B. F. Hoyt is something of an enigma. An obscure Iowa photographer, he appears to have had his studio in Manchester, Delaware County. His prominent series include "Iowa Beautiful Iowa" and "Views of Delaware County." His first name may have been Brooks Hoyt.
What is known about his life comes from his obituary in the Manchester, Iowa Press, dated June 26, 1902. It is as follows: Hoyt was "...partially delirous, however, following the operation, and Thursday night pneumonia, which is almost always fatal at high altitude, set in, causing his death Friday night about midnight. His half brother, W. D. Hoyt, of this city arrived in Cripple Creek [Colorado] at eleven o'clock on the morning of his death. The sufferer recognized him but communication between the two was impossible. Mr. Hoyt brought the remains here on Monday, the funeral begin held from the Hoyt home on Union street that afternoon, Rev. H. W. Tuttle officiating. B. F. Hoyt was born January 15, 1853 at Bellafontaine, Ohio, and was therefore 49 years of age. His mother died when he was two years old, and he lived with an aunt in his native town until 1858 when he was five years of age. In that year, his father was married to Mrs. Deliah Miller, one child, W. D. Hoyt, being born to them. The year of their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt, accompanied by the five year od boy removed to this county, settling on the homestead near Dutchtown, north of this city a few miles. Here Mr. Hoyt's boyhood was passed. As a young man he graduated from the Iowa State University and from the Dakota School of Mining, devoting himself primarily to the study of geology and botany, in which branches he became remarkable proficient, so much so that during the absence of a professor in charge of these studies at Iowa City, Mr. Hoyt was secured to instruct the classes at the university. Several years of Mr. Hoyt's life were spent in Nebraska and in southern states, in botanical and geological research, and during his extensive travels he accumulated a rare collection of photographic views. His taste in this direction being exceptionally artistic and well defined. In March 1899, he went to Cripple Creek, which continued his home until his death. There he became interested in mining, and his ability as an assayer caused his services to be greatly in demand. Mr. Hoyt's nature was one of singular frankness, genuineness and integrity. He was a man of conspicuously clean life, of studious and scholarly habits and of honest and straightforward purposes. He despised hypocrisy and insincerity, and his life was a pattern of simple, unvarying integrity and uprightness of character. Beneath a reserve natural to his dispostion his friends found those qualities of heart and intellect which speak devotion to the best phases of life. The sad death of Mr. Hoyt gives pain to all who valued his friendship and recognized the excellence and mainliness of his life. Mr. Hoyt was never married, and is survived only by his half brother, W. D. Hoyt of this city. Q. W. Miller of this city is a step brother of Mr. Hoyt."
In what appears to be Hoyt’s swan song as a stereoview photographer, he issued two Yellowstone series in 1897 and 1898 respectively. This is the last evidence of Hoyt activity in Iowa. He probably ceased operations after this and moved on to Colorado. The known numbering for these sets range from #82 thru #306. The total number of Yellowstone views produced was likely well over 100.
No. 174, "Ruined Castles" of the Yellowstone.
Copyrighted by B. F. Hoyt, 1897