Hiram B. Hoyt
photo in source book
Few men of a past generation in Fayette county were more prominently
identified with her business interests, her leading enterprises and did
more for the general upbuilding of the community than the late Hiram
B. Hoyt, who was a resident of West Union from its infancy, 1853,
until his death, January 3, 1906, and he will long be remembered and
highly esteemed by a host of friends here. He was born in Ridgefield,
Fairfield county, Connecticut, December 17, 1830, and was the son of
Daniel and Prua (Keeler) Hoyt. The father born in Westchester county, New
York, in November, 1806, was of English descent and he died in Vermont in
the autumn of 1878. According to tradition, the Hoyt family in America is
traced to three brothers who settled on the Eastern coast in colonial
days, the branch to which Hiram B. Hoyt belonged being descended from the
one who settled in Connecticut. The mother of Mr. Hoyt was also a native
of Fairfield county, Connecticut, of German lineage.
Hiram B. Hoyt was reared in his native community and received his
education in the common schools. Upon reaching maturity he left home and
began life for himself, locating first at South Hero, Grand Island County,
Vermont, and there married Juliett Kent, who was born in that county in
1832, of English ancestry, being the daughter of Helmer Kent and wife.
Their marriage was celebrated on February 22, 1853, and in the autumn of
that year they came to Iowa, locating in Fayette county, settling in
Illyria township, in 1854, where Mr. Hoyt farmed about two years, them
moved to another farm two miles north of West Union.
There he remained until 1868, when he moved to the city and engaged in the
hardware business in company with Samuel HOLTON, under the firm name of
Hoyt and Holton, which partnership lasted until 1878, when Mr. Hoyt
purchased his partner's interests and conducted the business alone until
January, 1890, when he sold out to his son, F. E. Hoyt, and his nephew, W.
W. Wright. In January, 1891, Mr. Hoyt purchased Mr. Wright's interest and
the firm is now known as Hoyt & Son. An indication of Mr. Hoyt's splendid
business ability is seen from the fact that he continued in the hardware
business for over forty years. He built up a very liberal patronage and
was long one of the leading merchants and business men of the county.
Mr. Hoyt's wife was called to her rest in April, 1873, leaving three
children, one son and two daughters: Ella S. is the wife Ed. P. Sears, of
Salt Lake City, Utah; Florence A. is the wife of Joseph Andrews, of
Alliance, Nebraska; Fred E., who married Margaret Smith, is a hardware
merchant in West Union. Mr. Hoyt was again married November 23, 1876, in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Hattie A. Booth, daughter of William and Lydia
Booth and a native of Albany, New York. The latter marriage resulted in
the birth of two daughters, Minnie B., wife of Eugene S. Lawyer, for three
years a resident of Los Angeles, California, and now is engaged in running
a correspondence school; Grace W., who married F. W. Schneider, a druggist
in West Union, Iowa.
Mr. Hoyt for many years was prominently connected with various business
interests in West Union. He helped organize the Fayette County National
Bank in 1873 and was a member of its board of directors continuously until
his death. He also aided in the organization of the Fayette County Savings
Bank in 1875, of which he was president for many years up to the time of
Politically, Mr. Hoyt was a Republican and he was inclined to Universalism
in his religious views. Fraternally he was a member of West Union Lodge
No. 69, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. During his residence of over
half a century in Fayette county he was known to its citizens as a man
whose word was as good if not better than the bond of many, whose course,
in every respect, was highly commendable, rendering him popular with a
large circle of friends and acquaintances.