HOYT, JAMES MADISON (16 Jan. 1815-21 Apr. 1895), lawyer and real-estate developer, was born in Utica, N.Y., son of David P. and Mary (Barnum) Hoyt. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1834 and studied law in Cleveland in the office of ANDREWS & FOOTE. Admitted to the Ohio bar in 1837, he became a partner in Andrews, Foote & Hoyt until 1848, when the firm became Foote & Hoyt. In 1853, Hoyt withdrew from practicing law to concentrate on real-estate, developing new neighborhoods by purchasing large tracts of land, dividing them into lots, and selling them for homesteads.
On his own or with other investors, he subdivided and sold almost 1,000 acres of city and suburban land. He alone was responsible for opening and naming over 100 streets, developing neighborhoods on Prospect, St. Clair, Superior, and Kinsman avenues on the east side, and Madison Ave., Colgate, Lawn, and Waverly (W. 58th St.) on the west side. Known as the "honest lawyer," Hoyt's reputation carried over to his real estate dealings. He was generous, especially to the poor and those in difficult circumstances because of unexpected illness or misfortune. In 1870 he was elected to the State Board of Equalization, and in 1873 was appointed to the Cleveland Board of Public Improvement.
Closely associated with first the Baptist and later Congregational church, he was licensed to preach but was never ordained. Hoyt married Mary Ella Beebe in 1836 and had 6 children: Ella, Lydia Hoyt Farmer, Elton, Colgate, James, and Wayland. Hoyt is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.