Hermann Balthasar Boisen


Honorary Degree (1872)
Master of Arts
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Cyrus Nutt


Hermann B. Boisen was born in 1846 and educated in Germany. He came to America in 1869 and to Indiana University in 1870, continuing as a member of the faculty (except 1874-1876) until 1880. He married Louise Wylie, daughter of Theophilus Wylie, in 1873. At the time of his death, in 1884, he was teaching in the Lawrenceville (NJ) School for Boys. He was the author of several textbooks in German on a distinctly novel plan.

When he first came to America he conducted, somewhere in the West, a school for pupils of all ages. He thought that teaching should be done without the use of books, so he rose very early, and by the use of ladders placed the lessons of the day upon the walls. His school grew rapidly in numbers, and he was teacher, doctor, nurse, leader. At the end of that school, he went up the Missouri River to recuperate among the Indians. His next school was among foreigners in Minnesota, where he had six schools which he visited in regular succession each week day, the attendance aggregating six hundred. He said that he tried to master an entirely new line of thought each year.