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.
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.