William Alexander Hood brought his extensive experience as a manufacturer, mining operator and oil and gas producer to Independence about three years ago, and is now rated as one of the leading producers in that field and also conducts a large business as a general contractor.
He is of old Southern stock, and his Scotch-Irish ancestors came from England to North Carolina in colonial times. William Alexander Hood was born in Birmingham, Alabama, October 6, 1876. His family connections in that great industrial center of the South have long been prominent in manufacturing and commercial affairs. His father, William Hood, a resident of Birmingham, was born in Mississippi in 1851, and afterwards moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where he married. While a merchant he has become extensively interested as a producer in the oil fields of both Kansas and Texas. He is a democrat and a chairman of the board of directors and board of stewards in his Methodist Church, and is also a member of the Masonic fraternity. William Hood married Vilanta Yielding, who was born in Alabama. Their children are: William Alexander; Ira, a merchant at Birmingham; Robert H., associated with his brother Ira at Birmingham; Nina, wife of G. T. Brazelton, who is in the real estate business at Birmingham; Walter H., a graduate with the degree LL. B. from Washington and Lee University and now a practicing attorney at Birmingham; Jennie Catherine, wife of Russell Hunt, cashier of the Sloss Steel and Iron Company at Birmingham; Norma, wife of Dr. B. S. Lester, one of the leading physicians and surgeons at Birmingham; Lucien, a hardware merchant at Birmingham.
In the public schools of Birmingham William A. Hood acquired his early training, graduating from the high school in 1895, and in 1897 received the Bachelor of Science degree from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn. Then followed a very active business career which has been continued now for almost twenty years. For two years he was associated in the mercantile business with his father; was in the ice business three years, then entered the mining industry in Alabama for two years, and in Colorado for five years. In Colorado Mr. Hood owned one of the largest concentrating mills in the state, located at Silver Plume, and concentrating lead and zinc ores for the principal output of silver.
His interests also extended in the meanwhile to the oil fields around Electra in Northern Texas, and in 1913 he moved his home to Independence and in the fall of that year began operations as a contractor and oil producer at Wayside. He still operates both in Texas and Kansas. Mr. Hood now has a total of forty-nine oil wells, divided among various leases in the following numbers, twenty-seven, thirteen, six, two and one, and he also has fifteen producing gas wells in Kansas. His partner in these various operations is E. S. Riley. As a contractor he operates three separate strings of tools.
Politically Mr. Hood is a democrat, is a member of the Rotary Club at Independence and of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon college fraternity. An active worker in the Methodist Church, he is now president of the church choir.
In 1903, at Anniston, Alabama, Mr. Hood married Rosa Lela Weller, daughter of William H. and Erin Weller, who now reside at Demopolis, Alabama. William H. Weller is a prominent iron manufacturer, has coal mines, rolling mills and other interests in Alabama and also a large plantation in the southern part of that state. Mr. and Mrs. Hood have two children: Matilda Dale, born November 5, 1905; and William A., Jr., [p.1754] born November 24, 1908. Mr. Hood and family reside at 505 North Eighth Street, Independence. He also owns five residence properties in Birmingham, but has sold out his other real estate holdings.