George W. Hoss

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Hoss, George W.
George W. Hoss
1.0 Linear feet

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Biographical Note

George Washington Hoss was born on November 6, 1824 in Brown County, Ohio. His parents were Jacob Hoss and Jane Kinney. In 1836 the Hoss family moved to Indiana. He attended Indiana Asbury University, located in Greencastle, Indiana in 1845 graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, in 1850, and a Master of Arts degree, in 1853. George Hoss married Harriet J. Mitchell in 1850. They had one son Melville Mitchell Hoss in 1853. Hoss was an active member of the Temperance movement.

From 1850 to 1852 Hoss was the principal of the Muncie Academy in Muncie, Indiana. Beginning in 1852 until 1856 he was a mathematics teacher at Indiana Female College in Indianapolis. After leaving Indianapolis, Hoss held the position of Professor of Mathematics at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana from 1856 until 1864. From 1864 to 1868 he was the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana. During his tenure as superintendent Hoss secured a state normal school in Indiana, established teacher’s institutes, and oversaw the revision of school laws. After his time as superintendent Hoss held the position of Professor of English Literature at Indiana University from 1868 until 1872. In 1872 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Indiana University.

In July of 1871the Kansas Board of Regents chose Hoss to replace Lyman B. Kellogg as the president of the Kansas State Normal School in Emporia, Kansas. Hoss’ tenure as president was short, only lasting two years, from 1871 until 1873. During his time as president Hoss was successful in securing funds from the state legislature to construct a new building, as the number of enrolled students had increased to 200, but the assembly room in the old building could only accommodate 100. In 1872, President Hoss invited members of the state House of Representatives to visit the normal school. The citizens of Emporia provided carriages to transport the visitors to the school and displayed great hospitality. The next day the House passed a $50,000 appropriation, with the provision that the city provide $10,000. The new building was constructed in front of the old building, facing Commercial street, during the fall and winter of 1871 to 1872. It was described by the Emporia News as “one of the most spacious and elegant dwellings in our city.” The new brick building was four stories tall. In the basement were two cloak rooms for students, a gymnasium (which was never finished), two rooms for science laboratories, and boiler, fuel and janitor’s rooms. On the main floor there were six large classrooms, a reception room and office, and a cloak room for faculty. The third floor held five recitation rooms, an apparatus room, and an assembly room capable for holding two-hundred and fifty students. The top floor had two rooms for literary societies, a library and museum. The new building opened in March of 1873, and was officially dedicated in June of 1873.

In April of 1873 President Hoss reported disharmony among the faculty to the Kansas Board of Regents. He recommended that all faculty, himself included, turn in their resignations and allow the Board to choose who was re-hired. In May of 1873 Hoss was re-hired as President. Only one faculty member was re-hired, the remaining positions were filled in June. In August of 1873, Hoss announced his intent to resign as President of the Kansas State Normal School to accept a professorship at the Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He would finish out the year, and the resignation would take effect in December.

From 1873 until 1880 Hoss held the position of Professor of English literature and elocution at Indiana University. In 1880 Hoss moved to Topeka, Kansas where he purchased and edited The Educationist, the leading school journal of Kansas at the time. He would be a professor of English classics and oratory at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas from 1884 until 1890. His wife, Harriet died June 1, 1886. In 1888 Hoss married May Engstrom. They had one son, Wendell in 1892. In 1890 Hoss would move to Wichita, Kansas and establish the Western School of Elocution and Oratory. Hoss died in Wichita on April 11, 1906 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City, Kansas.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Kansas State Normal School- President.

Personal Name(s)

  • Hoss, George W.

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