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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1893.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILL F. HOYT, Secretary and Superintendent of the Dowagiac Manufacturing Company, was born in Silver Creek Township, Cass County, Mich., April 27, 1859. His father, John F. Hoyt, was born in New York, and in his youth enlisted for service in the Mexican War, but was refused on account of being under age. For some time he resided in the South, where he was a slave-owner and also followed the trade of a hatter. Coming to Michigan about 1856, he established a gristmill in Silver Creek Township, which was usually known as the Old Red Mill. His death occurred in 1860, when in life’s prime. His wife survived him a number of years, passing away in 1867. They were the parents of three children: our subject, St. Louis, and Winfield, who is the foreman in the factory at Dowagiac.

Orphaned in childhood, our subject came to Dowagiac when about nine years of age, and for five years made his home with the family of F. J. Mosher. Later he spent a short time with his guardian, M. T. Garvey, at Cassopolis. At the age of seventeen he returned to Dowagiac and finished his education in the High School of this city, from which he was graduated in 1879. Afterward he taught in the district schools for three years. Leaving that profession for an active business life, he was employed for one year as shipping-clerk, and for the two years following in the produce business. In 1885 he became book-keeper for the Dowagiac Manufacturing Company, and was afterward promoted to be Secretary and manager of the enterprise. He was one of the first stockholders and is also a Director of the company.

At the time Mr. Hoyt first became connected with the company a few drills had been manufactured, but the business was at a low ebb. Realizing that it could be made a financial success if properly managed, he, with several others, remodeled the drill and commenced to manufacture it. During their first years of business they sold a few of their manufactures in the Northwest, and gradually increased the sales until the enterprise is now conceded to be one of the most successful in the State. Steady employment is given to a force of two hundred and fifty men, and there are six traveling salesmen on the road. The capital stock is $50,000, while the sales are principally in the West and Northwest. During 1892 the output of machines was between five and six thousand drills. The wonderful success which has crowned this business enterprise is due largely to the ability and judgment of Mr. Hoyt, who has labored unweariedly to secure for it the greatest material development. He was one of the principal inventors of the new machine, and has several patents on it, including the spring attachment, the covering wheel and the force feed.

In the fall of 1881 Mr. Hoyt married Miss Dora Blatchley, who was born in Dowagiac and educated in the schools of this city. In his political belief he is a Democrat. He is now the President of the local board of the Capital Building and Loan Association of this city, and is otherwise identified with important interests of the place. As a business man he has the confidence of the people and occupies a high place in their regard.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan published in 1893. 

View additional Cass County, Michigan family biographies here: Cass County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Cass County, Michigan here: Cass County Michigan Map

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