Norman C. Hoyt has spent the best years of his life in one of the rich agricultural districts of Champaign County, has become prosperous from his handling of the soil and its crops, has reared a capable family, and has many reasons to be well satisfied with the retrospect that he can now contemplate while living at his beautiful old home at the north end of Main Street in the village of St. Joseph.
Mr. Hoyt was born in St. Joseph Township, June 6, 1863, son of James N. and Sarah (Hoss) Hoyt. His father was born at Moreau, Saratoga, New York, May 20, 1824, of Scotch ancestry. His parents were Nathan and Lucretia (Stevenson) Hoyt. Her father was pressed into service on the British side in the Revolutionary War, but was captured and fought on the American side. Sarah Hoss was born in Brown County, Ohio, January 1, 1825. Her paternal grandfather came from Germany and was a soldier in Washington’s army.
James and Sarah Hoyt were quite early settlers in Illinois. Sarah Hoyt came to this state in 1836 with her mother and two brothers and sister. The mother entered forty acres of Government land on Salt Fork Creek in Champaign County and that land has continued in the family possession to the present day. James N. Hoyt and wife had two sons, George and Norman. George is also a resident of St. Joseph, but spent thirty-seven years of his life in the West.
Norman Hoyt acquired his education in the district schools of St. Joseph Township and at the age of twenty-two he married Miss Mary E. Walker. She was born in Indiana, a daughter of Joseph R. and Catherine (Young) Walker. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt began housekeeping in his father’s old home, and the place where he was born and reared. Later his parents removed to the village of St. Joseph, and Norman and wife continued to live on the old homestead for twenty years. To their marriage were born nine children: Dolly E., Anson J., Minnie E., Ralph W., Ealy N. and Nealy G. (twins), Mildred C., Sarah L. and Zella E. Mr. Hoyt was very much concerned with the education of his children, and sent them to the public schools of the township and also to the high school at St. Joseph village. The son Anson J. is a farmer on the old homestead and by his marriage to Rosa Sinks has four children, Rolla, Robert, Leon and Charles. The daughter Dolly married Fred Roney, and at her death she left one child, Forest, and there was one that died in infancy. Ralph W. Hoyt lives in Minnesota. Minnie E. is the wife of Frank M. Jones, a resident of Champaign County. The son Ealy Hoyt is one of the young volunteers from Champaign County for the liberty war, and has enlisted in the artillery service, in Battery B, Third Infantry, and is at present located at Houston, Texas. Mr. Norman Hoyt has an interesting relic of Civil War times in the form of a bond issued July 11, 1864, drawing 6 per cent interest for three years. His brother George has a similar bond for $100, a 5 per cent issue for five years.
A number of years ago Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt moved with their family to the state of Kansas, where he bought land and was engaged in farming. While living in that state the death angel visited the home and on December 21, 1909, Mrs. Hoyt passed away. Left with the care of his young children Mr. Hoyt then returned to Champaign County and on the old homestead adjacent to St. Joseph village built the fine residence which he still occupies. In 1910 he married Mrs. Julia Etta (Clements) Appling. She was the widow of John H. Appling, and by that marriage was the mother of three children, William J., Grace C. and George E. Appling. William Appling was educated in the high school at Urbana, graduating in 1917 at the age of seventeen, while the other two children are still pursuing their studies in the local high school. Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt have one child, James C., now six years of age, and just beginning his educational preparation. Mrs. Hoyt’s mother, Mrs. Julia (Kirby) Clements, was born where the Blackberry Schoolhouse now stands in Champaign County. At the age of eight years she went with her parents to Wisconsin in a covered wagon. She now lives in Urbana, at the age of eighty-two years, with faculties well preserved.
For many years Mr. Hoyt has been a successful grain and stock farmer. His industry has met with pleasing success and one of the best fruits of it all besides his fine family is the beautiful and attractive home in North St. Joseph. As a background to his residence there is a dense wood of large elms and oaks which has stood there for generations, and Mr. Hoyt wisely held on to his inheritance of Champaign County soil and has always honored and appreciated the county where he was born and where his efforts have been most productive in the world’s work.
Mr. Hoyt’s mother passed away March 26, 1905, and his father joined her on August 8, 1911. They were among the highly respected residents of Champaign County. The father died in Kansas.
Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hoyt are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Mrs. Hoyt is a member. In politics he is a man of broad views and principles and interested in the man rather than the party. In many ways he has exemplified his public spirited interest in the local welfare and has been especially concerned with the maintenance of good schools. He served as director of District No. 1 for several years. Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt have endeavored to rear their children with utmost care and with a training that would make them loyal to their country and fitted for all the duties of citizenship.
Mr. Hoyt has always taken special interest in the breeding of good stock, and his farm contains some as fine Belgian horses as are to be found in the country. One fine imported mare is Lisa Baron (98467) 3788, imported by Finch Brothers, November 16, 1913, sired by Fleurin (14928), he by La Fleur (8616) dam Olga Baron (14605). Other noted animals are: Gravenelle, 3785 (98475), was imported in 1913; sire, Certain (31606), by Bienvenu (13292), out of Vitesse (42675); dam, Louise De Reves (76871). Gavenejle has taken first premium in a two and four horse team and in a six-horse team in the International show at Chicago. Mr. Hoyt also owns some fine Hereford stock, among them Flora Donald IV (348400), Miss Gipsy Maid II (496972), and he has recently added fifteen more fine registered Herefords. These animals are a fine acquisition and a valuable asset to the county.