative of power and ability. He is an intelligent lawyer, a lover of books and a sound adviser.

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