William Wood was born in 1858 in Marin, California to Canadian parents from Ontario. William became an attorney, land speculator, electric trolley line president, and Seattle mayor. He was a conspicuous figure in the business and political life of Seattle for more than a quarter century and was the key original developer of the Green Lake neighborhood.
He served as mayor of Seattle from April 1896 to July 1897 when the Klondike Gold Rush supplied him with an opportunity more golden: providing steam passage from San Francisco and Seattle to Alaska. I have often heard people cite him as one of the many people who dropped everything and headed for the Klondike to seek their fortunes, but actually he was a savvy businessman who capitalized on the transportation needs of the gold rush.
William Wood died on this day, March 23, 1917 in Seattle of an intestinal ailment.
History of Seattle online; nps.gov; University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, Washington State Biography Pamphlet file; Men of the Pacific Coast (San Francisco: Pacific Art Co., 1903), 479; UW Libraries, Special Collections, Struve Scrapbook, Vol. 1, p. 24; 1880 census in California.