Born: April 14, 1849, Washington County, Tennessee.
Died: April 23, 1919, Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Buried: Originally at Green Hill Cemetery, Muskogee, Oklahoma. In 1924, he was re-interred at Maple Lawn Cemetery, Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Elijah was the son of Henry A. Hoss and Anna Maria Sevier, and husband of Abigail Belle
Abbie Clark (granddaughter of John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee).
He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan and Emory and Henry College, Virginia (1869).
In 1870, he was ordained a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He pastored in Knoxville, Tennessee (1870–72); San Francisco, California (1872–74); and Ashville, North Carolina.
From 1876–81, he taught at Martha Washington College, Abingdon, Virginia, then became president of his alma mater, Emory and Henry College.
He was also a professor of Church History at Vanderbilt University (1885–90), and edited the Christian Advocate in Nashville, Tennessee (1890–92).
In 1902, he became the Methodist bishop of Dallas, Texas.