Judge A. J. Hood biography

JUDGE A. J. HOOD, now deceased, was one of the early residents of Weatherford and one of the able public men of North Texas. Born in South Carolina, in 1824, of Irish stock, a son of Humphrey and Sarah Truesdale Hood, he was reared on a southern plantation and had the advantages of education and culture that were afforded the sons of leading southern families. For books he had always a fondness, and found time to gratify his passion for literature and greedily read whatever fell into his hands. With such tastes he also combined an ardor for the chase and all athletic games. He began teaching school at the age of eighteen, and for four years continued this in connection with his law studies. He was admitted to the bar in 1846, and in the same year came to Texas, and began the practice of law at Rusk, Cherokee county, where he lived until his removal to Weatherford in 1860.

At the breaking out of the war between the states, Parker county was on the extreme northwestern frontier of the state. During the fall of the year preceding the war a large band of hostile Comanches came down into Parker county and drove off a large number of horses, after murdering citizens and committing other revolting acts of savage barbarity. Judge Hood, with a few others who had hastily assembled, early the next morning took and followed the trail. The Indians, as was their custom in such cases, traveled night and day, and having a night the start, the pursuit was a fruitless one. This and other like bloody raids of the Indians on the frontier resulted, the same fall, in what was known as the Baylor Expedition. The expedition was composed of about two hundred and fifty men, and was commanded by Col. John R. Baylor, and its object was to administer chastisement on the Indians in their homes, from three to five hundred miles away. The men composing this expedition were out without wagons, tents or anything approximating military stores, in the Panhandle and on the extreme head branches of the Brazos and Colorado rivers during the entire winter of 1860-61. Judge Hood commanded a small company in this expedition. Having been unaccustomed to the extreme privations and great toil encountered in this expedition, he returned home in the spring of 1861 completely broken down in health. For months his life was despaired of, and it was not until more than a year after the war his health was sufficiently restored to enable him again to resume the practice in his profession. Hence it was that Judge Hood, though an ardent friend of the cause of the South, was prevented from being an active participant in the war.

Already he had received honors of public character. Elected in 1850, he represented Cherokee county three sessions in the legislature. In 1850-51-52, though the youngest member of the assembly, he was a member of the judiciary and other leading committees. The subjects that most engrossed the attention of the people and the legislature at the time were, the settlement of the state debt, the proper disposition of public lands, the establishment of a system of common schools, and the encouragement of railroads. In 1856 he canvassed the state as a presidential elector college. In 1858 he was a member of the convention that nominated Hardin R. Runnels for governor. In 1874 he assumed the duties of judge of the thirteenth judicial district court, which he filled about two years, and in 1879 was appointed judge of the twenty-ninth judicial district by Gov. Roberts, being elected to that office in 1880.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 128-129.