Clell F. Hoy, a Dexterite Making History and Preserving It

Clell Fletcher Hoy (1917-1991)

Clell Hoy was the stepson of master blacksmith Jim Meister of Dexter, Iowa. About 1930, Jim married Roxie (Stone) Hoy, who had five children: Ora, Cleo, IG, Clell, and Max Hoy. Lyle and Marilyn Frost also lived with them several years.

Clell joined the Navy right after he graduated from Dexter High School in 1936.

1936 Graduate of Dexter High School

He served aboard seven ships, including the USS Colorado, the USS Kidd and the USS Madison. He was aboard the Colorado for three years, during which the battleship participated in the search for Amelia Earhart in the South Pacific. During WWII he served at Casablanca in North Africa, as well as in the Pacific–Eniwetok, Okinawa, and the Philippines. He was awarded a Purple Heart. Hoy, a Chief Commissary Steward, served ten years.

After the war, he married Margaret and lived in the Chicago area until her death in 1982. He returned to Dexter and traveled extensively, including to Australia.

Clell Hoy and other family members donated over 1000 homemade tools and other items from the blacksmith shop of his stepfather, Jim Meister. A group of Dexterites bought a small brick building on the town’s main street and moved Meister’s machinery and tools to the building.






Hoy willed $50,000 to the Dexter Museum. It has been set up as a trust to help support the museum, which also features the 1933 Bonnie and Clyde shootout in Dexfield Park, the speech by President Truman at the 1948 National Plowing Match at Dexter, as well as items from Jim Meister’s blacksmith shop.

Clell F. Hoy is buried in the Dexter Cemetery.

Sources: Obituary. Service Record World War II, Dexter and Community.

Marilyn Frost Black gave the museum a notebook in 2017 with information and photos about Jim Meister and his blacksmith shop.


  1. I used to play with Lyle and Marilyn Frost… they are mentioned in the article…. It would be fun to know where they landed..
    .I think Lyle was in Arizona at one time… They had a great merry go round and see/saw that their grandpa built for them in his yard.
    Roxie had a parrot…an impolite parrot at that… I guess Lyle didn’t have anyone else to ask…he invited me to his highschool prom in Des Moines… but I did not attend.. it just wasn’t practical….

  2. My Dad used to take me with him when he had work for Jim Meister to do for some of his equipment, as they had kittens running around I could play with and then it was from them, that I received my childhood dog, Congo, who after I was older, became my Dad’s dog and he would ride on the tractor with him and always met him when he would drive in the driveway. He was always a great dog for our family, and I always remember getting to go visit Roxie and Jim with my Dad, Gary Wells.

    • Thank you, Connie, for these delightful memories! I remember Roxie’s cats as well, while waiting for Dad to pick up something he’d had Jim sharpen (or something).

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