Norris Clark Hood was born in 1811 in South Carolina and moved when quite small to Tennessee with his parents Thomas and Martha (Owensby) Hood. He married Malinda Bond in Tennessee in 1833. The Hoods came to southwest Missouri in 1852 and settled on a farm three miles west of Sarcoxie on Center Creek. They later moved to Carthage after Mr. Hood was elected Sheriff in 1856. Mr. Hood built a house on the west side of the Square across from the Courthouse. He was re-elected Sheriff in 1856 and served until the beginning of 1861 which was the onset of the Civil War when Missouri was put under military rule.
Lucy Hood was one of Norris Hood’s daughters. She, along with her sisters, made a U.S. flag out of red, white and blue curtains. It was kept hidden in one of the girls bustles for safekeeping. The Battle of Carthage was fought on July 5, 1861 and on the day before, Franz Siegel had marched into town with his contingent of German soldiers. The flag was placed into a hole that had been bored for that purpose in the front gate. The soldiers grabbed the flag, waved it around, went over to the courthouse and began to sing.
After the battle of Carthage and as the town was being disbanded, Norris Hood found that the Jasper County Circuit Clerk had taken the court records to Neosho with the victorious Confederate troops. He did not feel the records were safe, even though they were stored in the vault in the courthouse there. With his wagon and an escort of U.S. soldiers, Mr. Hood retrieved the records and took them to Ft. Scott, Kansas.
His wife Malinda died in 1862 and Norris Hood moved his family to Ft. Scott to wait out the war. While he was living in Kansas, his home on the Carthage square was burned in October 1863. When the war ended Mr. Hood and the court records returned to Jasper County where he was elected county treasurer in 1867.
Norris Hood was appointed a town trustee in 1869. Despite his southern birth and upbringing, he strongly believed in the Union cause and was one of the leaders of the Liberal Republicans. Mr. Hood was a Baptist and instrumental in forming a Baptist Church in Carthage, regularly opening his home to visiting preachers. He was also a member of the Masons.
Norris Clark Hood died in 1870 of a kidney ailment and was buried in Dudman Cemetery, Reeds.