Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Long Ago With the Mary L. Reid Hood Family
The distinctly American holiday,
Thanksgiving, is an important time for families. We
gather to share a wonderful meal
celebrating the bounty of harvest. Turkey
dressing are part of the main course, as are delectable vegetables
the yields from cultivated gardens and fields.
We recall blessings of the year and pay tribute to the long
Thanksgiving going back to the gathering of Pilgrims and Indians in
American history. Indeed, we are so
blessed, and gratitude abounds for our abundance, health, happiness,
togetherness as families.
And well it should, for
Thanksgiving Day is
a day to count blessings. My personal
philosophy is that every day is a day for giving thanks.
But sometimes when we consider the hardships
of our forebears, we can empathize with the conditions that were far
Such is the true story that came
recently from the pen of Claudia Carol Thomas-Alexander of Fayetteville, Georgia.
She is an avid genealogist, and has compiled
a book dedicated to the memory of her great grandmother, Mary L. Reid
her seven children, the sixth of whom, Claudia Cornelia Hood Fair, is
grandmother from whom she heard the accounts of Mary Reid Hood and what
knew of Mary’s husband, Richard Jarrett Hood.
Carol Thomas-Alexander was able to find another descendant of
Jarrett Hood to fill in the missing parts of her great grandfather’s
that we shall see as this story develops.
But I’m getting ahead in this
must give details so that you may know why Thanksgiving in 1895 was
such a sad
time for Mary Reid Hood and her children.
Mary Reid was born October 19,
1855. Her parents were Levi Q. and Martha
Reid. It is believed Mary was born in White County, Georgia.
12, 1875, Mary Reid and Richard Jarrett Hood were
married in Union County,
Georgia. Richard Jarrett, eldest son of William
Jackson and Celia M. Turner Hood, was born in the Pendleton District of
Carolina in 1854. His family had
migrated from South Carolina
to Union County, Georgia.
It is not known just how Mary
Richard Jarrett Hood met, but it may have been as he went through White County
taking goods along the Logan Turnpike to trade in Gainesville, Georgia.
After their marriage in 1875,
Jarrett and Mary Reid Hood set up housekeeping in the “upper” Choestoe
around Hood’s Chapel (now Union Church) somewhere near the present Richard Russell Scenic Highway. Richard Jarrett Hood had a country store and
the Choestoe post office at his home. He
was known to drive cattle to Gainesville
for sale and also to take a herd into South Carolina to market.
On these trading ventures, he would bring back supplies to his
store for sale. Mary helped him “tend”
the store and care for their farm.
Seven children were born to this
Sarah Ida (b. 1877); Laura L. (b. 1879); Zona Belle (b. 1883); Cora
1884); Jessie Mae (b. 1886); Claudia Cornelia (b. 1889); and Talmadge
Claudia Cornelia Hood Fair
child) told Claudia Carol Thomas, her granddaughter, the fond memories
of her father, Richard Jarrett Hood. As
he prepared to leave on a journey in 1895 to take cattle to market in South Carolina,
recalls that he and her mother had a long conversation before he left. He took Claudia, his then six-year old
daughter, into the store and picked out a pretty hat from the shelf
ribbon decorations. He asked Claudia’s
mother to allow him to take Claudia with him on the cattle-selling
her mother would not agree. Claudia
Cornelia remembers that her father held her in his arms for a long time
he left, shedding many tears. She
recalls how they watched him going down the road from their Choestoe
driving the cattle. A sense of sadness
fell over the family at this particular departure.
the days ahead, they watched and watched, yearning for his return. But that was the last the family saw of
Richard Jarrett Hood. Her mother told
the seven children that he must have fallen into trouble, perhaps from
who stole the cattle and murdered him.
That first Thanksgiving
Jarrett Hood was a sad time for Mary Reid Hood and her seven children. Ida was then 18, Laura 16, Zona 12, Cora 11,
Jessie Mae 10, Claudia 6, and the only son, Talmadge, a little tyke of
Claudia Cornelia remembered that her mother fell into a deep depression
which she never fully recovered.
Jesssie Mae was sick at the time of her father’s departure and
tuberculosis in 1902. Talmadge died in
1904, probably from leukemia. Claudia
Cornelia remembers that her mother “died of a broken heart” on May 8, 1905. All three were laid to rest in the Union (formerly Hood’s Chapel) Church Cemetery
in Upper Choestoe, Union County, Georgia.
Jones; published Nov. 27, 2003 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail email@example.com;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708
Back To Union County, Georgia GenWeb Site