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
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.
WAS CLARE BOOSTER
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