|Birth: ||Apr. 11, 1861|
|Death: ||Dec. 5, 1919|
Erastus Van Hood's last name was Hood. He went by E. Van Hood or Van. This is proven by biographies written about him and census, marriage,and death records of his relatives. Somewhere along the way after his death his wife Louise adopted Van Hood as her last name.
The Ocala Evening Star issue of Saturday, December 6, 1919
Erastus Van Hood
We doubt that any man in our wide country and its borders was more helpful or more truly beloved that Dr. E. Van Hood, who Friday afternoon, just before two o'clock, passed from a life of devotion and service into rest and reward everlasting.
Erastus Van Hood was born in Hurtsboro, Ala., April 11, 1861. He was reared to young manhood in Harris County, Ga. He chose the medical profession for his work in life and after taking a course in medicine in Atlanta attended and graduated at the College for Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore. In 1884 he opened his practice in Oxford, Sumter county, came to Ocala two years later and has been with us ever since.
Dr. Hood was peculiarly adapted to his profession, possessing an intuitive ability to solve the most intricate problems, and being possessed by a spirit of love for humanity that inspired him with the greatest desire to save life or relieve pain. He put his heart in his work and had such skill in carrying it out that his step on the threshold of an afflicted home was like that of a ministering angel.
Dr. Hood is one of the men to whom was due breaking the great scourge of yellow fever and banishing it from the South, which had cowered in annual terror of its coming for more than two centuries. He was a medical officer in the Spanish-American war and served in the Santiago campaign. There, after work on the battlefields and in the hospitals, he was added to the noble little band of surgeons who cared for the fever stricken men who were isolated on an island in Santiago harbor. Here he worked and fought the disease, helping to save some of our boys, helping to put others in coffins to be taken away for burial, for weeks during the terrible summer that followed the capture of the city. He was finally stricken himself, but continued at work ministering to his fellow sufferers until he could no longer stand up. He has a long and severe struggle with the fever, but thanks to his strong constitution and clean living, as much as the care of his fellow surgeons, he survived. He came home looking like a ghost, and tho' he lived to help his friends and his country for another score of years, he never entirely recovered from the fearful days of '98. But during his sickness he had full opportunity to observe the working of yellow fever, and when the mosquito-transmission theory was advanced he was among the first to endorse it and help put preventive measures against the disease in operation.
In 1905, Dr. Hood was joined in wedlock to Mrs. Louise B. Porter, widow of Rev. J. C. Porter, to whom during his lifetime Dr. Hood had been a sincere friend, almost a brother. The union was a happy one; these two have been true helpmates, and their love and closely knit sympathy for each other have been beautiful to see. The incessant care and watchfulness of Mrs. Hood over her none too robust husband has probably aided him to live longer and be a greater help to his friends.
Dr. Hood gave much time to unpaid public work. He was high in the confidence of the state board of health, and aided it greatly in its operations. He was a member of the State Board of Examiners for many years, his feeble health compelling him to resign only a few months ago. He was one of the main stays of our hospital, which was given care of crippled children of the state because of the board's confidence in his skill and kindness. His life was unceasingly busy - - when he went away from Ocala, it generally to take medical or surgical courses in the most advanced schools, and when he did permit himself to rest for a few weeks it was only to gather fresh strength for his labor to humanity. His charity was boundless - - how much time and work he gave to the suffering who could not pay will never be known until the recording angel hands in his final account on the great judgment day. If he ever refused a call for help it was from the sheer inability to answer it.
The loving care of his wife and stepdaughters, his own skill in conserving his strength while most busily engaged, kept him with us longer than had circumstances been different. But the constant strain ever told and at last became too much for him. The great plague of influenza that spread over the country last year probably was the final burden that broke him down. For weeks he was constantly on the go. Nearly all the doctors in this and neighboring counties were at one time or another in the army or down sick, and this good physician tried to do the work of half a dozen. He was at work night and day. He had the disease himself, but refused to yield to it. He doctored himself - - he was one of the few who can do that - - and went on with his work, his limbs aching and his head reeling with the disease and its counteracting medicine; his eyes burning from want of sleep. He would come home from a long trip out in the country, eat a few mouthfuls of the dainty meals his faithful helper always kept waiting for him, lay down on the lounge for a few minutes rest, and then get up and go again to relieve suffering elsewhere. Many men and women are living today because Dr. Hood wore his life out a year ago.
