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History of scrap metal business linked to Hoyts

Posted: June 28, 2014 - 5:20pm
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Joseph Frank Hoyt pictured where he worked for Swift and Co. meat processors in Morrilton before he moved to Conway in 1909.
Joseph Frank Hoyt pictured where he worked for Swift and Co. meat processors in Morrilton before he moved to Conway in 1909.

According to local historian Vivian Lawson Hogue, Joseph Frank and Mary Frances Miller Hoyt were the parents of 9 children. Joe Hoyt, the last living son of the Hoyt’s six sons still resides in Conway and spoke with Hogue about his family history. In birth order, the children born to the Hoyts were Lawrence, Albertine (Mrs. George) Simon, Gerald (Jody Enderlin), Genevieve (Mrs. Arthur) Lachowsky, Herbert (Hilda Walter), Charles, Joe, Mary Frances (Mrs. Larry) Mistric and Norbert (Virginia Tucker). Joseph and Mary first lived in Morrilton where their first two children were born, and he worked as a salesman for Swift and Co. They moved to Conway and soon after sold groceries, eggs and chickens at his first business located on Front Street. Young Joe would walk as he delivered groceries to or carry them for customers. He still owns the cash register. A small collection of odds and ends in scrap had begun to collect there and Joseph located a new scrap metal business in a metal building at 1110 Spencer Street in 1909. Behind it was a cow pasture and one horse.

The nearby house at 1104 Spencer St. was where Joe and six other siblings were born. The house was one of two brick homes in Conway considered to be the oldest brick homes in town. They were “twins” in floor plans and appearance and built in the Gothic Revival style with walls of double brick. Both homes were built around 1880, with the other owned by Judge P. H. Prince for whom Prince Street is named. The latter still exists on Prince Street. He states that the house was in the form of a cross, and eventually his dad built a sleeping porch on the back and added a bathroom from kitchen space. He adds that he never knew the significance of it, but he recalls seeing the name “Jo Frauenthal” written along the front gable’s fascia above the front entrance. Frauenthal was a prominent businessman who arrived here in 1875 to assist his cousin, Leo Schwarz in his large retail store. In time, Joseph Hoyt purchased the entire block of that portion of Spencer.

Joseph died in 1941 as did the oldest son, Lawrence, a few months after. Mary continued to operate the business with the help of Norbert, the youngest son. Joe says that much of the moving around of scrap in the yard was done by hand. Norbert purchased cranes to move the large collections and varieties of scrap.

The business grew and the city required the Hoyts to install metal strips in the chain link fence to minimize the appearance. Mary died in 1973. Norbert died in 1984, and with his death the remaining family members decided to rent the property to Elvis and Rose West to whom it was sold shortly thereafter.

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