Clayton honors its first mayor, Robert ‘Bob’ Hoyer

Clayton honors its first mayor, Robert ‘Bob’ Hoyer

Clayton honors its first mayor, Robert ‘Bob’ Hoyer
Clayton’s first mayor, Bob Hoyer.

CLAYTON, CA—Clayton’s first mayor will celebrate his 100th birthday in March of 2021, and he’s still an active member of our wonderful community. You may see him dining at one of our restaurants or at the Clayton Historical Society Museum, which he helped create in 1976.

A Bay Area native, from Oakland, Bob went to the University of Nevada in Reno where he undertook a degree as a mining engineer. After enlisting in the US Army during WWII and serving in the Philippines, Bob returned to Reno to finish his degree, where he met his wife Eldora after she returned home from serving as a Navy flight instructor stationed in Florida during the war. Bob went to work for the Natomas mining company in Battle Mountain, NV.

As mining declined after the war, Bob and Eldora moved back to the Bay Area, where Bob worked for Dow Chemical in Pittsburg. After his father’s death, Bob returned to the family business in Oakland. He later worked for the East Bay Regional Park District as a construction inspector. Quite an interesting career!

New home, new town

In 1956, the Hoyers purchased a lovely lot on the hill and built their home in Clayton. They soon became leaders in the drive to incorporate Clayton as a city. The vote was successful and Bob became Clayton’s first Mayor in March 1964 and served on the Council until 1980. Bob was Mayor from 1964-67 and again 1970-71. That early City Council hired David Whittet, a professional land planner to lay out the city-wide trail system along the creeks, before the houses were built. We are grateful for their vision that created our highly-regarded trail system. Whittet also created a revised layout for Dana Hills, preserving the greenbelt which was not part of the original plans submitted to the county for the project.

Bob and Eldora, both interested in history, became part of the committee to create the Clayton Historical Society (CHS), chartered in 1976. After securing a $26,000 grant from the county, in 1976, the historic Joel Clayton and Pape houses were moved from their respective locations on the Keller Ranch and Oak Street and joined as one building on the current location on Main Street. creating the current Museum. Bob served as President of the CHS board and, and with Dick Ellis, on the Historic Marker committee raising money to place the many monuments to Clayton history around our town.

Always active, Bob has continued to serve on many Clayton committees, including The Grove Park Blue Ribbon Task Force to design the park, the Keller Ranch Master Plan committee and many others. Bob and his family donated the flagpoles at City Hall, The Grove Park and the Museum. Always an inspiring leader and keeper of history, Bob has long been active in making Clayton the wonderful community we enjoy today.

For information about the Clayton Historical Society, click here.