He pulled thru, and with the ending of the epidemic and less work tried to take a little rest. He went to Asheville for a few weeks; then returned and tried to take up his work again. But his vitality was sapped and he soon broke down. His wife took him back to North Carolina, and there he spent the summer and early autumn, growing weaker, despite mountain air, and devoted attention. He suffered little pain; was only weak and tired. With aching hearts his loved ones realized that his work in this world was done, and when the autumn chill began to be felt in the mountains, they brought him back home. Since then weeks have slipped by, hardly noticed by the sick man, who knowing as well as anyone how steadily he was passing down into the dark valley, saw no dread in its shadow, while on beyond he knew was either rest or greater usefulness, and was content. His mind was bright and clear almost to the end. His weakness was so great during the last few weeks that he could not see his friends but a few minutes at a time, but he always had a bright smile for them and some of the old-time vigor in his welcoming handclasp.
Thursday he drifted into unconsciousness, and yesterday at the brightest hour of the day he passed into the day that knows no sunset and whose brightness is never dimmed.
Dr. Van Hood was a man of high views and wide information. For a physician dependent on his own means, he had traveled much; for an almost incessantly busy man he had read greatly in literature as well as medicine. He had seen most of his own country, Cuba, Egypt, Palestine, Constantinople and most of Europe west of Russia. In his early days he became familiar with the classics, and as his life went on he kept abreast of the best reading. His retentive mind retained this information and he knew how to apply it to the best advantage.
He was a Sir Galahad among physicians - - only, he found the Holy Grail of healing early, and ever bore it in his hand, dispensing its healing contents to suffering humanity.
He was deeply religious, tho he seldom thought of creed. He lived his religion. He had the faith of a little child. He felt that "God's in his Heaven; all's well with the world," and secure in that faith went on with his life work, troubling himself not with the matters beyond his powers. He was a man of high ideals - - idealism ruled his life, and he was quick to recognize it in others. Seldom did he make a mistake, and his faith once given to a friend he never withdrew it.
Dr. Hood leaves his wife and her three daughters, Mrs. W. A. Collier of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Mrs. Lew Lyons of DesMoines, La, and Miss Marguerite Porter of this city, to whom he has given a father's love and care and received their sincere affection in return; his brother, Dr. J. Walter Hood, his playmate in youth, his strong helper in manhood and his untiring attendant on his sickbed; and a sister, Mrs. Beatrice Hood Middlebrooks of Fort Pierce. Very dear to him also were the children of his stepdaughters, Mrs. Collier and Mrs. Lyons, and on the few occasions when they could be brought together they made a family circle within which was to be found the sum of human happiness.
Dr. Hood's remains lay in their casket at the home of his brother this morning and early afternoon, and many came to see their beloved friend for the last time. Wasted and worn as he was by long months of sickness, death could only ennoble his face, from which benevolence and thoughtfulness for others has ever looked. At 3 o'clock the body was borne to the Baptist church, where he has been a sincere and faithful attendant for years. Rev. C. M. Brittain led in the services, and his well-chosen words went to the hearts of all. After these services the body was taken to Greenwood and tenderly consigned to its last earthly resting place.
The pall bearers were as follows; Active pall bearers, Messrs. W. T. Gary, Niel Ferguson, S. H. Christian, J. L. Edwards, W. D. Carn and T. E. Bridges.
Honorary: T. T. Munroe, Harry Walters, S. H. Blitch, E. G. Peek, H. W. Henry, E. G. Lindner, H. F. Watt, H. C. Dozier, J. H. Benjamin, George MacKay, R. A. Burford, R. B. Bullock, Ben Rheinaur and Charles Rheinaur.
McIver & MacKay had charge of the arrangements.
If all those whom this good man has saved from death or relieved from pain could have come today and laid each a single flower upon his grave, the lonely mound would be covered deep with the blossoms of love and beauty.
Louise B. Starke Van Hood (1862 - 1948)*
Created by: M. Braun
Record added: Jun 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92321634
A Find A Grave volunteer has reported a problem with the photo request for Erastus Van Hood. The general problem they reported is: Searched the entire cemetery and could not find the grave|
Added: May. 25, 2014