Select Page


RG4230.AM:  Wilbur Franklin Hoyt, 1864-1930

Papers:  1886-1931

Peru, Nemaha County, Neb.:  College professor; scientist

Size:  1 box; 1.0 cu.ft.


Wilbur Franklin Hoyt was born in Reedsville, Ohio, on March 13, 1864. He earned both his bachelor degree (1895) and his master’s degree (1905) at Ohio Wesleyan University. Professor Hoyt’s teaching career, prior to his involvement with higher education, entailed service as a high school instructor in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Montana. In 1901 he assumed a position as professor of science at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas. Here he taught for the next nine years and even served as acting president and later vice-president of the institution. In 1910 he arrived in Peru, Nebraska, where he taught chemistry and served as the head of the Department of Physical Science at the Nebraska State Normal School (later called Nebraska State Teachers College, Peru State Teachers College, and most recently, Peru State College). Over the next twenty years, Wilbur Hoyt established a reputation as a prominent member of the profession by writing numerous textbooks and scientific articles. He was a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, an active member of the National Education Association, and served as secretary of the Nebraska Academy of Science from 1914 to 1920.

Professor Hoyt exercised a great impact upon his students at Peru College as evidence by his life-long friendships with many of them. Hoyt’s failing health forced him to leave his teaching duties in December of 1929 and subsequently be hospitalized in April of 1930. Following an operation, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage on June 25, 1930.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript materials related to the activities of educator, Wilbur F. Hoyt. Arrangement is in five series: 1) Correspondence, 1895-1930; 2) Textbook Manuscripts, 1910-1927; 3) Speeches and Essays, ca. 1887-1930; 4) Scrapbook, n.d.; and 5) Miscellany, 1885-1930. The first series, Correspondence, is further divided into three subseries: 1) Business, 2) Recommendations, and 3) Biography.

The bulk of this collection consists of papers that illustrate Hoyt’s academic career from his days as a student at Ohio Wesleyan University through his tenure as professor at Peru State Teachers College. In Series 1, Correspondence, 1895-1930, the first subseries, Business, 1902-1930, consists primarily of letters compiled by Hoyt’s academic peers and publishers regarding his various works. The second subseries, Recommendations, 1895-1910, consists exclusively of letters written on behalf of Hoyt for various academic positions and endeavors. The final subseries, Biography, 1929-1931, mostly includes correspondence sent by W.F. Hoyt, and his family, to a former pupil, Joseph Jones, who intended to compile a biography of the professor. Correspondents in the three subseries include: Philip F. Hoyt (son), J.W. Millette, Walter Neale, Frank C. Smart, and H.O. Sutton.

Series 2, Textbook Manuscripts, 1910-1927, consists of draft, typed copies of three of Hoyt’s published works: Science and Life: A Philosophy of Science; A Chemistry Manual for High Schools; and A Manual of Qualitative Analysis. Series 3, Speeches and Essays, ca. 1887-1930, includes Hoyt’s essays as a student and copies of speeches from later in his career. These cover an extremely wide variety of topics, but most importantly, science and religion. The single volume comprising Series 4, Scrapbook, has undated news clippings treating science related topics. Series 5, Miscellany, 1885-1930, includes Professor Hoyt’s personal notebooks, printed matter (including a copy of Science and Life), student grade reports, poetry, and newspaper obituaries.

Note:  See the NSHS Library Catalog for copies of some of Professor Hoyt’s published works.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1895-1930

Subseries 1: Business, 1902-1930

Box 1


  1. 1902-1920

  2. 1921-1926

  3. 1927-1928

  4. 1920-1930 and undated

Subseries 2: Recommendations, 1895-1910

  1. 1895-1910

Subseries 3: Biography, 1929-1931

  1. 1929-1931

Series 2 – Textbook Manuscripts, 1910-1927

  1. Science and Life: A Philosophy of Science

  2. Chemistry Manual for High Schools

  3. Manual of Qualitative Analysis

Series 3 – Speeches and Essays, ca. 1887-1930

  1. Speeches and Essays

  2. Speeches and Essays

  3. Speeches and Essays

  4. Speeches and Essays

Series 4 – Scrapbook, n.d.

  1. Scrapbook, n.d.

Series 5 – Miscellany, 1885-1930

  1. Includes printed matter, newspaper obituary, grade reports, and poetry, 1885-1930

  2. Miscellaneous Notebooks, 1907-1922

  3. Miscellaneous Notes, 1889-1910

  4. “Physics Notebook,” 1905



Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925

Darwin, Charles Robert, 1809-1882

Education — Nebraska

Educators — Nebraska

Hoyt, Wilbur Franklin, 1864-1930

Nebraska State Normal School (Peru, Neb.)

Nebraska State Teachers College (Peru, Neb.)

Peru State Teachers College (Peru, Neb.)


DDM/pmc   11-04-1985

Encoded TMM   05-11-2010