Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Hoyleton (Ill.) Collection, 1857-1858

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, June 2012

Summary Information
Title: Hoyleton (Ill.) collection
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: 1857-1858
Extent: 5 items
This collection contains correspondence, a printed circular, and photographs related to the Hoyle family of Champlain, New York, and to the town of Hoyleton, Illinois. The material concerns George and Timothy Hoyle, life in Hoyleton, and fundraising efforts for the construction of a seminary.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2002. M-4202.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Hoyleton (Ill.) Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


In the spring of 1857, a number of settlers from Champlain, New York, and other New England towns moved to Washington County, Illinois, where they founded the town of Hoyleton (also known as "Yankee Town"). The town had around 30 to 40 resident families in December 1858. Early settlers included Congregationalist ministers J. A. Bent and Ovid Miner, who built a seminary there in 1859.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 2 personal letters, 1 printed circular, and 2 photographs related to the Hoyle family of Champlain, New York, and to the town of Hoyleton, Illinois.

The first item is a brief personal letter (1 page) that George V. Hoyle wrote to John H. Whiteside of Champlain, New York, about the recipient's personal financial matters. The letter, dated at Malone, New York, is written on illustrated stationery from the Northern Rail Road Office. Eliza M. Miner, Reverend Ovid Miner's wife, wrote a 5-page letter to her sister, Mrs. L. M. Nye of Champlain, New York, while living in Hoyleton, Illinois (May 23, 1858, and June 2, 1858). Miner commented on the harsh weather, her social life, and an acquaintance's death. The circular letter, entitled "Hoyleton Colony in Southern Illinois" (1 page, December 25, 1858) provides a brief history of the town, focusing on the religious beliefs of its founders and stating their intent to build a seminary. The authors, whose names are printed at the bottom of the letter, outlined existing financial contributions for the project, such as "land payments" from the residents and pledged support from the Illinois Central Railroad Company, and requested additional monetary assistance. The circular describes Hoyleton as "one of the outposts of Congregationalism" in Illinois. Two cartes de visite depict brothers Timothy and George V. Hoyle, members of the Hoyle family in Champlain, New York.

Subject Terms

    • Champlain (N.Y.)
    • Congregationalists.
    • Educational fund raising--United States.
    • Hoyleton (Ill.)
    • Illinois--Social life and customs.
    • Illinois--Weather.
    • Migration, Internal--United States.
    • Washington County (Ill.)
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Hoyle, George V.
    • Hoyle, Timothy.
    • Hoyle, George V.
    • Miner, Eliza M.
    Genre Terms:
    • Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
    • Circulars (fliers)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   9, Small Collections  
    Hoyleton (Ill.) collection [series]
    Folder   27  
     September 23, 1857-December 25, 1858
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Additional research material and correspondence regarding the history of Hoyleton and Rouses Point, New York, is available in the Manuscripts Division.


    History of Washington County, Illinois. With Illustrations Descriptive of Its Scenery, and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough & Co., 1879.