Prof. H. L. W. Gross, Principal of the Masonic Normal School, Alexandria, and the associate principal, Prof. James L. Boon, are well and favorably known throughout the country. Prof. Gross is the son of Milton and Clara P. C. (Lincoln) Gross , and a native of White County.
The father was of German descent, Born in Sullivan County, Tenn., and a son of Jacob Gross, a native of North Carolina and pioneer settler of Sullivan County, where he was engaged in farming and gunsmithing. He died about 1880. His widow, who is ninety-five years of age, enjoys the best of health, is robust and vigorous as a young woman, and never had a serious illness in her life. Milton went to Sparta when about eighteen years of age, and engaged in the saddler’s trade. He married about 1838, and died about 1854. His wife was born in Hardy County (now West),Virginia in 1815, is still living at Sparta, where he received his early education.
After attending Burritt College at Spencer, lacking only a term of five months, finishing the course, and two years’ teaching in Alexandria , he entered the Vanderbilt University course in English. He returned to Alexandria and entered upon the duties of his present position, which he has discharged to the satisfaction of all, winning the confidence and esteem of the community. In 1886 he made an extended tour through the North for mental improvement. He attended the two weeks’ session of the eminent Dr. Parker’s, and visited the Cincinnati schools. He is a Democrat, and for fourteen years has been a faithful member of the Christian Church.