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Special Collections Online at UT

James D. Hoskins Scrapbooks

Identifier: MS-3729

  • Staff Only

The collection consists of James D. Hoskins's congratulatory letters as the President of the University of Tennessee, Sesqui-Centennial letters, and retirement letters. Also included in the collection are newspaper clippings, photographs, programs, and the personal effects of Hoskins (1870-1960). The collection also consists of oversized materials such as newspaper clippings, scrapbook pages, and ward maps of Knoxville.


  • 1870-1976


The material in this collection is in English and French. There are two French tickets within the Promotional Material folder.

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


1 Linear Feet


The collection consists of letters, newspaper clippings, and personal effects of former University of Tennessee president James D. Hoskins (1870-1960).

Biographical/Historical Note

James Dickason Hoskins was born on January 30, 1870 in New Market, Tennessee to William Patton and Mary Olivia Rawls (Mills) Hoskins. His family moved to Knoxville in 1886, and Hoskins entered East Tennessee University in 1887. Although his father feared what he considered the University's godlessness, he was willing to risk his son's attendance on the grounds that if "we have trained you up to sixteen years of age and you cannot be able after that training to keep out of hell in college, I doubt if you will be able to keep out of it anywhere else." Hoskins proved to be a very successful student and graduated with his BS in 1891 and again with his MS in 1893. He went on to serve as the principal of the Masonic Institute in Fort Jesup, Louisiana (1893-1894) and then returned to Knoxville to teach at two prestigious prepatory schools, Knoxville Classical and the Baker-Himel School. He married Lynn Luella Deming on November 29, 1899, and the couple had two children.

Hoskins returned to the University of Tennessee as an Assistant Professor of History in 1900. He was promoted to full Professor in 1907 and then to Dean of the College in 1911. He served as acting University President twice, once after Brown Ayres' untimely death in 1919 and again after Harcourt Morgan stepped down to take a position with the TVA in 1933. Hoskins officially became the University's fourteenth President in 1934. Although he was known as a tough administrator, the University grew phenomenally during his tenure. He oversaw the creation of several new courses of instruction and a number of new buildings. He also created a regular retirement plan for University faculty, building on a suggestion originally made by Harcourt Morgan in 1922. Although many younger University administrators had begun to wonder if the presidency had perhaps become too much for Hoskins by 1944, he did not retire until June of 1946. Hoskins died in Knoxville, Tennessee on April 3, 1960 at the age of 90.

Hoskins was also a member of the executive committee for the Sesqui-Centennial Celebration in 1941.

Processing Information

The collection arrived in one box and had three scrapbooks within the box. Scrapbook pages, if used, were removed from the scrapbook binding and placed in folders. All of the letters within the scrapbooks were removed and placed into folders. The scrapbook bindings were removed from the collection. The UT Presidency Congratulatory, retirement, and sesqui-centennial letters were ordered alphabetically by the last name of the sender. This is the original arrangement.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA