June 19, 1858, Candia, New Hampshire.

February 26, 1911.

North Burial Ground, Providence, Rhode Island.


Foss lost his mother at age four, worked on his father’s farm and went to school in the winter. He graduated from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1882, and would be considered illustrious enough to warrant having his name inscribed on the mace. Beginning in 1898, he served as librarian at the public library in Somerville, Massachusetts. He married a minister’s daughter, with whom he had a daughter and son. Foss used to write a poem a day for the newspapers, and his five volumes of collected poetry are of the frank and homely common man variety.

Among Foss’ best known poems are The House by the Side of the Road, The Coming American, and Two Gods. His works include:

  1. Let Me Be a Friend to Man