Frank Livingston Hoyt

Frank Hoyt was born July 13, 1898 in Norton, Norton County, Kansas, which may have contained the nearest hospital to Crystal. They lived in a home dug out of a clay river bank on the Sapple River. He was the oldest of the five children of Edward Riley Hoyt and Cora Della (nee Hand) Hoyt.

Sometime around 1900, when Frank was was very young, the family moved to Fairfield, Clay County, Nebraska, where his father worked as a blacksmith and wheelwright.

In an interview with the Stockton Record in 1972, Frank said, "As a boy...my ambition was to have a great big cattle ranch, like all good red-blooded western American boys."

[Census 1900 Crystal, Norton Co., Kansas - Edward R. and Cora D. with son Frank L.

Census 1910 (age 12) Fairfield, Clay Co., Nebraska--Frank son 11 s Kan. Iowa Nebr.]

The War to End All Wars

When World War I began, Frank was 19 years old. Too young to enlist at the time (21 was the minimum age), he lied about his age to sign up for the Army. He later became a machine gunner in the trenches of France.

"I read the statistics many times." he said. "In the first World War, they figured that average life of a machine gunner was 22 minutes. I went through five major battles and came out with just a few scratches." The scratches included shrapnel in his left leg and scars from several bullets.

During his time in the Army, Frank attained the rank of Master Sergeant, first chasing Poncho Via in southern Texas and northern Mexico with General Black Jack Pershing and then serving in France.

While in France...

At war's end he was appointed General Pershing's chauffeur and assigned to Paris, France. There was a meeting planned there in Paris to form a new veterans organization and the General said that they were short of enlisted men and would Frank please attend the meeting with him.

He attended the original caucus and whereby became a founder and charter member of the American Legion to which he belonged for the rest of his life, serving as James McDermott Post commander, district commander, Legion youth chairman and as first life member of James McDermott Post.

(1918 - ?) After World War I he returned to Nebraska. He was a dirt farmer and rancher in Morrill County, Nebraska raising such crops as beans, sugar beets, corn, alfalfa hay, etc. He operated a 160 acre cattle ranch always having cattle and hogs. He was an ardent horseman and liked to rope cattle. His brand was the Rocking Chair "H."

[When did he move to Wyoming and what did he do there (cowboy, rodeo rider, farmer?)]

Frank married Edna Mae Sillivan June 12, 1925 in Bayard, Morrill County, Nebraska when she was 21 and he was 26.

Frank and Edna Hoyt had three children: Carol Jean Hoyt (1926), Bobby Frank Hoyt (1928) and Betty Mae Hoyt (Bob's twin sister, who lived only 11 months)

During the Depression - [WHEN], he became secretary-manager of the Nebraska Sugar Beet Growers Association.

1935 Hoyt moved from Torrington, Wyoming to Tracy, California where he took on the post as Holly Sugar Field Manager in charge of the Holly Sugar company's Tracy area experimental farm operations. He held this job until 1943.

In 1943 Frank became vice-president and general manager of Berverdor, Inc., a large diversified farming and land holding company (including agricultural and business equipment rental) with operation in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tracy and Tule Lake, California.

Frank retired the first time (1960) as Vice President & General Manager of the Berverdor Corporation.

While deeply involved in agriculture and business, Frank served for nine years (1951 - 1960) on the San Joaquin County Planning Commission until his retirement from Berverdor in 1960.

Unique Politician - San Joaquin County Supervisor (1960 - 1972)

He was a San Joaquin County Supervisor for 12 years, serving as Chairman of the Board. He was a people's man and spent many hours on the phone patiently talking with citizens about their problems. He was well-known and well-respected and was responsible for many improvements in San Joaquin County.

He said he didn't decide to run for elected office until he was urged to by his friends. He decided to give the elected position a try and survive the primary. "Then I really went to work and won the post in the fall." He said.

Larger Picture

He was often referred to as the "Plain-speaking dean of the Board of Supervisors".

At his retirement as a supervisor, he said he enjoyed the post and the accomplishments that he had made representing Southern San Joaquin County, particular getting an adequate water supply for the area, but he was happy to be retiring.

"It was the second time I've retired." He said. "So this time I'm going to make it stick."

"He was never what you'd call an articulate politician." -- Sam Matthews, publisher of the Tracy Press and a longtime friend.

He was for the people and spent countless hours on the phone patiently listening to citizens complain and argue. All the while, he looked for solutions.

In 1960, the year he retired from agriculture, he entered politics and was elected to represent the Fifth Supervisorial District on the San Joaquin county board of supervisors. He was reelected in 1964 and 1968 before announcing his retirement in 1972.

Edna died December 7, 1970.

On August 4, 1971, Frank married a widowed woman, Drucilla Patrick in Carson City, Nevada when he was 73.

In 1974, he was honored with the title of Mr. Tracy.

Frank died on October 11, 1986, of respiratory failure after more than four months in the Tracy Hospital following cancer surgery in May. He was 88. Frank's Obituary

Sam Matthews, publisher of the Tracy Press and a longtime friend, said Hoyt had been ill for almost four months. "He went into the hospital and just never came back, " Matthews said. "It's too bad. He was quite a guy."

He is buried in the Tracy Community Cemetery in Tracy, San Joaquin County, California along side his wife of many years, Edna Mae Sillivan.

Other Accomplishments

Among accomplishments, almost too numerous to document, Frank was a past-president of the California Asparagus Growers Association and served as a director of the Tracy Chamber and as a charter member of its industrial committee. He served six years on the board of directors of Tracy Community Memorial Hospital during its formative years, and he was a member of the Citizens Committee that recommended formation of the council-manager from of government in Tracy.

"Mr. Tracy of 1974" also served as a director of the Tracy Fair, is the incoming president of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Club and served on local and council boards of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the First Christian Church.