Edward Jonathan (“Buckskin Joe”) Hoyt.
From the book, Buckskin Joe, by Glenn Shirley, and published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1966, the following emerges concerning Edward Jonathan (“Buckskin Joe”) Hoyt.
E. J. Hoyt was born October 4, 1840, near Magog, in the province of Quebec. His father and grandfather were living in Canada. Samuel Hoyt was his father and Judith Sampson Higins Danforth Hoyt was his mother.
While at home in Canada, he learned to play 16 instruments, and to tumble.
He enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment in May of 1861.
He married Belle Hutchins in 1865.
March 5, 1868, their first child, a girl named Ella, was born. Ella married Eddy Blubaugh in the spring of 1886.
A second daughter, Clara Mabel, was born in the summer of 1870. Clara married Billy Parker in the fall of 1887.
He claims to have left the circus business October 15, 1870, at Louisville, Kentucky.
He then joined his brother, Albert Hoyt, and secured tickets to Topeka, and from there to Emporia.
“A fellow named Vandorn (W. Vandorn, age 46, and his wife Lou, age 35, in Creswell township census of 1874) had made up a party for the extreme southern border and the Arkansas River, and asked us to join them. This party consisted of several families with two horse teams and one ox team belonging to a man named Whitney (G. M. Whitney, age 31, and his wife D., age unknown, in the Creswell township census of 1874), whose wife had a nursing babe. The streams and steep banks were bad to cross, but we pulled through in good shape, landing in Cowley County the latter part of November 1870, on a high stretch of prairie between the Arkansas and Walnut, at a little trading post called Creswell, now Arkansas City.
“My friend Whitney crossed the Walnut on the east with his wife and baby and erected a little shack of brush and rock under a big bluff to live in the rest of the winter. Vandorn and the others located around the land we camped on, and I squatted on a claim two miles northwest in a jackoak grove where I could hunt and trap on the Arkansas.”
Mr. Hoyt’s family arrived in Arkansas City the last of April, 1871.
Do not believe the following applies to E. J. Hoyt...
Walnut Valley Times, Friday, February 16, 1872.
Keith & Eddy, merchants in Arkansas City, were arrested a short time ago and brought before the United States Commissioner at that place upon a charge of passing counterfeit money.
It appears that they bought a draft from a man by the name of Hoyt, who afterwards paid $150 to another party. Somehow two of the bills of the denomination of $20 each found their way into the U. S. Land Office at Augusta, and resulted in the arrest of Keith & Eddy as above stated. One of the parties was examined upon the charge and discharged, and the case dismissed. They are both highly respectable citizens, and no one at Arkansas City believes either of them to be guilty of knowingly passing counterfeit money. But notwithstanding this, Mr. Brig. Gen. U. S. Deputy Marshal Barnes re-arrested them, and took them to Wichita for trial, where they were again discharged for want of evidence against them.
Winfield Messenger, July 12, 1872.
Report on County Road of Godfrey’s was received and adopted, and ordered opened, and damages was allowed to U. S. Hunt, to the amount of $18, and also to E. P. Hoyt for the same amount.
Kay did not identify where the following came from: the book or newspaper. MAW
“One day the stage rolled into town with a musician who had a few old brass horns. Yellowstone Steward located him on a claim north of mine, and we soon had a Buckskin Border Brass Band organized and going some. Beside myself, eleven recruits—John Breene, Peter Pearson, Edward Thompson, A. Wessl [Wessel], Charlie Baulkum [Balcem], T. Wilkinson, C. Burkey, Charlie Grimes, Herman Goddard [Hermann Godehard], Yellowstone Steward, and D. D. Lewis—composed the noisy aggregation that called the Indians to say, ‘Joe Buck makum heap big noise, heap scarum buffalo.’
Winfield Courier, March 27, 1874.
The members of the Silver Cornet Band of this city have taken a fresh start. They have engaged Prof. Hoyt of Arkansas City to teach them and practice unceasingly, and we have no doubt we will soon have a band to be proud of.
Gather the following item came from book...MAW
He sold his ranche and moved to town.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 18, 1877.
Prof. Hoyt is getting up a joint stock association for the purpose of putting up a building to be used by the Gymnasium Society: shows, theatres, balls, and such like. The shares are being taken rapidly, and, from what we can learn, it will be a success. A building of the kind contemplated will be a good thing to have in town, and an excellent good thing to have for our Railroad Celebration. We hope it will be put up in time to be used for that purpose.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 5, 1877.
Prof. E. J. Hoyt and others will give an entertainment at Pearson’s Hall next Saturday evening, consisting of vocal and instrumental music, violin, banjo, and cornet solos, comic songs, farces, burlesques, negro, Dutch, and Irish comicalities, feats of nerve, strength, and agility, Chinese juggling, plate spinning, exercises in balancing, flying bars, and feats of skill. The evening’s entertainment will open with prestidigitation or conjuring by the Canadian Wizard, introducing many new features; Mesmerism, or the power of mind, etc. Laughable song, The Walking Gent, entitled “Don’t you think so;” Ole Bull’s Imitation Solo, on violin, giving imitations of Cuckoo and Scotch Bagpipes. The mere mention of Prof. Hoyt’s name is enough to guarantee a good performance. Admission 25 cents. Doors open at 6-1/2 o’clock.
