Biography of Rufus B. Hoy

Rufus B. Hoy. A resident of Champaign County almost forty years, Rufus B. Hoy after a brief visit determined that this county should be his permanent home, and here his industry has borne fruit and his name is one that is spoken with honor and respect.

Mr. Hoy was born in Hancock County, Ohio, November 6, 1850, son of Abraham and Mary (Fellers) Hoy. His father was a native of Pennsylvania and his mother of Ohio and both their ancestors several generations back came from Germany. Abraham Hoy and wife had twelve children, six sons and six daughters, Rufus being the youngest son. These children were educated in a district school known as the Hoy School, situated on a corner of their father’s farm back in Ohio.

Rufus B. Hoy when twenty-eight years of age came to Illinois for the purpose of working one summer on the farm of his brother Abraham, located east of Urbana and known as the old Cook farm. The country and its people had a special charm for the young man and he prolonged his visit indefinitely. He worked on various farms in the county, and at the age of thirty he laid the foundation of his own home by his marriage to Miss Martha J. Arlington.

Mrs. Hoy, who has stood beside her husband in all his work and in the ordering of her home and the training of her children for the past thirty-five years, was born in Hancock County, Indiana, daughter of Samuel and Matilda (McDuffey) Arrington. Her parents were natives of North Carolina and were early settlers in Indiana; whither they went with their only child. Their other children were all born in Indiana. The McDuffey ancestry originated in the land of hills and heather, Scotland. The six children of the Arringtons comprised four daughters and two sons, both sons dying in infancy. Martha was the youngest daughter and the only one still living. She was educated with her sisters in the Wright district school. In 1860 the Arrington family moved to Champaign County and settled near Mayview.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoy after their marriage began farming on rented land a mile and a half south of Mayview. Possessing youth, enthusiasm, energy and ambition, they made each year count for something definite in their scheme of life and in the matter of progress, and in the course of time were able to buy out the other heirs of the Arrington estate, and while they lived there they added many improvements to that beautiful farm. They now have 340 acres in Illinois and 640 in Missouri.

Two sons and three daughters were born to their marriage, named Jesse F., Bertha M., Gertrude May, Fred and Lucy F. These children were well educated both at home and in the district school known as the Willard School. Bertha graduated from Brown’s Business College at Champaign, fitted herself for work as a teacher and taught in the College Corner School and the Kirkpatrick School. She is now the wife of A. N. Duvall, and they live in Rantoul, where Mr. Duvall is a postal employee. Their one child is named Gladys Bernice. Gertrude, the second daughter, was educated in the University of Illinois at Champaign and was a teacher of public schools in Champaign County. She taught the Allen and York schools, spending two years at each place. She married Earl Swartz, and they live at Matthews, in New Madrid County, Missouri, where he is a grain dealer. Fred is a farmer on his father’s place at Mayview. He married Opal Lockwood, and of their two children one died in infancy, the one still living being Marjorie. Jesse, also a farmer on one of his father’s places south of Mayview, married Mary Brooks and has a daughter, Lavinia. Lucy F. graduated from the Urbana High School and took the full college course in the University of Illinois. She is a cultured and capable young woman, still at home with her parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoy have always been interested in every work for the upbuilding of the social and religious community in which they have lived. Early in life he accepted the doctrines and principles of the great Republican party and has found that organization most expressive of his mature convictions and experience in the regulation of political affairs. He is an ardent Mason, having joined that order back in Ohio when a young man and is a charter member of the Court of Honor.

Thirteen years ago, having seen their efforts duly rewarded, Mr. and Mrs. Hoy left their farm and came to Urbana, where he bought a pleasant and attractive residence on Elm Street. Here this worthy couple have surrounded themselves with the comforts of life and live in the enjoyment of their family and their numerous friends.

Such people as Mr. and Mrs. Hoy are counted among the builders of a county, always interested in every good work for the promotion of the good of the community socially and religiously. Converted in early life, in 1891, they both took their place in the home church at Mayview, the Methodist Episcopal, as earnest, conscientious members, and have found their deepest source of joy in working in the interests of the Man of Galilee. The day of their conversion was a milestone in their lives and they always pleasantly refer to that time which with devout Christians is the day of all days. This decision came early in their lives, and has influenced and regulated all their subsequent actions and has proved fruitful in deeds of kindness so that the name Hoy is wreathed with pleasing memories. On moving to Urbana Mr. and Mrs. Hoy united with the Methodist Church there and have been liberal supporters of its every cause, and Mr. Hoy is now serving as a church steward.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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