Calvin Hood was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, Sept 13, 1832, and died in Emporia, Kan., Feb. 4, 1910. He was the son of John and Olive (Hall) Hood. John Hood was a tanner and a farmer, and in 1837, when his son was less than five years of age he removed his family to the vicinity of Adrian, Mich., where he developed a farm when that country was a wilderness. There Calvin Hood was reared. His early education was limited to the winter terms at a log school house. At fifteen years of age he entered a general store at Adrian, where he remained five years. His health failing, he gave up his position and went to the Lake Superior copper region, where he preëmpted a claim. During the winters of 1852-53-54 he was trading with the Chippewa Indians where Superior City now stands, and in midwinter, with an Indian guide and a dog sledge, he made a trip on snowshoes of 300 miles to the Lake of the Woods, carrying Indian goods and trading for furs. With health renewed he returned to Adrian in 1855 and there engaged in the mercantile business. 1859 he removed to Sturgis, Mich., where he was living when the Civil war came on. At the call of President Lincoln for troops in 1861 he promptly offered his services to his country, was commissioned a captain in the Eleventh Michigan infantry, and served throughout the war. His military career was marked by constant devotion to duty and acts of conspicuous gallantry, especially at the battle of Murfreesboro, where he was assigned to an important position in command of the pioneer battalion of his division, with instructions "to hold the place at all hazards." For gallant conduct in pursuance of these orders he was mentioned by General St. Clair Morton, in his report of the battle. He was then promoted to the rank of major. The Eleventh Michigan was one of those famous regiments whose brilliant achievements contributed to the imperishable renown of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war Mr. Hood engaged in mercantile business in Sturgis, Mich., until 1872, when he came to Emporia, Kan. Here he ever afterwards resided. When Major Hood landed in Emporia he had poor health, a large family and $3,000 in money. But more that that he had a world of grit. He engaged in the Texas cattle trade, at first in a small way, but later upon a larger scale with the late United States Senator P. B. Plumb. For fourteen years he spent a portion of every winter upon the frontier of Texas, taking the saddle and roughing it with the cowboys. He thus lived among the rough men of the Texas cattle trade of the '70s, and though soft-spoken and self-deprecatory, almost shy in manner, he was respected as one of the men who could always hold his own, and was never crowded. He was a small man, never weighing more than 135 pounds, but among men of great physical prowess he held his own by sheer grit. Nothing ever made him afraid. It was in the cattle business that he laid the foundation of his fortunes. The firm of "Plumb & Hood" was known all over the West, and it was in every big undertaking west of the Missourimines, land, banks, cattle, town sites, politics, beef contractseverything in which energy and thrift could make an honest dollar. Major Hood entered the Emporia National Bank as a director. In 1880 he was chosen president of the bank, and he remained at the head of the institution for twenty-five years, retiring in 1905 from active business cares. In the affairs of the bank he took special pride. In fact it was the particular pride of his life for a quarter of a century. Its twenty per cent. dividends and the rise of its stock filled him with joy. He was one of the first men down in the morning and one of the last to leave Commercial street at evening. He put in a full, busy and altogether happy day. In the banking business he found the thing he could do well and did it, and his fortune climbed up into the hundreds of thousands. Beginning his business career in the West in partnership with Senator Plumb, Major Hood was naturally drawn into politics, and he liked it. He and the senator often "hunted in pairs" politically, and they had no secrets from each other. When Senator Plumb left the senatorial office vacant, Major Hood aspired to it as soon as there was a Republican legislature. He had much of Senator Plumb's strength, and in the legislature of 1895 he held the balance of power which prevented the election of J. R. Burton. The late I. E. Lambert was Major Hood's chief lieutenant, and it was Lambert using the Hood strength who united the anti-Burton forces upon Lucien Baker and made him United States senator. Baker was always loyal to Major Hood, but the intimacy of a life-time friendship was lacking and the two men did not work together. Baker supported Major Hood for governor in the canvass of 1898, but he was not forceful, and the Major relying too much, perhaps, upon the senatorial influence was defeated, though his candidacy was one of good showing. Thereafter he never seriously considered another candidacy, yet he maintained even to the last days of his life a keen interest in politics. With all this, politics was only a small part of his interest in life. Essentially he was a business man. He had a theory in 1905 that he would retire and enjoy life. He sold his stock in the Emporia National Bankthe pride of his lifebut the habit of a life-time was upon himthe habit of hard workand he could not throw it off. Consequently he moved his desk down to the Citizens' National Bank, settling down in his new quarters as if he had always been there, and in a week was again at work and happy. Here he sat daily until the week before his death. The keystone of his character was loyalty. He was forever helping people. He was a friend to education and church. He was a charter member of the board of trustees of the College of Emporia, and was a member of the board when he died. Many a struggling and worthy college student cherishes his memory, because of aid rendered him by Major Hood. He was generous and charitable, but unostentatious in his giving. For years he was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Emporia. His fraternal relations rested with the Masonic fraternity, in which he rose to the Knight Templar degree.
In 1856 Major Flood married, in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., Miss Fannie T. Platt, and unto them were born five children that grew to maturity: Henry Platt; Clara, who married F. C. Newman, and died in 1893, leaving two children; Grace, now Mrs. Harry Clark of Salt Lake City, Utah; Mrs. Florence Beecher of Colorado Springs, Col., and Mrs. Alice Hood Hammett of Topeka. While the Emporia National Bank was the pride of his life, the joy of Major Hood's life was his family and home. He was a devoted husband, father and friend. He was for years one of the prominent characters of the stateprominent in politics, but better known in the business world. As a banker he was preëminent, and for a number of years served as president of the Kansas State Bankers' Association. In his death there passed away a founder and builder of the great commonwealth of Kansas.Pages 1049-1051 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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