Bettie Eloise Hood

Date of birth: January 31, 1928
Atlanta, Georgia
Date of death: February 25, 1929
Atlanta, Georgia
Cause of death: Meningitis

Mother: Martha Inez Hood (Barker)
Dec 18, 1908 to Feb 17 1996
Father: Simion Martin Hood
Sep 20, 1906 to Sep 13, 1983

“A Mothers Love”

By: Jean Tolbert
Kennesaw Cemetery Preservation Committee

Dedicated to the memory of Inez and Bettie Hood

The year was 1929, Herbert Hoover was President and the cost of a US postage stamp was 2 cents. In November the stock market would crash, plunging this country into “the great depression,” tough economic times for our nation that would span the next decade. In Atlanta, Isaac Newton Ragsdale was Mayor, the city was bustling with excitement over the construction of its New City Hall building, and Atlantans were looking forward to the opening of the Fox Theater in December. Here in Kennesaw the population was around 426 and Mayor James G. Lewis was considering starting our own waterworks service.

Down on Center St. in Atlanta, one-year-old Bettie Hood lived with her family, and by all accounts she was a normal happy baby spending her time playing with her older sister Sylvia, and being doted on by her parents. Her father Simion, S.M. as he was known, worked for the City of Atlanta as a Streetcar Operator, and her mother Inez stayed home to care for her children. Sadly little Bettie contracted meningitis and died in February. Devastated by grief, and unable to afford a cemetery lot in Atlanta the young couple accepted the offer of family to bury little Bettie in Kennesaw along side her great grandparents Rev. William A. Babb, and Martha F. Babb, Inez’s grandparents. How difficult it must have been for Inez to bury her child in what had to seem like a faraway land from Atlanta. At the time there were no Interstates, Cobb Pkwy did not exist, and most roads were unpaved and rough, making the short trip we take for granted today into quite a journey. This also meant that visits to little Bettie’s grave were minimal, the family had to find funds to afford a headstone and frequent visits were not financially feasible.

Inez would not have anymore children after Bettie; she turned to her faith and family to sustain her through the years that followed. Inez lovingly and painstakingly preserved Bettie’s belongings and her memories the only way she could at the time. The few material possessions that had belonged to Bettie, along with the few photographs she had of her she carefully marked, boxed and preserved. These items have been handed down through the family, until through some strange twist of fate they came into my care.

The statement “a mother’s love knows no bounds” is so true, of course Inez never stopped loving Bettie. I remember so well that even in Inez’s later years the only thing that could bring a simultaneous smile to her face and tear to her eye was the mention of her precious Bettie. When I married Inez’s grandson John in 1986 she was very excited, of course for us, but she was very interested in the fact that I was a native of Kennesaw. I would soon learn the story of little Bettie, and at the request of Inez I would take flowers to Bettie’s grave and make sure everything was in order. Inez and S.M. now rest at Sunrise Memorial Garden in Douglasville, although their physical remains are miles apart we know that their spirits have again been reunited with their beloved Bettie.

So now you know the story of little Bettie Hood and how she came to rest in the Kennesaw City Cemetery.