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Hiram Hood

Rev. Hiram Hood

This venerable servant of Jesus Christ and of his Church on earth, was born in Benton, Seneca County, N.Y., August 9, 1818, and died at his home in Birmingham, May 17, 1903, aged eighty-five years. He was converted to Christ in the winter of 1833, and in June of the same year joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the fellowship and communion of which he lived seventy years. In 1844 he was received into the Genesee Conference on trial, and in 1848 was ordained an elder by Bishop Waugh. His appointments in the Genesee Conference were: Covington, 1844-5; Centerville, 1846-7; Java, 1848; Byron, 1849-50; Scotsville, 1851; Bolivar, 1852; and Southport, 1853-4. In the fall of 1854 he was transferred to the Upper Iowa Conference, and stationed at Machias in 1855-6; Quasqueton, 1857-8; and Waterloo in 1859. He was then transferred to the Detroit Conference, where he was appointed as follows: Goodrich, 1859-60; South Flint, 1861-2; Birmingham, 1863-4; Armada, 1865-6; Clarkston, 1867; Highland, 1867; Rochester, 1869-70; Forester, 1871; Armada (a second term), 1872-4. He was superannuated in 1875.

Concerning the struggles and opportunities of his early life, he says: “My parents were not well-to-do in this world, and the schools seventy-five years ago were rather poor. I went to school three months in the year, and, having a great desire for knowledge, I used my spare hours in labor, so that at the age of eighteen I was qualified to teach in the district school, and at the age of twenty-one went to the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, where I worked my way through by sawing wood and doing other labor in the winter; so that, by also working in the gardens in the spring, I was able to go through school without any embarrassments to myself or anybody else.”

In regard to his religious life, he says: “I was called to the ministry before my conversion; for, whenever I planned the future or thought of the future, I was confronted with a vision of myself as a preacher of the gospel of Christ. The thought oppressed me until I yielded myself to Christ. The consciousness of my acceptance with God gave me great happiness, and I was encouraged to seek higher attainments in Christian life.” At eighteen years he was appointed a class-leader, and so faithfully did he discharge his duties in the local Church that he was soon called into the public ministry, in which he spent the years of his active life.

In June, 1843, he married Miss Miranda Scott, with whom he lived in loving companionship for twenty-five years. Mrs. Hood died at Highland in 1868. To them were born three children, two of whom died in early childhood. One son grew to manhood, and died in Detroit about nine years ago.

His second marriage was to Mrs. Helen Comfort, who died October 6, 1891.

Since his superannuation, Father Hood has lived in Birmingham and vicinity, where he has enjoyed the confidence and friendship of the people. He was revered as a father in Israel. The people loved him because of his uprightness in life, his gentleness of spirit, and his business integrity. In his departure from us, this community loses one of its honored citizens and one of the purest-minded men that ever lived.

Last Spring Father Hood was stricken with paralysis, which, because of his extreme age, soon terminated his life. The end came Saturday, May 17th, when he passed peacefully to the privileges and experiences of the better life. His funeral services were held in the Methodist Episcopal church, Tuesday, May 20th, and were conducted by Rev. M.H. Bartram, assisted by Rev. W.H. Shier, Presiding Elder of the Detroit District, and Rev. J.E. Jacklin, editor of the Michigan Christian Advocate, six brother ministers from Detroit and vicinity, acting as pallbearers. After an impressive service, the body was laid in the family lot in Greenwood. Brother Hood lived a good life, he died a good death, and a glorious future is before him.

- Detroit Annual Conference minutes of 1903, pp. 48-50