Member Biography

Joseph Milliken Woods 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1889-1890       31 Democrat
1891-1892       31 Democrat
1893-1894       31 Democrat
1895-1896       31 Democrat


01/05/1854 - 01/12/1923

Joseph Milliken Woods (R31) Mifflin, Perry, and Juniata Counties 1889-1895

Early Life: 

Joseph Milliken Woods, born January 5, 1854, New Berlin, Union County, Pennsylvania; son of Attorney David Walker Woods and Margareta Jane Milliken Woods; public schools education, Lewistown, 1870; Bellefonte Academy; 1870-1873; Princeton, 1876; studied law in his father’s office, admitted, Mifflin County, law practice, 1878; elected, District Attorney, Mifflin County, 1881-1883; married, Sarah Elizabeth Johnson, 1881, children, Catharine Trimmer Woods, James Sterrett Woods, Margaretta W. Woods Kent, William Johnson Woods, Sarah E Woods Dahl, Joseph Milliken Woods; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1889-1895; appointed, President Judge of the Twentieth District, 1903-1905; reelected, President Judge of the Twentieth District, term expired, 1916; died, January 12, 1923, Bright’s disease; interment, Mount Rock Cemetery, Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career:      

Mifflin County, law practice, 1878. 

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Odd Fellows, Apprentices, Liberty Society of Lewistown, Patriotic Order Sons of America; Sunday School Superintendent. Member, Elder, Presbyterian Church.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, District Attorney, Mifflin County, 1881-1883.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 31st district, Mifflin, Perry, and Juniata Counties, 1889-1895; Chairman Federal Petitions Committee; Canals and Inland Navigation, Centennial Affairs Committee, Game and Fisheries, Judiciary General and Judiciary Local, New Counties and County Seats . Committees. Authored legislation which required the State to be responsible for the cost of rebuilding bridges destroyed by floods. Secured legislation beneficial to the fish and game interests of the State. 

Names of any service after Senate:

Appointed, President Judge of the Twentieth District, Governor Samuel Pennypacker, vacancy, death, Judge John Bailey, 1903-1905; reelected, President Judge of the Twentieth District, term expired, 1916.


Paternal grandmother, Marianne Witherspoon, the youngest daughter, John Witherspoon, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Uncle, Samuel Stanhope Woods, President Judge of the Twentieth Judicial District when it consisted of Mifflin, Snyder, and Union Counties, 1862-1872.

Captain, Princeton University baseball team; organized the old Independent Baseball Club in Lewistown, was credited for pitching the first curve ball in Mifflin County, 1877.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members W"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1896). Cochran, T.B., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 1054, 1061-1064, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 1022.

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Joseph Milliken Woods (1854-1923) - Find a Grave Memorial