In 1902, Alex Crawford Hoyt graduated from Yale University with an engineering degree, and soon thereafter was sent by the family to West Virginia to oversee the family holdings. Mr. Hoyt significantly expanded the family’s interests in West Virginia, eventually owning approximately 2,200 acres. Early on, Alex Hoyt gave the surface rights of this acreage to the University of West VIrginia, retaining the mineral, oil and gas rights.
By the early 1960’s, Mr. Hoyt was the principal stockholder in First National Bank of Lawrence County where Mr. Thomas V. Mansell was counsel both to the bank and to Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt. In this capacity, Mr. Mansell approached Mr. Hoyt regarding the possibility of creating a perpetual charity for the benefit of Lawrence County residents. Mr. Hoyt was receptive to this concept and the Hoyt Foundation was born with an initial contribution of $50,000.
In subsequent years, additional donations were made to the foundation, including an interest in the family’s West Virginia mineral, oil and gas rights. Mr. Alex Hoyt’s sister, May Emma Hoyt bequeathed a significant part of her estate to the Hoyt Foundation, helping it to grow in size. Some years later, Consolidated Coal approached the Foundation and purchased the Pittsburgh coal seam, adding to the Foundation’s assets. Since then, an oil and gas lease signed in 1903 has provided yearly income for distribution grants to organizations and scholarships for residents within Lawrence County.
Lawrence County is indebted to the Hoyt family for their foresight and generosity and for the creation of the foundation that has continued the Hoyt family’s service to the community.