Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Ohio Moments

Self-made lawyer saved state from bankruptcy

On July 30, 1855, John Woods, the state auditor credited with saving Ohio from bankruptcy in 1845, died in Hamilton.

Woods was born in Dauphin County, Pa., in 1794. When he was 3, his father moved the family to a log cabin in what would be Warren County. Most of his education came from late-night study, but he studied law after serving in the War of 1812. He passed the bar in 1819 and set up practice in Hamilton County.

The following year he was appointed prosecuting attorney for Butler County. In 1825 he was elected to the U.S. Congress, but after he was defeated in a re-election bid in 1828, he moved to Hamilton to practice law and edit the Intelligencer. Elected auditor in 1845, Woods found the state on the brink of bankruptcy. He straightened out the books and advised the legislature on how to fix the problems.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361.

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