In 1900, a young East Texas couple was were blessed with a handsome son; Henry C. Hood, Jr. The birth of Henry and Alice (Scotts) Hood’s son took place near Clarksville, TX. in Red River County.
The Hood's raised their 6 children on a foundation of hard work and strong faith. Because of family hardships, a young Henry had to begin working and was not able to finish school. Even with these hardships, Henry and his 3 brothers and 2 sisters enjoyed many happy times growing up. One of the things Henry and his brothers enjoyed most was playing baseball. The brothers loved the game so much that they played 3 times a day while growing up. His youngest brother was the pitcher, his eldest played back catcher and Henry was the short stop. Their tremendous love for baseball carried over even into their adult years.
Although there was little more that work and baseball to occupy his days, Henry took time out to court a lovely local girl named Mary Thompson. The Clarksville native and Henry decided to say "I do" in 1920.Over the years this young couple developed into a loving family of 7 with two sons and three daughters.
The young family adapted well to the country life near Clarksville. Henry worked hard at a variety of jobs to ensure his family was provided for. Daughter, Ollie, remembers her father getting up early in the morning to cut cord wood, then heading off to work at a tomato farm. During the summer, the family traveled to West Texas to earn extra money by chopping and pulling cotton. When there was time for leisurely activities, the family enjoyed cookouts. Ollie adds that her father liked to go squirrel hunting and her mother loved fishing.
Ollie tells us that church was always very important to the family. Henry was a deacon in the their East Texas church under Reverend Baldwin. She smiles when recalling her father crossing creeks and walking through the woods to church. "We walked the logs many nights to church...I even saw an alligator once."
In 1935, the family decided to move to West Texas permanently. The first stop on their way west was Wellington. There they lived on a farm owned by one of the largest landowners in West Texas; F.O. Masters. It was a rough life on the farm for Henry and his family. When they first came to town, the 7 had to live in a storm cellar and had no gas or lights. They used coal and wood for cooking and heat. Later they decided to move to Tahoka, TX. Ollie recalls their adventurous trip to Tahoka. “We got to Post and had to push the Model T up the Caprock.”
After settling in Tahoka, Henry became a Jack-of-All-Trades. He worked at a variety of jobs that included carpentry, night watchman, working for the City of Tahoka and the WPA. During his time as a carpenter, he even helped build a mausoleum located in Lubbock, TX. Even after retirement, Henry still continued to live by his strong work ethic. He got a job shining shoes at the local barber shop so he could treat his grandchildren to rolls of quarters and pocket change.
Henry never forgot his Christian upbringing. After their arrival in Tahoka, He soon found a church home for his family; Pleasant Grove Baptist church. He became a Deacon and was known for his inspirational prayers. He was a faithful member and worked hard on the church’s financial committee.
The game of baseball would again surface in Henry’s life. In the 1960's he played for a local semi-professional team. “They played all over the South Plains and they won most all the games they played” recalls Ollie. They played many of the surrounding towns such as Draw, Amarillo and Grassland. Sometimes they had to travel to their next destination on the back of a flatbed truck. Ollie fondly remembers many of the team’s loyal followers having car races on their way back home from the games.
Henry was known as a quiet, kind and patient man, who emphasized the importance of going to church. His kind heartedness also extended to animals. “He loved cats and every cat in the neighborhood hung around our house.
Henry’s words of wisdom, patients and quiet manner were a source strength for his family. “He never whipped us...he never cursed or fought” says Ollie. “He told us not to be afraid of anyone...the bigger they are the harder they fall... don’t bother anyone unless they bother you.” She remembers Henry’s caring and patients at its greatest when their mother was ill. “He took care of her until the end and was patient, never complaining.”
Henry is the proud patriarch of a large and loving family. He currently has 3 daughters, 2 sons, 20 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and 25 great great grandchildren. His most precious moments now are spent enjoying visits with his very supportive family and savoring a good cup of coffee.