Born in Concord, New Hampshire, he had a difficult childhood, as his mother died when he was nine years old. He graduated at the Boston Latin School and, after being engaged in the cattle business in Colorado for a time, took up newspaper work, first with the St. Albans (Vt.) Advertiser, and later becoming musical and dramatic critic of the Boston Post. Beginning in 1883, he turned playwright and wrote a series of twenty farcical comedies (roughly one per year until his death) and a comic opera. His plays emphasized individualized characters drawn from the everyday experiences of ordinary people. Both his first wife, actress Flora Walsh, and his second wife, actress Caroline Miskel, died after only a few years of marriage. The death of his second wife in 1898 led to Hoyt's being committed to an insane asylum in 1900. Although his stay was brief, he returned to his Charlestown, New Hampshire home and died four months later.
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