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Mr. Walter E. Hosch was a Genius, and His Father Helped Pioneer the Georgia City Named Hoschton

The Hosch family plot at Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia has been profiled in this space before. All because of the sphere. It's a symbol of the never-ending circle of life, eternity, and totality. This post provides obituaries for Walter E. Hosch and his father William, both buried in the lot.


Gainesville News (Georgia)
1 May 1918 - pg. 1 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
DEATH OF MR. WALTER E. HOSCH
Mr. Walter E. Hosch died at St. Luke's hospital in St. Louis last Wednesday at 8.32 p.m. after an illness of nine days. He was operated on April 15th for acute indigestion and never survived, although it was hoped up to Wednesday afternoon that he would rally. He was given every attention, and all that was possible was done to save his life.

Mr. Hosch was born at Flowery Branch May 10, 1880, and was therefore thirty-eight years of age. He was married in Jackson, Ga., on October 23, 1907, to Miss Annie Mae Thornton, and she and three little girls survive the union, viz: Bernice, aged 9; Miriam, aged 7; and Winifred, aged 3.

The greater portion of Mr. Hosch's life was spent in Gainesville, and his business life here was spent in the firm of Hosch Bros. Co., of which he was an active member. On April 1, 1911, Mr. Hosch moved to St. Louis, where he went with the McKinney Traction Cultivator Co., but three years later he invented a machine, called the "Measuregraph," and he organized a $300,000 corporation for its manufacture. In the fall of 1916 this machine had attained such success that the corporation's capital was doubled, and the company is now turning out 500 machines per month, each of which sells at $150, and its sale is increasing so rapidly that the company is developing into one of the largest and most successful in the entire country.

After developing this machine on such a large scale, Mr. Hosch divorced himself from the details of the corporation and devoted himself exclusively to the invention of other devices, two of which -- a computing machine, which multiplies, divides, subtracts and adds, and what is known as a "Leather integrator," which counts the square inches in hides -- are now being manufactured and extensively sold by what is known as the Hosch Mechanisms Corporation, a $100,000 corporation.

Mr. Hosch also had several other devices or machines ready for the market, and had written a book in which about fifty measuring devices were enumerated and which he hoped in time to place upon the market. He was a genius and devoted himself to the perfection of these devices, those which he had put upon the market having proven great successes.

The body of Mr. Hosch arrived here from St. Louis Saturday afternoon, accompanied by his sister, Mrs. W. R. Hightower, his brother, Mr. G. Carlton Hosch and wife, Mr. Adam K. Geiger, Mr. H. G. Hurd and Mr. Douglas Turner, the last three representing the corporations of which Mr. Hosch was the head in St. Louis. The remains were carried to the home of the deceased's mother, Mrs. William Hosch, on Green street, where they remained until 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon, when the funeral services were conducted from the First Methodist church by Dr. G. M. Eakes. Interment was in the family lot at Alta Vista cemetery.

It is rare that such a profusion of beautiful flowers are ever seen as those which covered the grave and family lot, these tributes coming from friends at St. Louis, Gainesville and elsewhere.

A touching incident at the burial was the covering of the grave with roses from a bush planted by Mr. Hosch himself when the present First Methodist church was completed some years ago, he having expressed the wish that when he died that his grave be covered with flowers from this rose planted at God's house.

Besides his mother, Mrs. William Hosch, the following brothers and sisters survive him: Messrs. John H., Will H., Lester W. and Ralph B. Hosch of this city, Mr. G. Carlton Hosch and Mrs. W. B. Hightower of St. Louis.

Mr. Hosch was at the time of his death a member of St. Luke's Methodist church of St. Louis. While living here he became deeply interested in the establishment of a school at Murrayville and he gave much of the money and considerable time to creating the Murrayville High School, which is today doing much for the education of the young people of that section.

He organized the real estate firm of W. A. Roper & Co., and created what is known as Green Street Circle. He was active in many other ways in civic, religious and educational affairs, and in his untimely passing a splendid young man is removed from earth's activities to his Eternal Home.
About six months before Walter's death, this blurb was published in the Monroe City Democrat (Missouri):
An instrument known as the measuregraph is destined to supercede the yard stick. Not only does the measuregraph indicate mathematically the exact length of goods measured, but it also tells the total cost of the purchase. This invention will be a special treasure to the clerks who don't know how to compute fractional values speedily.
About Walter's Father

Gainesville News (Georgia)
8 April 1914 - pg. 1 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
MR. WILLIAM HOSCH DEAD

Passed Away Thursday Morning After Being Suddenly Stricken With Apoplexy.


