Nils Joseph Hong Papers

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Reference code

UA 1.3.4

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Nils Joseph Hong Papers


  • 1893 - 1960 (Creation)


4.3 linear feet (9 boxes)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Nils J. Hong was born 7 February 1866 in Westby, Wisconsin, and the family moved to Minnesota shortly thereafter. He attended the Willmar Seminary in Minnesota off and on from 1881 to 1892, and taught public school when he was not attending classes. Hong graduated from Luther College in 1895 and returned to Willmar Seminary as an instructor.

In 1897 Hong came to Pacific Lutheran Academy as a professor, where he taught at least a dozen subjects over his many years at the institution. He took over from Bjug Harstad as president in 1898, oversaw the official accreditation of the school, and helped to start Parkland Light and Water (now the oldest operating nonprofit public utility in the US), as well as many other advancements until PLA briefly closed in 1918. During the closure, Hong took a position as an English teacher at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

After PLA merged with Columbia College and reopened as Pacific Lutheran College, Hong returned and taught languages and literature there until his retirement in 1938. He died the following year.

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Scope and content

Papers of Nils J. Hong, president at Pacific Lutheran Academy, 1898 – 1918, contains correspondence, corporate reports, newspaper clippings, and class books.

System of arrangement

Papers are organized into topical series and further divided into folders by subject and arranged chronologically. The correspondence (Series 1) deals primarily with everyday transactions for the university, including ordering textbooks, appointing professors, and securing funding. The corporate reports (Series 2) discuss the finances and attendance at Pacific Lutheran Academy and general discussions about the state of the school. Class books from Hong’s period of teaching at PLA and works translated by him are also included (Series 3 and 4). The newspaper clippings come from both local and national papers in several languages, including English, Norwegian, and Japanese (Series 5). They primarily focus on details of World War I, although later clippings concern Parkland and the university.The remainder of this collection (Series 6 and 7) include artifacts and oversized documents from Hong’s time at PLU.

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Languages of the material

  • English
  • Norwegian

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