337 West Second Street

The John Hood House

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The John Hood House:

 

It's a neat but modest house, this one at 337 West Second Street, but its builder was an interesting gentleman whose name, despite some controversy, is somewhat revered here.

He was John Hood.

Hood came here with his family from Scotland in 1833. They were part of a group of immigrants who, in Buffalo, New York, accidentally met with Captain David Wilkinson of Perrysburg.

house

337 West Second Street

Wilkinson, then in command of the lake schooner, Eagle, induced them to come here. They did and liked the location so well that they wrote back home encouraging others to come, meanwhile squatting for a time at what was called the "Scotch Settlement" on or near Fort Meigs ground.

The Hood family moved on to a wild land at Hull Prairie where young John grew up. He worked hard and never attended school, but from the family farm he eventually amassed a comfortable amount of money and retired at age 55, making his home here.

Hood lived in this house beginning in the late 1800s. It is fairly simple, vernacular Victorian frame building with a stone foundation and a gabled roof. Exactly when it was built is in question, but it quite likely was well before Hood moved in since it contains log beams with bark on them. Finished lumber was certainly available in the late 1880s.

John Hood lived frugally and was known here as a kind and charitable man who sought anonymity for his benevolence. In 1901 he donated the land for what is now Hood Park, buying it and then quietly giving it to the village. For years, probably at his initial insistence, it was known as Monument Park, site of the area's soldiers and sailors monument for which it was intended.

Shortly after his death in 1905, the county auditor claimed that the 80-year-old man owed back taxes of as much as $19,000 and left an estate valued at more than $80,000, a large amount then. The auditor alleged that Hood had earlier "plead with tears streaming down his face that he was poor." Whether true or not, the tax claim was settled for some $13,400, the largest such delinquent tax collection in county history at the time.

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