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In the days before the camera, oil paintings were one of the few ways of making a person's picture. Many people left no pictures of themselves, since they were costly and good artists were few. Elihu Hoyt was an important man of his generation whose family first settled in Deerfield in 1682. He was a colonel in the militia and served in many town offices. He was elected as a member of the state government for 27 years.