fortunate to find work and did office work for 12 years at the St. Paul Mutual Ins. Co., St. Paul, MN.

She heard of an opening in the insurance field at the Aetna Life Insurance Co. in Mpls. so she applied for the job and worked there for 31 years as an underwriter until retirement.

Clara, Eugene’s wife, passed away in 1977. They lived in Decorah so Gertrude decided to move back to Decorah to keep house for her brother. He died in 1984. She lived at 904 5th Ave. until 1 Sep 1995 at which time she sold the house and moved to an apartment at 1000 Ridgewood Dr.

Hoyt, Clara Maude

(Hazel Hoyt Markovetz)

Clara Maude Hoyt was born 18 Mar 1890 to Warren E. and Ellen (Wells) Hoyt. She was provided with a fine music education. She was teaching music at Upper Iowa University when her mother was killed in an auto accident on the way to Fayette with friends in 1934.

Clara came home to be with her father who was in poor health. He died in 1935. After his death Clara continued to live in the old stone home on Washington St. which had been converted from a creamery by her Grandparents Wells for their home.

Clara took a position with Luther College and taught music for twenty some years before her retirement. She had the same dedication to her work as her parents showed for theirs. She was an exceedingly caring person always ready and willing to help others in any way she could.

Clara died in the summer of 1973 and is buried in Phelps Cemetery in the Hoyt plot which was purchased by her grandfather David for family members. Clara lies beside her parents. With her death there were no Hoyts living in Decorah for the first time in more than 100 years.

Hoyt, David N. and Maria (Shotwell)

(Hazel Hoyt Markovetz)

David Newman Hoyt was born 26 Oct 1831 in Ridgefield, Cl son of Warren and Elizabeth Hoyt. He was the 10th generation since the first Hoyt named Simon came to Salem, MA in 1628 from England.

David came to IA in 1852 to West Union but missed the hills of his birthplace and pushed on to Decorah. On 27 Sep 1854 he married Maria Antionette Shotwell who had come from NY state with her widowed mother and an older brother and his family. Maria was born 23 Mar 1836 in Fort Ann, NY

David followed the carpentry trade and farmed throughout his life. In 1858 he and Maria with their small sons, Wilbur and Eugene, loaded their possessions in a covered wagon and headed west to Estherville. They bought 400 acres of land at $1.25 per acre. Twins, Walter and Warren, were born 23 May 1859 to them, the first white children born in Emmett Co. In about 1862 there was an Indian uprising and massacres in Minnesota and moving southward. A messenger rode through urging them to flee as quickly as possible.

The Hoyts and most of the settlers around them hurriedly threw what they could into their wagons and fled east. They possibly lived in the Glenwood Twp.area for a couple of years but the twins were about 4 years old when they returned to Freeport, IA. They lived on several farms and David also continued his carpentry trade. Their final move was to Decorah where they lived until their deaths.

David died 10 Jun 1906 and Maria died 20 Jul 1916.

David and Maria were charter members of the Methodist Church in Freeport. It was said that next to serving God, David believed in serving the Republican party.

Imagine the work 9 children made for Maria. There were 2 sets of twins among them. Wilbur died at age 20.

Eugene married his cousin Alice Hoyt. They had no children. He was in the hardware business in Decorah and they lived in a large home where they held happy family reunions yearly, usually at Thanksgiving time. The home stands on Main St., north side, middle of the block, near the intersection with Mechanic St.

Walter married Fanny Jones, a young school teacher from Wisconsin, who taught in the Ridgeway school and kept house for her brother, Dr. Ed. Jones. Six children were born to them. The little twin girl to their oldest son died at birth and was buried by the house. Ninety years later her remains were removed to Phelps Cemetery and buried by her brother.

Warren. Walter's twin, married Ellen Wells. Their only child, Clara, was the last remaining Hoyt living in Decorah.

Effie married Harmon Klemme of Ridgeway. They farmed but were also instrumental in the beginnings of a town named Klemme in Hancock Co. They had 4 children.

Fred married Winnifred Chamberlain of Fayette. Both were teachers. For a time Fred and a brother Ernest operated a grocery store in Ridgeway. Eventually Fred went into the real estate business in Fayette. They had two children.

Ernest married Emma Martin of Cresco. He farmed and ran the grocery store in Ridgeway along with his brother Fred. They had 7 children. The lovely large home they built in Ridgeway still stands in beautiful condition.

Aggie died at age 22. She was engaged to be married at the time. Her fiancee was believed to be George Bennett, the only person buried on the Hoyt lot in Phelps Cemetery who is not a Hoyt by name, a descendent or a spouse.

Allie. Aooie’s twin, married Frank Hughes who was City Clerk in Decorah for many years. They had no children.

Wilbur, Aggie and Allie lived all their lives in or near Decorah. Walter and Warren farmed together for a time in Hancock Co. before Walter purchased a farm in Winneshiek Co. Warren went into his own business. Walter farmed for about 45 years until Fanny died and then he and their youngest son moved to Oregon where there was more family. He is buried in Oregon in Pleasant Valley Cemetery near Philomath.

Warren, after being in business in Council Bluffs and Elma, IA became a Decorah businessman. The house they lived in for many years is still a residence on Washington St., on the west side just south of the business district. Solid and firm, very old, it was converted from a creamery by Ellen (Wells) Hoyt’s parents.

Ernest and Eugene moved to California after being in business in IA. They lived in and are buried near Los Angeles.

Complete OCR transcription. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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