Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

074_Hoyt Middle School


074_Hoyt Middle School


This is a page from the collection "Bicentennial Reflections: History of Des Moines Public Schools, 1876-1976" by Dr. Robert R. Denny, published by the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa in 1976.

File Name



Hoyt Middle School (Photograph) since there is not room for these students at the McKee Elementary and Douglas Elementary School. Thus for 1975-76 the grade range for Hoyt is grades 6 through 9. Following is a description of the life of Cress O. Hoyt, the person for whom this building is named. Cress O. Hoyt was a teacher coach, vice principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in the Des Moines schools from 1922 until the time of his death on March 1, 1957. Mr. Hoyt was born February 26, 1891, on the family farm in Adair County. His father's early death left him as the oldest boy in the family, then living at home. He and his brother, Charles, stayed out of school for two years and farmed the land. In 1914, when his brother Charles was graduated from high school, his mother moved the family to Grinnell in order to make it possible for the brothers and sisters to attend college. Mr. Hoyt joined the family and entered Grinnell College where he played left tackle on the undefeated football team, which in 1916-1917 met major competition including the University of Iowa. He was voted one of the two outstanding linemen in the state in 1917. Because he was the oldest boy in the family, the students gave him the nickname of "Dad." He was known by that name the rest of his life. When World War I came, he enlisted in Naval Aviation. In the Spring of 1918, on leave from the Navy, he was graduated with his college class. He was discharged in January, 1919. He became a teacher and coach of football in Oskaloosa, Iowa, in September, 1919, and in 1922, accepted the position as social studies teacher and football coach at East High, Des Moines. During the rest of his life he was contacted by former players and students who so greatly respected and admired him - a great tribute. In 1935, Mr. Hoyt was appointed vice principal at East High School. In 1936 he became the principal of Amos Hiatt Junior High School, and in 1939, principal of Roosevelt High School. In each school he was highly successful and when he was appointed assistant superintendent of schools, he had a host of friends and supporters. In 1955 Mr. Hoyt was appointed to the superintendency of the largest school system in the state. He had demonstrated his leadership qualities, his teaching skills, and his dedication to education in all of his previous and diverse experiences. His ability to instill a sense of high endeavor in his colleauges, his vision and courage, will long be felt by all in the field of education. Mr. Hoyt was fortunate in his personal life. He enjoyed life and living. He had the devoted and stimulating companionship of two unusual women who enriched his life. In 1920 he married Mary Bartlye, a home economics teacher at Roosevelt, who died in 1937 leaving Mr. Hoyt and a son, Jack. In 1942 he married Genevieve Anderson, the Director of Elementary Education in the Des Moines School, who later became a professor at Drake University. Mr. Hoyt had many and varied interests in educational and community organizations. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, president of Iowa Schoolmasters' Walt Whitman Club, member and officer of the Des Moines Educational Association, the Commission on Teacher Education and Professional Standards, Nataional Education Association, American Association of School Administrators and Iowa Educational Association. He was also a 40-year member of the Baldwin Patterson American Letion Post, the East Des Moines Club, member and president of the Lions' Club, Capitol Masonic Lodge, Commandry and the Za Ga Zig Shrine. He was a member of the Plymouth Congregational Church. C.O. Hoyt was a big man, a sensitive and perceptive man of unique personality, who had the ability to establish close rapport with all of his associates. He was a generous man who had a sexth sense concerning human relations - a great humanitarian. Principals: Wendell Webb 1971 - Students rode streetcars 1920's, 1930's and 1940's (Photograph)