Howard Allan Gass was born on August 22, 1853, in Audrain County to Samuel Black Gass and Mary Elizabeth Pearson. His father was the sheriff of Audrain County at a time when money was transported from Jefferson City to Audrain in saddlebags.
When Gass graduated from H. M. Hammel’s Academy in Mexico, Missouri, he taught for five years in county schools. He was then hired to teach at Hammel, but was soon employed as principal in Martinsburg, Missouri. He worked in Martinsburg for three years before becoming a superintendent in Vandalia, Missouri. During his seven years in Vandalia, Gass was elected county commissioner of Audrain. However, he resigned and moved to Jefferson City to become the chief clerk under the state superintendent of schools. In 1906, he was elected state superintendent of schools. He served two terms, one from 1907-1911, and another that began in 1915. He was supposed to serve until 1919, but he died suddenly in 1916.
In 1887, Gass became editor of the Missouri School Journal, and held that position for twenty-six years. Naturally, he then joined the Missouri Press Association, and was elected treasurer for ten years.
On Christmas day of 1876, Gass married Alice Josephine Shell, daughter of a judge in Audrain County. The couple had two children, Alma Josephine and Howard Ray. Alma married John M. Miller of Kansas City, and Howard became a civil engineer.← Busch, Hugo Hobbs, John W. →