Amasa Edward Hoyt Jr. was born April 7, 1903 to Amasa Edward Hoyt Sr. and Anna L. Hoyt (née Coppins) in Binghamton, New York.1 The Hoyt family lived in Broome, New York. Amasa Edward Hoyt Sr. worked as a grocery store clerk in 1900 while his wife Anna stayed at home.2 By 1910, Amasa’s father worked as a postal clerk for the railroad, something which he continued to do for decades.3 Amasa Hoyt Sr. owned the home that the Hoyt family resided in Broome.4 Amasa Hoyt Jr. had three brothers: William (born in 1896), James (born in 1901), and Leland (born in 1910).5
When the United States entered World War I, Amasa’s father registered with the military.6 Amasa Hoyt Jr. also enlisted in the United States Army on May 13, 1918, when he was only about fifteen years old.7 On his registration form, he claimed he was older in order to serve. When the Army realized he was too young to serve, it discharged Hoyt on August 31, 1918 “for fraudulent enlistment (minority concealed),” as seen here. 8 This dishonorable discharge from the Army would have made it impossible for Hoyt to be buried at Florida National Cemetery. However, an Act of Congress on March 3, 1936 upheld that soldiers who sought to serve before the legal age be “considered to have been honorably discharged,” recognizing their desire to serve their nation during wartime.9
In 1920, Hoyt worked as a telephone installer at the age of sixteen.10 The telephone industry in the United States dramatically increased between 1900 and 1930, when forty one percent of American households had a telephone.11 Although there was a decrease during the Great Depression in telephone diffusion, by 1940 telephones per capita exceeded the numbers in the 1930s.12 Hoyt continued to work with telephones for decades. On November 22, 1921, Hoyt married Genevieve Corbett in Broome, New York. Hoyt worked as a line operator and Genevieve worked as a stenographer.13 The newly married couple had their first child, a girl named Gwendolyn, in 1923.14 Their second daughter, Margery, followed in 1924.15 Between 1925 and 1930, the family moved from Binghamton to Dickenson, New York where they rented a home.16 Hoyt continued his work with telephones as a clerk for the telephone company.17 In 1929, Amasa and Genevieve had their third daughter named Carroll.18 By 1940, Amasa was divorced and living in Chenango.19 He worked as a telephone switchman.20 Hoyt lived with Helen Disbro, a thirty-year-old divorced housekeeper, and her eight-year-old son Richard.21
Hoyt, who tried to serve his nation in World War I, became an officer when the United States entered the Second World War. On January 3, 1943, Hoyt began his commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He served until May 23, 1945, and served again from May 25, 1945 until January 18, 1947. 22 Hoyt was part of the 1st Airborne Army occupying Berlin in the post-war. 23 He utilized his experience with telephones as part of the 3866th Signal Service Company, which “operated and administered the American section of the Big Three Conference area.”24 The “Big Three” refers to the Allied leaders: the American President Harry Truman, the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and the Soviet Premier, Joseph Stalin. President Truman applauded Hoyt for his service at the Big Three Conference in Potsdam, Germany (a suburb of Berlin) in July 1945.25 While in Berlin, Hoyt met Martha Frieda Lehmann, a twenty-year-old Berlin native who worked in the US Military Government Office.26
When Hoyt returned to the United States on December 14, 1946, he brought Lehmann with him as his fiancée.27 They flew back from Berlin to New York along with four other German women; all of the women pictured here were engaged to marry American soldiers.28 In spite of a non-fraternization policy between the GIs and the Germans, relationships were common and “between 1944 and 1950, 150,000 to 200,000 continental European women were known to have married American military personnel.”29 The US government issued a ban on marriages, but a loophole in Public Law 471 (June 29, 1946) allowed fiancées of American military personnel to be admitted to the US.30 The law intended to prevent marriages to German women but did not specify “German,” so it was possible to bring German women to the US if they were engaged to someone in the US military; on December 11, the government lifted the 1946 ban on marrying Germans.31 Amasa and Martha got married in Binghamton on February 15, 1947.32 The two separated in July 1952, and the divorce process began in 1953.33
By 1963, Hoyt moved to Florida, when President John F. Kennedy nominated him to be a postmaster for Port Richey, FL in March.34 Hoyt was confirmed for the postmaster position on April 1, 1963.35 Hoyt remarried again to a woman named Helen. They divorced on April 11, 1973 in Pasco County, FL.36 On December 22, 1975, Hoyt married Beatrice Edna James in Marion County FL.37 They got divorced on December 30, 1980.38 Amasa Hoyt passed away on November 22, 1989, and is buried in Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.39
11 Claude S. Fischer and Glenn Carroll, “Telephone and Automobile Diffusion in the United States, 1902-1937,” American Journal of Sociology 93 (1988):1154.
23 ”Hoyt- With the 1st Airborne Army Occupying Berlin.” Press and Sun-Bulletin, August 16, 1945, p. 17, database, Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/252539648/ , (accessed July 12, 2017).
29 Elfrieda Berthiaume Shukert and Barbara Smith Scibetta, War Brides of World War II, (California: Presidio Press, 1988), 2.
30 Ibid., 142.
31 Ibid., 142-144.
32 “Hoyt v. Hoyt,” database, Casetext.com, https://casetext.com/case/hoyt-v-hoyt-13 .
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