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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Milton R. Wood

I received a request recently about information on Milton R. Wood. I've posted quite a few things about him, so I thought I'd collect them here. He was a fascinating person, sort of a renaissance man, who was influential in early Sugar Land history.

Click this link to view a brief profile my brother Bruce wrote on Wood. It focuses on his involvement in the design of Sugar Land's school on Lakeview Drive, where Lakeview Elementary is now located.

This next link accesses a post quoting from Bob Armstrong's book, which also includes brief info about Wood's role as Imperial's chief engineer and chemist in the company's very early days. Note the embedded link to a short history of M. R. Wood School by Mrs. Jean Sampson Johnson. The school in Mayfield Park was named after him. It served Sugar Land's African-American students before integration in 1965. Nowadays, the school serves FBISD special needs students.

Here is a photo of Mr. Wood taken in 1932, when construction began on the Sugar Land School gym, which still stands today. (You can see houses on the north side of Lakeview Drive in the background.) Note the two men in white suits. The one on the right is M. R. Wood. The other (wearing sun glasses) is W. T. Eldridge, Sr., co-owner of Imperial Sugar and Sugarland Industries. He died later that year. The man identified as Albrecht is Mr. A. H. Weth, Imperial Sugar's chief engineer at the time and WWI German fighter ace. (I think.) The man in white shirt and dark pants, standing in front of the women, is Gus Ulrich, general manager of Sugarland Industries.

M. R. Wood died in 1940 (I think, I'll have to check the exact date) in the Rio Grande Valley while visiting relatives. I've no doubts we'll learn more about Mr. Wood in the future.