Samuel Wood, grocer and baker

Opposite Henry Carrier, Adeline remembers that “on the south side were a few houses, and a small shop.
“I believe Mr. Sam Wood, baker, was the first tenant. He contracted typhoid fever, from which he did not recover.”

It could be that Adeline is confusing her ‘Sam Woods’. The Sam Wood who for a time had a home in Station Road was a lacemaker born in Denby about 1843, married to Mary Hill in 1862, then living in Heanor for several years before coming to Ilkeston in the early 1870’s to live initially in Mundy Street. Only later did he move into Station Road.

However the Sam Wood who more closely fits Adeline’s description was born in Ilkeston in 1848, the son of labourer William and Maria (nee Dickenson). This family lived in Chapel Street and Belper Street where father William was a labour contractor for the local stone pits.

With his younger brother George, Samuel was a scholar at the Primitive Methodist Sunday School and a pupil at the British School before leaving to be an apprentice at the engineering works of John Whitehouse in Rutland Street.

The family moved into North Street about 1870, father William now trading as a grocer and baker, Samuel working as a boiler-maker and George as a joiner. In December of that year Samuel married Susannah Straw, daughter of Thomas and Ann (nee Jackson) although there is evidence that her parents were perhaps not married.

Samuel remained in the North Street area for many years after his marriage, living close by his parents.

In the later 1870’s Samuel took over his father’s business while brother George left temporarily to work in Litchurch, Derby.

In 1889 Samuel was elected onto the town council and remained in office until his death.

About this time he and his wife ‘adopted’ 12/13 year old Sarah Ann Straw, daughter of coalminer Charles and Mary Maria (nee Phipps) and the niece of Susannah. As with most such ‘adoptions’ at that time, this one was an informal arrangement between consenting parties even though both Sarah Ann’s parents were alive at the time (though mother Mary Maria died shortly after in September 1890).

The family still living in North Street, one January evening in 1892, shortly after tea, Sarah Ann began to complain of a headache. As the child’s discomfort continued neighbour and local midwife Mary Staples and grandmother Sarah Phipps (nee Herring) were summoned for advice. They recommended that the child be given a mustard foot bath after which she was put to bed, a hot water bottle at her feet. The midwife gave her some pennyroyal and raspberry tea and Sarah Ann settled to sleep.
Samuel checked on her at 11 o’clock by which time she seem improved.
He checked again at five in the morning when she opened her eyes and appeared well.
He checked an hour later and the child was dead. The doctor diagnosed the cause of death as a weak heart, in conjunction with a consumptive tendency’.

In 1904 Samuel Wood contracted typhoid fever and was reportedly close to death before recovering, though much weakened. A few convalescent weeks at Skegness and later at Cleethorpes helped him significantly, though the improvement was not to last and he died at Edmont House, Burns Street on November 23rd 1908.


Samuel’s son, William had also suffered from typhoid fever, in 1896, but his attack was immediately fatal.

Daughter Maria Dickinson Wood married Horace Moss, the son of South Street pawnbroker John and Mary (nee Scattergood) in September 1890.


William and Maria Wood lived the rest of their lives in North Street, both dying there in 1894 and 1885 respectively. They are buried in Ilkeston General Cemetery, as are Samuel and Susannah, and Samuel’s son, William.

(William’s second wife, Harriett (nee Bagguley), whom he had married in 1889, left Ilkeston after her husband’s death to live with family in Derby).

One of Samuel’s neighbours was Enoch Carrier.