Page 652-653, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Mellville Hoss, of Milton township, was born in Indianapolis, Ind., March 29, 1853, a son of George W. and Harriett J. (Mitchell) Hoss. The mother was a native of Portland, Me., and the father was born in Ohio. He came to Indiana when a lad with his pioneer parents, who settled in Marion county, about six miles north of Indianapolis. Here George W. Hoss grew to manhood and received a good education in the public schools and later was a student at Asbury College, now DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind., where he completed the course and graduated. He ranked high as a scholar and an educator, and in 1871 was chosen president of Kansas State Normal School at Emporia. He held that position about three years, when he accepted the chair of English literature and elocution at Baker University, Baldwin, Kans. He and his wife are now deceased. They were the parents of two children, of whom Melville is the eldest.

Melville Hoss grew to manhood in Indianapolis, Ind., and received a reasonably good education, but as a boy he was never enthusiastic over his books. He longed for a big out of doors life. He wanted to be a farmer and be somewhere where there was lots of room, and when he came West with his father in 1871 and saw the broad expanse of green, rolling prairie, he longed for the out door life more than ever. In 1873, when the family returned to Indianapolis from Kansas, Melville had an interest in a feed business there, but in 1876 he came back to Kansas and raised a crop of wheat on some land that his father owned in Douglass county, and in the fall of that year he came to Butler county and bought the northeast quarter of section 16, Milton township. His intention was to raise wheat. He made the acquaintance of T. C. Henry, who was then a successful wheat grower and known as the "wheat king," but after some experimenting he decided that cattle raising was the better proposition, and later he bought another quarter section in Milton township. He began in the cattle business in an humble sort of way and soon met with phenomenal success. He began with very little capital and went heavily in debt, paying a high rate of interest, and today he is in independent circumstances, and he has been fairly successful in the cattle business. He is an extensive feeder, and his place is well equipped for that branch of the cattle business.

Mr. Hoss was married in 1877 to Miss Mary D. Baker, a native of Indiana, whose parents were early settlers in Douglass county, Kansas, and six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hoss, as follows:


Georgia S., married O. H. Easly, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Walter M., a successful farmer and stockman of Milton township; H. E., also a successful farmer and stockman, Clifford township; P. W., now in Colorado for his health; S. B., conducting a cattle ranch in Barber county, Kansas, and Ruth C., at home. S. B. and Walter M. Hoss are partners in the Barber county ranch, which consists of 3,000 acres. Their plan is to raise and graze cattle on the Barber county ranch and ship them to the home farm in Milton township, to be finished for market. The Milton township place has all facilities for cattle feeding, silos, barns, feed yards, etc. The Hoss boys understand the cattle business, having been brought up in it, and inherit much of the initiative nature and ambition of their father. Melville Hoss is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and is one of Butler county's citizens who has something to show for his forty years of effort in this county. He has the gratification of seeing his sons continue the work which he has started and they are carrying it on to a greater development than he had even dreamed possible.

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