Hobo college

James Eads How, known as the Millionaire Hobo, founded a series of “colleges” to house, feed, and educate the hobos of America.

Library of Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

James Eads How is a character who I may write about in more detail later. One of his many contributions to hobo culture were the so-called hobo colleges.

Although it was nothing like a traditional college, its focus was on providing a practical education for the thousands of hobos displaced by the Great Depression. These colleges were housed in rented buildings, usually over winter. They featured lectures in the evenings on topics such as “basic social science, industrial law, vagrancy laws, public speaking, searching for jobs, venereal disease […] philosophy, literature and religion.”

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