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September 22, 2017

Mountain Grove, Mo. goes to Washington, DC: J. Dan Hull, Jr.

My grandfather was born in 1900. He died in 1988. I still miss him. He grew up in the Ozarks in a town called Mountain Grove and, at a very young age, started taking degrees at the University of Missouri, Chicago and Yale. In my family in the 1920s, going to college would have been a very big deal, and granddad was the first in his branch to do that. He was of the sixth American generation of a family of German farmers who arrived in Philadelphia in the early 1700s and started out life Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They later moved to Middlebrook, Virginia where they would stay for 100 years. In the 1850s, they oved to southern Missouri where, 50 years later, grandad would be born and grow up. My grandfather was at heart a schoolteacher. He was principal of Shortridge High School in Indianapolis during the mid-1940s. He also managed people, authored books and eventually became a government official in the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. He traveled globally and extensively in his HEW position. "J. Dan" Hull wrote a standard text on high school administration that was used for decades. In the 1950s, he was elected to Cosmos Club in Washington. He taught me things no one else in my family could teach. And he gave me the Great Books. This giving started after he had finished his career in Washington, D.C., and had returned to Springfield, Missouri. Most were written centuries ago, and lived in his library long before I was born. He seemed to love Cicero's known works as much as any of his books. Now, I have all those volumes. They are, to me, like parts of him--and like very old friends of his in my care who've finally agreed to live with me indefinitely.

*from past posts

JDH II.jpg
J. Dan Hull II in 1933

Posted by JD Hull at September 22, 2017 11:50 PM

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