Biography of Seymour Hoyt of Greenfield

Seymour Hoyt, born in Marshall County, Illinois, in 1844, was a prominent attorney, real estate agent, and abstracter in Greenfield, Missouri. The son of James and Maria (Hitchcock) Hoyt, he was educated in public schools and Lombard University. Hoyt enlisted in the 132nd Illinois Infantry during the Civil War. Moving to Greenfield, Missouri, in 1867, he held various public offices, including probate judge of Dade County. Admitted to the bar in 1884, Hoyt practiced law and engaged in real estate and abstracting. He married Mattie McDowell in 1868, and they had seven children. Politically a Republican, he was active in the Masonic Fraternity and the Baptist Church.

Seymour Hoyt, attorney-at-law, real estate agent and abstracter, of Greenfield, Mo., was born in Marshall County, Ill., in 1844, and is one of the successful legal practitioners of Dade County. He is the son of James and Maria (Hitchcock) Hoyt, and the grandson of Benjamin Hoyt, who was a native of Connecticut. James Hoyt was born in Stanford, Conn., September 19, 1807, and is the seventh child of the seventh generation of that family in the United States, Simon Hoyt having emigrated from England to the United States in 1628 or 1629. In his youthful days James Hoyt was a tailor by trade, but later in life he followed farming, and paid for his first forty acres of land by following his trade. He was married in New York City, but soon moved to Ohio, where he remained until 1831, when he removed to Springfield, Ill., and after remaining there a short time located in Marshall County, Ill., where he resides at the present time. For the past twenty years he has resided at Lacon, the county seat; was township treasurer for about twenty years, and justice of the peace a number of years. He is still living, and is one of the county’s best citizens. His wife, Maria Hitchcock, was born in Connecticut in 1811, and died in 1848. After her death he married Eliza Jane Mathis, who is yet living. Mr. Hoyt was the father of nine children by his first wife, and Seymour Hoyt is the youngest child of the nine now living. He was educated in the public schools, also two terms at Lombard University, Galesburg, Ill., and took a full course at the commercial business college of Bryant & Stratton, Chicago, Ill., receiving his diploma in August, 1865. At the age of nineteen he entered the teacher’s profession, and this continued until May, 1864, when he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Thirty-Second Illinois Infantry, for 100 days, and was under the command of Capt. Hugh Shepherd, of Mendota, Ill. Mr. Hoyt was on post duty for five months at Paducah, Ky., and was discharged at Chicago, Ill., April 9, 1867. He became a resident of Greenfield, Mo., and in the fall of the same year he commenced teaching, and this continued for four terms in Missouri. While in Greenfield he was deputy circuit clerk two years, justice of the peace four years, and in 1878 he was elected probate judge of Dade County, and served four years. In 1882 he commenced the study of law, and in April, 1884, was admitted to the bar. Since then he has practiced his profession. In 1881 he engaged in real estate business, and in 1883 in abstracting. From March 1883, to 1887, he was notary public. Mary 26, 1868, he married Miss Mattie McDowell, a native of Greenfield, Mo., born in 1850, and the daughter of Nelson and Catherine (Casebier) McDowell. Mr. McDowell was a member of the first county court of Dade County and was one of her pioneer citizens. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt was born seven children, five now living: Allen, Kate, Nellie, Mary and James L. In his political views Mr. Hoyt is a stanch Republican and cast his first presidential vote for U. S. Grant in 1868. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, Greenfield Lodge No. 466, Royal Arch Chapter No. 38, Constantine Commandery No. 7. He is also a member of the G. A. R., Greenfield Post No. 75; and he and wife are members of the Baptist Church, he being clerk of the same.


Goodspeed, History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri; Chicago, The Goodspeed publishing co., 1889.

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