John C. Hoyt became identified with the real estate, loan and insurance business at El Dorado over thirty years ago. He is the dean in that line of business in Butler County, and the reputation for honesty and integrity which had become associated with his name through many long years had brought him all the business that his firm could attend to during the rapid development of Butler County’s resources in recent years.
Mr. Hoyt was born near Bellevue, Ohio, September 3, 1860. His people have been identified with Northern Ohio since pioneer times. His grandfather, John Hoyt, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1783. The Hoyts came out of England and were Connecticut settlers in Colonial times, and from there John Hoyt came with the Connecticut colony to the Connecticut lands in Northern Ohio, in what is now the Western Reserve. He located in Erie County, Ohio, spent his life there as a farmer and died at Monroeville in that state in 1874.
W. B. Hoyt, father of J. C. Hoyt, was born at Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1824, spent part of his youth in Watertown, New York, and when a young man moved to the vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio. He followed farming there, and after his marriage moved to the vicinity of Bellevue, Ohio, where he spent the greater part of his active life. In 1908 he came to Kansas and lived retired at El Dorado until his death in the spring of 1909. He was a republican in politics and a very active member of the Congregational Church. He married Mary Ann Willard. She was a cousin of Frances E. Willard, one of the greatest of American women. Mary Ann Willard was born at Adams, New York, and died at Bellevue, Ohio, in 1908. J. W. Hoyt, the oldest of their children, is a retired farmer at Bellevue, Ohio. W. J. Hoyt is a farmer at Milan, Ohio. C. F. Hoyt came with his father to El Dorado in 1908 and had since lived retired, his previous vocation having been farming. H. M. Hoyt is a physician and surgeon, a graduate of the Chicago Medical College, and is now in practice at Pacific Grove, California. The fifth of the family is John C. Hoyt. F. B. Hoyt is a prominent business man and citizen at Chandler, Oklahoma, where he is in the insurance business, had banking interests, and where he had served as county treasurer and as representative in the State Legislature of Oklahoma. A. L. Hoyt is in the real estate and insurance business at Oklahoma City. E. W. Hoyt, the youngest of the family, is an abstracter at Chandler, Oklahoma.
Mr. John C. Hoyt grew up in Ohio, had a good education in the local schools, and afterward was graduated from Hillsdale College Michigan. In 1881 he came out to Kansas, first locating at Hiawatha, where he represented the Mutual Life Insurance Company. He found in insurance a congenial field and one well adapted to his talents, and had made an unusual success. For a time he followed newspaper work at Geuda Springs in Sumner County, but in 1885 came to Butler County and located at El Dorado, where for over thirty years he had had an office for real estate, farm loans and insurance. His most valuable property interest is forty acres of land he owned in the oil belt of Butler County. The lease rights of this land alone are worth over $800 an acre. For over twenty-five years Mr. Hoyt’s offices in El Dorado were over the Citizens State Bank, but they are now just opposite the courthouse at 221 West Central Avenue. He also owned his residence at 802 West Central Avenue, and had four other dwelling houses in the city. As a factor in the recently developed oil industry he had handled many leases of oil lands both for himself and for others. Mr. Hoyt formerly owned a hardware store at Maryville, Missouri, and one at Kelly, Kansas.
Always interested in the success of the republican party, Mr. Hoyt had been too busy to give much of his time to public office. By appointment from G. P. Aikman he filled out an unexpired term as clerk of the district court. He had also been a member of the city council of El Dorado. He belongs to the El Dorado Commercial Club and to the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hoyt had considerable interests in the mining districts of the State of Sonora, Mexico, and when order is restored he expects to resume work there.
Mr. Hoyt married in 1886 Minna Poggemburg, who was born in Monroe County, Ohio, and died at Cleveland in that state in 1889. There were no children of this union. Afterward Mr. Hoyt married Mrs. Frances J. (Cline) Smith. Mrs. Hoyt was born in Greenwood County, Kansas. By her former marriage she had one son, Bernie W. Smith, who, however, had always recognized Mr. Hoyt as his father in fact if not in name. Bernie W. Smith was born April 15, 1887, was educated in the public schools of El Dorado, completed the junior year of the high school, and in 1906 was granted his diploma at the Brumback Academy of El Dorado. While attending high school he attended courses in typewriting, stenography and bookkeeping, besides carrying the regular studies with credit. In 1906 he became stenographer in his father’s office, but after a year went to Maryville, Missouri, and had the management and bookkeeping of the hardware store owned by Mr. Hoyt there for nine months. After the store was sold he went to Kelly, Kansas, in 1908, and for a short time looked after the hardware store of his father at that place. Since returning to El Dorado he had been actively associated with Mr. Hoyt in the real estate and insurance business. This business now requires the constant attention of both partners, owing to the tremendous volume of transactions that have resulted from the development of oil and gas in Butler County. Bernie W. Smith owned his residence at 722 West Sixth Avenue and also a dwelling house at 723 West Sixth Avenue, and is associated with his father in the ownership of oil interests and leases in Butler County. Mr. Bernie W. Smith organized the Trapshooter Oil and Gas Company during 1916. This company started drilling on the Williams-Walker lease in township 26 south, range 4 cast, and later sold a half interest to the Eureka Oil Company for $150,000, part of which was used in the development of the lease. Their first well was brought in during the early part of May, 1916, which yielded about 2,000 barrels daily. Well No. 2, the banner well of the state, was brought in on June 1, 1917, and gave a yield of 15,000 barrels per day. This is the largest well in Kansas up to the present time. Both Mr. Smith and Mr. Hoyt retain an interest in the lease. The company expects to have in six more wells by October 1, 1917, and timber is on the ground for ten wells.
In politics Mr. Smith is a progressive, is a member of the Presbyterian Church, is affiliated with El Dorado Lodge No. 128, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and belongs to the El Dorado Commercial Club. On July 13, 1916, at Wellington, Kansas, Bernie W. Smith married Miss Grace Frances Wallace. She was born near Leoti, Kansas.