ANOTHER HOYT FAMILY IN ARKANSAS CITY.
There was another Hoyt family in Arkansas City. Samuel Hoyt was involved in the navigation of the Arkansas River. He had a son A. O. Hoyt. They were involved in the Kellogg and Hoyt store.
There was another Mathias Hoyt family at Dexter. Mathias was appointed Postmaster.
Gather this came from the book! MAW
In the spring of 1877, he bought the Berry Brothers’ Indian Trading Post and changed its name to the Athletic Grocery, with Frank Spears as his partner. They built a gymnasium in the back, where they put in more time than they did in the store.
In 1878 Jesse James robbed a bank in Arkansas City. Later in the summer Joe Hoyt walked a tight rope across Summit Street. On August 22, his third daughter, Flotina Noonday Hoyt, was born.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 17, 1878.
BERRY BROTHERS sold their grocery store to Frank Speers and Joseph Hoyt last week. Joe and Frank will make lively dealers, and will always be found up to the times.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 5, 1877.
See the advertisement of the “Athletic Grocery House” in this issue. It claims to be the only house of the kind in the world. The boys are worthy of a liberal patronage.
AD: HOYT & SPEERS. ATHLETIC GROCERY HOUSE, ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS.
Plain & Fancy Groceries Always on Hand. CIGARS AND TOBACCOS Of the Finest Brands. Don’t Fail to Give us a Trial, And if you don’t see what you want, ask for it.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 8, 1878.
More fun can be seen on the horizontal bar and spring board in the rear of Hoyt & Speers’ Athletic Grocery House than at a side show. They take time enough between laughs to deal out ten pounds of good sugar for one dollar.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 28, 1878.
There will be lots of fun in town one week from Saturday. Hoyt’s trapeze and rope walking is to take place. A foot race is to come off, and some fancy driving on the race track. Come in everybody.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 28, 1878.
One week from next Saturday, E. J. Hoyt, of the firm of Hoyt & Speers, will walk a tight rope stretched from the top of Houghton & McLaughlin’s brick store to the green front building. He will also give some trapeze performances on the rope, and do various other things interesting and amusing. Joe has traveled with many circus troupes, and is an excellent performer. Come in and watch the fun, which is to commence at 1 o’clock.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 4, 1878.
Next Saturday Joe Hoyt gives us a free show, walking a rope stretched from Houghton & McLaughlin’s building to the green front opposite. Come in and see the fun, as it costs nothing.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 11, 1878.
Last Saturday was a lively day in Arkansas City. Prof. Hoyt walked the rope, wheeled a wheelbarrow over it, performed a number of feats on the trapeze, and entertained the crowd with one of the best shows the public has ever been treated to. There was hardly room to get by on the streets for the wagons, and the sidewalks were crowded with people. It should be made an object to Mr. Hoyt to walk again, and have a general gathering every once in a while.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 25, 1878.
A LA BELLE ETOILE.
Under the stars in the open air. Two weeks from next Saturday Professor Hoyt, the most expert and daring rope walker now living, will entertain the people of this vicinity with another exhibition of his remarkable skill in aerial pedestrianism, after which he will depart in response to calls from other places; among them Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he will perform the difficult feat of walking over the great St. Anthony’s Falls, two hundred feet in mid-air. It is the desire of many that Mr. Hoyt be presented with a new rope, costing about $50, if he is successful in this, his second undertaking, and it should be done. On the same day there is to be a matched pony race, of which we will speak again. Remember the day, Saturday, October 12, 1878.
Free show at Arkansas City next Saturday, Oct. 12, by Somersault Joe, with a change of programme on a tight wire. He purposes performing feats that never were done by any man now living—such as playing on musical instruments, standing on his head, hanging by the back of his head, etc.
CHALLENGE. I offer $500 to any man who will get up and do what I can on a tight wire. This is big talk, but Joe is able to back it. Come and see me for this will be my last walk in this city. E. J. HOYT.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 4, 1878.
Notice. This is to certify that the firm of Hoyt & Speer have this day dissolved partnership by mutual consent.
In the summer of 1879, in Leadville, Colorado, Hoyt met Jesse James again. Jesse James thanked him for the cheese and crackers last year.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 6, 1879.
In a letter from George Shearer, we learn that Joe Hoyt is now in Leadville, Colorado, and has an interest in several mines. He is known there as Burt Lasalle.
From the book???
(Note - He joined a traveling show run by the Laiscell family and was billed as Bert Laiscell, King of the High Rope.)
Arkansas City Traveler, October 10, 1883.
Joe Hoyt is once more with us after a two month’s trip to Nova Scotia prospecting. Joe says he traveled over six thousand miles while away and saw some of the richest mining country in the world. He showed us some specimens, which to our unsophisticated gaze appeared to augur a handsome profit to whoever should be lucky enough to own such a claim.
Arkansas City Republican, March 21, 1885.