Mr. William Hosch, one of Gainesville's best known and most highly esteemed citizens, died at his home on Green street last Thursday at 1 o'clock p.m., after being stricken with apoplexy at 7 a.m. He never regained consciousness after the stroke came suddenly upon him. The following facts relative to his life will be of interest to his numerous friends: Born August 13, 1845, one mile from Winder, Jackson county, Ga. Son of Henry Hosch and Matilda Camp Hosch. His grandfather, Jacob Hosch, came to Walton county, Ga., in 1821 from Edgefield District, S.C., and was a soldier of the revolution.

In 1858 Henry Hosch moved to the plantation on the Mulberry River in Jackson county, one mile below the present town of Hoschton. Here William Hosch spent his youth and his young manhood. In 1861 his father went to the war as lieutenant in Captain Reynolds' company and died from exposure in 1862 after the forced march from Yorktown in Va. When 17, William went to Richmond, 13 months after his father's death and brought his body home, coming to Athens and thence 25 miles to the plantation home.

William was preparing to enter the University of Georgia in 1861 when the war prevented. He obtained a common school education from the schools maintained by his father and other citizens, chiefly at Bethlehem church near his home.

On Feb. 3, 1864 he enlisted in company E, C. S. Marine Corps, Capt. John R. F. Tatnell, son of the old Commodore, commanding. He did service in the naval department of the Confederacy around Savannah, Charleston and up and down the coast on shipboard. He was at Savannah when Sherman attacked the city, evacuating with his command at midnight on a pontoon bridge the night before Sherman entered the city. He surrendered with his company in North Carolina April 26, 1865, under command of Joseph E. Johnson [sic], and came to Augusta, thence to Athens, and arrived home May 3.

He was the oldest son of nine children of his parents and after the surrender helped his mother to manage the plantation and rear the large family.

In 1867 he opened a small store near the DeLaperriere place in Jackson county, then moved in a year or two to Hosch's Cross Roads just below the present town of Hoschton. There he and his brother did business for a number of years in connection with running the farm.

In 1872 he moved to Flowery Branch and became the first agent of the Richmond & Danville Railroad just completed from Charlotte to Atlanta. That year he married Angeline Braselton, daughter of Sarah Braselton, in the house where the Mountain View hotel now stands. In Flowery Branch he was in business with Geo. P. Estes.

In 1881 he moved back to Jackson county and laid off the town of Hoschton and built the first house there, the place that his brother, R. A. Hosch, now owns. Here he did business for seven years and was also the agent of the G. J. & S. railroad.

In September 1889 he moved to Gainesville and formed a partnership with Geo. P. Estes, buying out the firm of Palmour, Cody & Co., in the building where W. J. & E. C. Palmour are now located. Part of the year 1892 he lived in Atlanta but came back to Gainesville in November and opened up business with his brother and sons as Hosch Brothers & Co. Here he remained until 1901 when the business was sold to Johnson & Castleberry and the present wholesale business was started in the building which he erected that year.

He was the father of eight children, seven of whom reached manhood: John H., William H., Rose Eula, Walter E., G. Carlton, Lester W., and Ralph B., Freddie B., died in infancy at Hoschton. Two brothers and three sisters survive him: Russell A. and Andrew, Mrs. Susan Braselton and Miss Mary A. Hosch, of Hoschton, and Mrs. John P. Canning of Chickasha, Oklahoma.

The funeral services were held from the First Methodist church Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock, conducted by his pastor, Dr. Thos. R. Kendall, and a former pastor, Rev. B. F. Fraser of Atlanta. The church was filled to overflowing with friends and relatives of the deceased and the floral offerings were profuse. The deceased's six sons acted as pall bearers.

The interment took place at Alta Vista cemetery. To the bereaved the News extends deepest sympathy.
According to the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce, "In 1865 the City of Hoschton was named for three pioneer brothers, J.R., R.A., and William Hosch. The brothers built the first store and other stores soon popped up..."

Also buried with Walter and William in the family plot at Alta Vista Cemetery is William's wife Angeline Braselton Hosch (1852-1940) and another son of theirs, Ralph Belk Hosch (1893-1971).

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The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)