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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Hoyt Brothers

To attain so honored a place in the community as have Henry A. and Frank L. Hoyt is to live worthily and improve the opportunities within reach of one’s ability and industry. Without doubt the surroundings of their youth had much to do with formulating those principles of truth and honesty which have helped them in surmounting difficulties in their pathway to the attainment of the position they hold today, as the largest contractors and engineers in northern California.

So closely have the lives and interests of the brothers been associated, that it would be practically impossible to write the history of one without including the other. Through long residence in the east the Hoyt family was well and favorably known in that section of the country, especially in Saratoga county, N. Y., where for many years the father followed fine stock breeding as a means of support for his family. It was while the parents were living in that county that the birth of both sons occurred, both being born in Galway, Henry A. in 1877, and Frank L. in 1881. Every advantage for gaining good educations were given to both sons, the parents appreciating its value as imperative to a successful future. A thorough public-school education in Saratoga county was followed by a practical training along the line of work in which they are now engaged, a work for which they exhibited a predilection at an early age. In 1891, when the brothers were fourteen and ten years of age respectively, the parents removed from the east and located in Wisconsin, where in the town of Whitewater, their training was continued for a number of years, Henry A. following architectural designing and drafting, while Frank L. became proficient as a millwright and engineer. The preparation for their life work had been so thorough that when they united their forces they had a fund of knowledge and ability to draw upon that precluded any possibility of failure.

The year 1901 witnessed the arrival of the Hoyt brothers in California, two years being passed in San Francisco and Tehama county before they came to Santa Rosa in 1903. The history of their success dates from the last-mentioned year, and has been little short of phenomenal. It must not be supposed that their accomplishments have been confined to this city, or even in Sonoma county, but on the other hand are to be seen in every town of importance in northern California. A list of the more recent structures erected by the Hoyt Brothers are here given, which will indicate the character as well as the large amount of work which has passed through their hands in a comparatively short time. In Santa Rosa they have erected the Carithers building (in which their office is located), Grosse Building, Mailer-Barnett building, K. of P. Hall, C. F. C. Association warehouse, Rosenberg-Green building, besides twenty-five residences; in Sonoma county, Felta school, Kenwood school and the Lambert school; in Sebastopol, the grammar school, Forsyth building and the Barnes building; in Cloverdale, the Chalfant Memorial Church and the Bank of Cloverdale building; in San Francisco Hotel Leo (five stories) and the Albertson building; near Truckee, the club house building for the San Francisco Fly-casting Club; the Orland grammar school in Glenn county, the following four Carnegie Libraries: St. Helena, San Rafael, Lincoln, and Livermore; the United States government post office in Santa Rosa, the San Benito County Hall of Records at Hollister, and the Preston apartments in San Francisco, the latter a five-story structure costing $100,000. It is conservatively estimated that more than a half million dollars worth of work has been turned out by the brothers since they came to Sonoma county, a truly marvelous record, but one which has been faithfully and honestly earned.

Both of the brothers are married and established in homes of their own. Henry A. Hoyt was married in 1901 to Miss Ora Mabelle Smith, a native of Minnesota, and they have one child, Frances Louise. They have a beautiful and commodious home at No. 827 Spencer avenue. Frank L. Hoyt was married in 1906 to Miss Leah Louisa Barrows, a native of Colorado, and they make their home at No. 926 Humboldt street. Both of the brothers keep in touch with progress made in the line of their profession through their membership in the Builders Exchange of San Francisco and in the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Rosa.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011