Samuel Hoyt, of Canada, arrived in the city Saturday. Mr. Hoyt is here in the interest of his real estate possession. He is the father of our Buckskin Joe.
Until 1885, Buckskin Joe prospected and worked in the theaters in the summer and fall, returning to Arkansas City for the winters.
In 1885 he organized the Arkansas City Border Buckskin Brass Band and Orchestra. Arkansas City Traveler, January 14, 1885.
The Buckskin Border Band.
About four months ago the Arkansas City Silver Cornet Band went out of existence, and from its ashes sprang our present Buckskin Border Band. This band, of which this city is very proud, as well she may, is composed of twelve pieces. They have been practicing more or less for a year, and the music they produce is of a superior quality. The nights for meeting are Mondays and Fridays. The band consists of the following.
Will Griffith, a flat cornet.
Joe Hoyt, solo b flat cornet.
Mike Kitchen, b flat cornet.
Hermann Godehard, clarionet.
Frank Speers, b flat trombone.
Henry Anderson, 1st a flat alto.
J. J. Breene, 2nd a flat alto.
Ira Willitt, 1st tenor.
Chas. Grimes, 2nd tenor.
E. O. Stevenson, a flat basso.
O. S. Finke, snare drum.
H. L. McConn, bass drum and cymbals.
We must say that this band has made excellent progress in a year. Their appearance is hailed with delight by both large and small, and when they are playing you can see the citizens punching any stranger in reach in the ribs and saying, “Play pretty well, don’t they? Make good music.”
Arkansas City Traveler, January 21, 1885.
Ye local, while calmly promenading on the streets last Monday evening was suddenly and rudely awakened “from a small dream of peace,” by an unearthly racket, a confusing commotion.
Making up his mind to trace up the unwonted confusion, he traversed the alley and located it in the rear of C. R. Sipes’ hardware store. Stuffing his ears with cotton, he slowly neared the place of an apparently deadly conflict between a muley cow with four bells and a hornet’s nest. Suddenly opening the door, he courageously leaped into the midst of the melee. He discovered Will Griffith, with eyes distended, blowing for dear life in a tin thing; Joe Hoyt making a similar tin arrangement squeal in agony; Ollie Stevenson, with cheeks distended as though he had a mouthful of hot mush, was trying to roust the whole crowd at one blast; Mike Kitchen, too, putting in his little horn, while Anderson, Grimes, Willett, Breene, and Speers were making futile attempts to fly by blowing their insides out; and last, but, or horrors! By no means the least, Horace McConn was expending his jaybird strength in pounding a tough beefsteak and threatened to route the whole caboodle.
Having expended all their strength in the first attack, they paused long enough to inform the astonished local that it was the Border Band practicing. He immediately proceeded in search of the night watch, which, as yet, he has been unable to find.
Hoyt built, owned, and operated a gymnasium in Arkansas City June 30, 1885. He sold it in 1886, and returned to the entertainment cycle.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, April 11, 1885.
Samuel Hoyt and son, Prof. E. J. Hoyt, have decided to erect a two-story building, 30 x 60 feet, on lots in the block west of the Cowley County Bank. The second story will be made into a hall, and will be fitted up and used as a gymnasium and state armory and other purposes. The contract has already been let and work will commence immediately. The building is to be completed on or before June 1st, 1885. L. J. Wagner and D. W. Stevens have the contract.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 28, 1885.
AD. SELECT SCHOOL: Begins Nov. 9, 1885; Ends June 25, 1886.
One week’s vacation for Holidays.
Tuition $2.00 per month, including one hour’s exercise daily in Hoyt’s Gymnasium.
School Rooms Under Hoyt’s Hall.
STUDIES FROM WHICH STUDENTS MAY SELECT.
Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Penmanship, Drawing, Reading, Elocution, Physiology, Physics, History, Geography, Grammar, Composition and Rhetoric, Latin.
Book Keeping, Penmanship, Commercial Law, Counting House Arithmetic.
Instrumental and Vocal Music Extra.
For further information call on or address the Principal.
L. F. ABERNETHY, B. S. Principal.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 15, 1886.
Arkansas City Band.
The Buckskin Border Band has undergone a transformation, its former efficient leader, Joe Hoyt, having resigned, and a new organization having been perfected. Our citizens part with this excellent company of home musicians with regret, having delightful recollections of the exquisite melodies with which they have regaled their ears, and being charmed with the picturesque costume in which they appeared.
The new organization consists of 17 or 18 members, and is named the “Arkansas City Band,” with Prof. Henry B. Funk for leader and instructor. A majority of the Buckskins are retained in this present band, and all start out with a determination to abate no jot of their former excellence. Credit should be awarded the former leader for the care and skill he devoted in the instruction and conduct of the band, and the best wishes of the community attend Prof. Funk, his successor, that he may preserve the standard of efficiency.
From book about E. J. (“Buckskin Joe”) Hoyt...
March 10, 1890, Hoyt was appointed a deputy federal marshall by R. L. (Dick) Walker.
In 1909 he sold his interests in Kansas and Oklahoma, and retired to Los Angeles, California. He died in April 1918, and his wife died there in August of 1920.