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                                       HENRY W. B. HOYT
                                         Biography
                                    Cook County, Illinois

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Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Sherri Hessick, added May 2001.



HENRY W. B. HOYT

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County,
Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended
(Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 17-18

HENRY WILLIAM BETTELY HOYT was a native of Henry, Illinois,
born on the 25th of June, 1841, unto William H. and Mary
(Betteley) Hoyt, his father coming of good old New England
families, while his mother, also of excellent antecedents,
was directly from Old England.  His paternal grandfather,
Ephraim Hoyt, was a son of Matthew Hoyt, whose wife was a
Lockwood, both of Connecticut birth, as were also Ephraim
Hoyt and his wife, Anna Langford.  Mary (Betteley) Hoyt was
a daughter of William and Mary Betteley, of Newcastle,
England.  The last-named was a daughter of William and Mary
Robinson.  Another daughter of this couple, Mrs. William
Gates, was the maternal grandmother of Sir Robert Peel.
The subject of this sketch came in childhood to Chicago
along with his parents, where his education, which was
finished in the high school, was obtained.  His first
business venture was with his father in the lumber trade.
He had been for some years a member of Ellsworth's Zouaves,
so that it quite naturally followed, upon the call for
troops to put down openly expressed rebellion, that he,
although still in his teens, enlisted in the One Hundred and
Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, that being the Third Board of
Trade Regiment, and indeed the last to be raised under the
auspices of that body.  He was mustered in October 1, 1862,
as First Lieutenant of Company A, it being a distinctively
Chicago company, his regiment joining the Second Brigade
(Division) of Sherman's (the Fifteenth) Corps of the Army of
the Tennessee, which co-operated with General Grant at
Vicksburg.

For personal bravery he was breveted Captain, January 22,
1863.  Successful thereafter in running the Vicksburg
blockade, he was taken a prisoner soon after at a minor
battle at a river landing in Tennessee, and for several
months thereafter was imprisoned in a stockade at Cahaba,
Alabama.  Many of his comrades starved, but good humor
gained him exceptional treatment, and in about eight months,
after a limited diet, which was confined to daily rations of
a pint of corn-meal per soldier, he had the excellent good
fortune to be exchanged.

Subsequently he was commissioned Major, and served on
General Grant's staff during the later Mississippi campaign.
His services included action at the battles of Pine Bluff,
Corinth, Vicksburg, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post,
Milliken's Bend, Jackson, Eastport and Fort Pillow, a part
of the interim acting as signal officer, at the instance of
General Sherman, who entertained for him the highest regard.
Moreover, he could point back to a certain period of six
months during which he was Acting Commander of the Union
Prison at Memphis, Tennessee.  While there he treated his
prisoners with so much humanity as to meet with formal and
reciprocal acknowledgment of the same long after.  The first
word during his own period of confinement that he was able
to get to his Northern friends was through the grateful
courtesy of  a Confederate officer, whom he had kindly
treated at Memphis Prison.  General Forest, the rebel
commander, had also heard of him, and when he was marched in
threw him a new blanket, in special token of appreciation of
his soldierly qualities.  From his protracted term of
service he was mustered out June 20, 1865.

About the year 1866 he formed a new partnership with his
father, to engage in the real estate business, which, after
a successful career, was dissolved in January, 1882, that
the son might form another relation as partner in the firm
of Bogue & Hoyt, which, in the same field, continued in very
remunerative activity up to the time of Mr. Hoyt's death,
which came suddenly tragic, from a fit of congestion of the
brain, February 12, 1891, at his residence No. 1931 Calumet
Avenue, interment taking place in the family lot at
Graceland.

He was an honored member of the Loyal Legion of the United
States, which body, in its "resolutions" upon the occasion
of Mr. Hoyt's death, expressed its loss in part by the
following touchingly exceptional language:
"Once again on the march through life, are we halted to
close the ranks of this Commandery, from which has fallen a
loved and faithful companion, who has answered to final
roll-call.

"Another of the many heroes who in the hour of its greatest
peril so nobly responded to the Nation's call for help, and
with all the zeal and earnestness of his nature did the best
he could to protect it from impending danger, has folded his
cloak about him and lain down to that sleep from which there
is no waking."

From the Real Estate Board resolutions upon the same solemn
theme, we extract verbatim the following eulogy:
"We have lost a friend.  Henry W. Hoyt was the friend of all
who knew him.  In business, as well as social life, he
commanded respect, he won affection.  He loved kindness, for
his was a kindly nature.  He loved honor, for he was one of
nature's noblemen.  Just was he, yet generous; faithful to
trusts committed, energetic in accomplishment--a man with
whom performance outran the word.  His work with us is
finished; gone is the genial presence; vanquished the
pleasant smile; stilled the kindly voice."

Mr. Hoyt was a member of the Calumet, Union League and
Washington Park Clubs.  A stanch Republican, but in no whit
a politician.  An attendant upon Bishop Cheney's Reformed
Episcopal Church.  He married, August 7, 1871, Miss Delia
Woodruff, of Chicago, who survives him.  Two children sprang
from their devoted union: Leta Keith Hoyt, who died in early
life, and Edith May Hoyt, who, still in her teens, attends
the Holman-Dickerman private school in this city.  Mrs.
Hoyt's father was Ralph Woodruff, who came from a recognized
old Syracruse (N. Y.) family, he having removed in early
days to Chicago.  Her mother was Delia Gurley, a daughter of
Jason and Susan (Bryant) Gurley, the latter a relative of
the poet, William Cullen Bryant.  From this line sprang John
Addison Gurley, of Cincinnati, Ohio, a distinguished United
States Representative of repeated service, and the first
Governor of Arizona.
		




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