Cyrus Woods

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Cyrus Woods
File:Cyrus Woods 2.jpg
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
In office
March 1, 1929 – October 30, 1930
Governor John Stuchell Fisher
Preceded by Thomas Baldrige
Succeeded by William Schnader
United States Ambassador to Japan
In office
July 21, 1923 – June 5, 1924
President Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by Charles Warren
Succeeded by Edgar Bancroft
United States Ambassador to Spain
In office
October 14, 1921 – April 18, 1923
President Warren G. Harding
Preceded by Joseph Willard
Succeeded by Alexander Moore
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
In office
January 20, 1915 – October 14, 1921
Governor Martin Brumbaugh
William Sproul
Preceded by Robert McAfee
Succeeded by Bernard Myers
United States Envoy to Portugal
In office
March 20, 1912 – August 19, 1913
President William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by Edwin Morgan
Succeeded by Meredith Nicholson
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 39th district
In office
January 1, 1901 – May 16, 1907
Preceded by John Brown
Succeeded by John Jamison
Personal details
Born (1861-09-03)September 3, 1861
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died December 8, 1938(1938-12-08) (aged 77)
Clearfield, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Todd Marchand
Alma mater Lafayette College
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Profession Attorney, Politician, Diplomat

Cyrus E. Woods (September 3, 1861 – December 8, 1938) was an American attorney, diplomat and politician.

Early life and career

He was born September 3, 1861 in Clearfield, Pennsylvania to Matthew Woods and Catheine/Katharine (Bella) Spice/Speece.[1] He attended Lafayette College.[2] He later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a law degree in 1889. Woods practiced law in Philadelphia and then in Pittsburgh, where he became associated with the interests of the Mellon family. On January 18, 1893, Woods married the former Mary Todd Marchand,[3] a great-granddaughter of James Todd, former state Attorney General.

In 1900, Woods made his first bid for political office, successfully contesting the Westmoreland County-based 39th district of the Pennsylvania State Senate. He served in the Senate for two terms, from 1901 to 1907.[1][4]

Diplomatic service and state appointments

Woods received his first diplomatic appointment in 1912, when President William Howard Taft named him the United States' Enovy to Portugal, with the official title of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, as the United States had not yet elevated the post to ambassador status.[1]

In 1915, Governor Martin Brumbaugh appointed him Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Woods would serve six years in the post, before resigning in 1921 to take-up the post of Ambassador to Spain.[1] In 1923, he moved to the post of Ambassador to Japan. During his time in Japan, he organized the American relief effort in response to the devastating 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, before resigning in 1924.

In 1929, Governor John Fisher, with whom Woods had served in the State Senate,[5] appointed him Pennsylvania Attorney General. Woods served in the post, his final political or diplomatic appointment, for eighteen months.[1]

Death and legacy

Woods died December 8, 1938 in Philadelphia, where he had gone for medical treatment. After his death, his widow established a foundation which became the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Woods". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved February 19, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. He entered as a junior: "Supplement: New Students". The Lafayette. X (10). July 1885.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. The Twentieth Century Bench and Bar of Pennsylvania. Volume I. Chicago: H.C. Cooper, Jr., Bro. 1903. p. 135.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Sharon Trostle, ed. (2009). The Pennsylvania Manual (PDF). 119. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Department of General Services. ISBN 0-8182-0334-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Cox, Harold (2004). "Pennsylvania Senate - 1901-1902" (PDF). Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "History of Westmoreland County Museum".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Cyrus E. Woods Dies", The Washington Post, December 9, 1938, p. 6.
  • "Cyrus Woods Dies, Ex-Envoy in Japan", New York Times, December 9, 1938, p. 25.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles Warren
United States Ambassador to Japan
Succeeded by
Edgar Bancroft
Preceded by
Joseph Willard
United States Ambassador to Spain
Succeeded by
Alexander Moore
Preceded by
Edwin Morgan
United States Envoy to Portugal
Succeeded by
Meredith Nicholson
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Baldrige
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
William Schnader
Preceded by
Robert McAfee
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Bernard Myers
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
John Brown
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 39th District
Succeeded by
John Jamison