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John Thomas Hood and Catherine Hood

Submitted by James M Hood

Mrs. Catherine Hood

In memoriam by Dr. E. D. Russell

Having passed the allotted biblical span of three score years and ten by a half score years this fine type of superb motherhood listened to the beckoning call to the new life that awaits us all. I knew her well and many a time and oft did she befriend me. Let me weave a wreath of recollection that with my very humble prayers I place respectfully on her bler.

Like the mother of the Maccabees of old her throne was at her own fireside and her subjects were her ten children - faithful and true to her even at the end. Nothing spectacular focused attention to this plain mother but her memory will live green by her domestic virtues with which she was abundantly endowed. The Great Maker we all serve immortalized plain people and Mary and Martha, plain and poor, will live when monuments erected by gold will perish and crumble.

All the virtues that made Mary great and Martha immortal in the Good Book were the heritage of Mrs. Catherine Hood from the superb faith she inherited in distant Mayo that listens forever to the waves of the Irish seas.

There is no diadem that becomes the brow of womanhood as that fashioned by the fireside midst the smiles and laughter of children and that she wore. There are no jewels that add luster to the fair name of woman as the jewels of the domestic virtues and these adorned her. True as the compass to the pole was this good honest kindly woman to the faith of her forefathers. Just as the bells tolled the noontide hour of Christmas day she answered the call of nature's debt.

Born in the County Mayo she came as a child to the province of Ontario, Canada. In 1848 she was united in marriage to William J. Hood in Tecumseh in the province of Ontario. In 1885 with her husband and young family she crossed the frontier and came to Iowa, locating near Clare. Only forty days after locating in Webster County her husband, W.J. Hood, died. She raised comfortably and educated ten in her family and every one of these knelt at her bedside as her spirit passed away.

These are: John T. Hood, E. W. Hood, Mrs. John McClarty, Owen Sound, Canada; J. M. Hood, C. E. Hood, W. M. Hood, Joe P. Hood, Mrs. D. B. Johnson, Mrs. Nicholas Kaufman, L. A. Hood.

Requiem mass was at the Sacred Heart church, Rev. Heelan officiating and internment took place at the Catholic cemetery, Fort Dodge.

Eternal rest to her soul.

Catherine Hood passed away on December 25, 1908

John Thomas Hood

In memoriam By Dr. E. D. Russell

Forty years ago when I headed from the State University for the good, old town of Clare I stepped out at dusk on the little, old, rickety platform of the little, ramshackle depot, and to make sure I was at the right town, I stepped over to a well-dressed, fine-looking, tall and thin, extra good looking man and asked him modestly was this the town of Clare. "Well" quoth he in a slightly nasal few words, "They call it Clare, but it should be called, Hoodville." That was John Thomas Hood in days of his youthful vigor. John T. owned 3,000 acres around Jackson Township, of the finest agricultural land on earth. His son Joe owned 2,000 acres around Pioneer, a few miles north. Will Hood owned 300 acres, Ed Hood his brother owned a quarter section and J. M. another brother owned a section, so you see Hoodville would not be a nonappreciative name for this historic county.


I was their family doctor and I know every acre. John T.'s homestead was most productive and beautiful and he sure raised his family in, grand, domestic surroundings and they all grew to beautiful manhood and womanhood as I so well know.

The Sunday after my arrival I went to Saint Matthews Church and unpretentiously stood on the steps to size up my future clientele.

They were a splendid, rosy-cheeked congregation, full of life and vigor, garbed in homely woolens and I figured I would get out of that town as people so healthy looking would never need a doctor. Then the teams began to arrive. Buggies were unknown in those days, only lumber wagons and what they call the light buggy or cart, hauled the worshippers to church. Presently I saw a man sitting erect with a caddy. Slightly lifted, holding the lines stiff and driving the finest spirited team, fit for Barnum and Bailey's Circus, with heard erect and necks curved like Kentucky saddlers. I noticed four planks on the light-wagon all of John Thomas's magnificent family. Then cam Ed Hood with his team of curved neck steppers and then came another brother J.M. with a magnificent team. The Hoods were the best horsemen in Webster County and John T. was a superb judge of horses and cattle. Mike Lahiff, John T. Hood, Otto Klapka, Frank Conway, Con Griffin, Maurice O'Hearn, Martin Hough, Charles Donahoe, Charley Burke and John Hanrahan were the men who built the historic town of Clare.


John T. was an unlettered statesman in grand sense and judgement. He told the people, "Spend your money in Clare, no where else; borrow your money from Tom Donahoe and deposit in his bank for when you are without a bank, the bottom falls out of the value of your farms. Con Griffin has the best hardware store, patronize him; so has Charley Donahoe a splendid general store - patronize them."

When the neighboring town grows and the small town dwindles, you are gone. That was the philosophy of John T. Hood.

He was my best friend and the friend of every heroic soul. When you drive through Clare, look south of the Catholic Church and you will see the finest grove of Evergreens in all Iowa, planted for me by John T.

He is gone, loaded with the tender memories of a faithful family - altar boys and all. He was an ideal American citizen with none of the levity of so many. There was never a man who could say John T. did him an injustice. He was true as steel. I know many lay families in my practice but few of the character he instilled into them in domestic surroundings. He left something that wealth could not buy, a profound faith in the old religion the old pioneer Hoods brought over from Ireland. And that faith was as Solid as the Rock of Gibraltar and after 94 years in Clare the ceremonies at St. Matthews were aided by the Hood altar boys. And he was laid beneath the green sod down at St. James cemetery with his old chums gone ahead. They were all born there with the echoes of the Magic Voice of their Redeemer ringing in their ears before their eyes grew dim - the only voice on Earth that has never been deceived "Everyone that lives in Me shall never die." And like a rainbow of eternal hope may those words shine in eternal glory, o'er the green sod that gently embraces them all till like the rolling thunder from the heavens they shall all listen once again to that Voice of Glory, "Arise, ye dead, and come to judgement."

John T. Hood passed away on June 19, 1940

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