Sunday, May 15, 2011

Backward Glance - John Richard Hoyle, born 1876

This dapper man is John Richard Hoyle, my grandpa. He was called Jack. His was a varied and interesting life. We are learning more about him and his ventures all the time.

Jack was born in Accrington, Lancashire, England, on May 15, 1876. He was the oldest child of John Richard Hoyle (b. 1852) and his wife, Isabella Hargreaves (b. 1854). His brother, William, was born in 1879, also in  Accrington, but died in 1880 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, after the family had emigrated there. Seven more children were born to his parents in Canada. Mary, Annie and Isabella were born in Dundas, Ontario. Sarah, James, Lucy and Benjamin were born in Regina, Saskatchewan. John and Isabella returned to Hamilton after 1906.

Jack married Margaret McCallum on December 1, 1898, in Hamilton, Ontario. From at least 1901 through 1911, when the censuses were taken, Jack and Maggie lived in Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada. They adopted Nellie Welsh (b. abt 1892) before 1906. Apparently, Jack wanted to move to the United States, but Maggie didn't. They separated.

In 1914, Jack crossed the border into Montana reporting his residence in Canada as MacLeod and proclaiming his destination to be Great Falls. He lived in the town of Black Eagle (or Little Chicago), now a part of Great Falls. He registered for the World War I draft in 1918 in Great Falls. In a letter I received 1n 1977 from Ida Lenci, a resident of Black Eagle, she said people there remembered him. He was described as "a medium sized man and seemed to be in good health." He lived at the Germania Hotel and took his meals there. He also ate at a restaurant owned by a Mrs. Jones on 15th Street. According to an entry in the 1918 Great Falls City Directory, he boarded at Mrs. Jones' establishment.

By 1922, Jack was living in Billings, Montana. He and others, including Claire Marguerat, incorporated two businesses: American Ranch and Trading Company, and The Canadian Rocky Land and Ranch Company Limited. I have found nothing more of these businesses.

On June 20, 1925, Jack married my grandma, Claire Elise Marguerat, in Lewiston, Montana. They moved to Seattle, Washington, where all of their children were born. 

He grafted fruit trees of different kinds together. He moved houses across the city. He put two houses together to create a larger one. He developed a way to extract tar from Athabasca tar sands. He did such a great variety of things!

Jack died on December 8, 1958, in Seattle. He was a kind and loving husband, father and grandfather.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if you are distantly related to my family as we are descended from Richard Birch Hoyle (1875-1939)of Lancashire, the Baptist Minister famous for translating hymns from other languages. His sister my great grandmother Annie Hoyle emigrated to Hamilton Ontario as well. I can be reached at