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History of Michigan

James Frederick Joy. The distinction of having been the prime
factor in the building of more than sixteen hmidred miles of railroad in
Michigan alone is of itself sufficient to make the name of James F. Joy
one of the most significant in the hi-story of this state. From 1836
until his death in 1896, Mr. Joy was a resident of the city of Detroit. Be-
ginning his career there as a struggling young attorney, he rose to be
one of the foremost business men of the United States, a recognized au-
thority on finance, and one of the ablest railroad managers of the mid-
dle west. His achievements both in his profession and in practical affairs
is remarkable. With his great executive ability he combined attri-
butes of character which marked him as one of the most distinguished
of Michigan's citizens. It has been said of him that he was too honest
to be politic, too conscientious to be sycophantic and that his practice
of all times telling the truth often made enemies of small-minded men,
but brought him the friendship, never violated, of the greatest individ-
uals of his time.

James Frederick Joy was born at Durham. Xew Hampshire, Decem-
ber 2, 1810, a son of James and Sarah (^Pickering) Joy. His father
was a blacksmith by trade, and at Durham manufactured scythes and also
engaged in ship building. The first ancestor of the name was Thomas
Joy, who left England about 1632, locating at Boston. The town rec-
ords show him to have been a landholder at Boston in 1636. James Joy,
the father, was a man of strong character, of much enterprise and orig-
inality, was a Federalist in politics, a Calvinist in religion, and a leader
in both religious and civil life in his community. His character and ex-
ample were influential in the lives of his children, and from him the
great railroad builder and lawyer inherited some of his best native traits.

The common schools of New England introduced James Frederick
Toy to a knowledge of life, and he completed his education in an academy,
a short distance from his home. He then took up teaching and with
some assistance from his father finally entered upon a collegiate course,
graduating at the head of his class at Dartmouth College, with the
degree of Bachelor of Arts. From Dartmouth he went to Harvard Col-
lege, and took up the study of law. His finances did not allow him_ to
continue until graduation, and he supplemented his income by teaching
in the academy at Pittfield, Massachusetts, and for a year as a tutor in
Dartmouth College. Resuming his studies at Harvard, he completed
the course within a year and- was admitted to the bar at Boston.

In September, 1836, Mr. Joy arrived at Detroit, and entered the law
office of Hon. Augustus S. "Porter, later United States senator from
Michigan. In 1837 he opened a law office of his own, and became asso-
ciated in practice with George F. Porter, who had a large acquaintance
with prominent moneyed interests in this state and elsewhere. Mr. Joy



took a front rank as an able attorney, and in a few years his pro-
fessional and business ability were directed into the channels where he
made his greatest success. During the decades of the thirties and for-
ties, Michigan, like many other states had entered upon a great scheme
for internal improvements, and a part of the system was the construc-
tion of a railroad line across the southern half of the state. In 1846,
the state treasury had become bankrupt through the attempt to com-
plete and manage this railroad and undertakings of a similar character,
and the result of this disastrous experience was that the state finally
sold what was then called the Michigan Central Railroad to a private
corporation. In the interests of this corporation Mr. Joy framed the
charter, organized the company, and induced capitalists to embark in
the enterprise. The new company undertook to extend the road to Chi-
cago, and in the litigation connected therewith Mr. Joy was busily en-
gaged and from that time forward gradually made railway law his
specialty, and in his time had no superior as a railway attorney in the
entire country. From serving as legal adviser of railroads he was grad-
ually drawn into the management and became prominent in extending
railway connections and new constructions, occupying places of executive
control among the new lines. The last important case in which Mr. Joy
appeared as leading counsel and advocate was that of ejectment of
George C. Bates against the [Michigan Central and Illinois Central Rail-
road Companies in the United States Circuit Court. The case involved
the title of the two companies to the station grounds at Chicago — prop-
erty valued at that time at more than two million dollars. The argu-
ments of Mr. Joy. in this trial have been models for attorneys ever since,
and it was his successful conduct of the litigation that brought to a climax
a career as counsel and attorney which placed Mr. Joy among the great-
est of his class during the generation.

The record of the late James F. Joy as a railroad builder and or-
ganizer introduces many of the best known transportation systems in
the middle west. He organized the company which constructed the Chi-
cago, Burlington & Quincy at a cost of sixty million dollars, and before
any of the construction work was begun he made a trip on foot over the
proposed route. For many years he was president of the corporation
and under his direction the road was extended to both Quincy and
(Imaha. The railroad from Kansas City to the Indian Territory was
another enterprise projected by him, and it was finished along the route
he indicated. Mr. Joy also was chiefly instrumental in constructing the
first bridge across the Missouri River at Kansas City, thus giving great
impetus to the development of that community. About 1850 Mr. Joy
became interested with J\lr. J. W. Brooks, and they made the contract for
completing the construction of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal. Within two
years the canal was completed much to the benefit of the navigation in-
terests of the inland seas.

For many years INIr. Joy had been general counsel for the Michigan
Central Railroad, and in 1867 became its president. In that office he
superintended the rebuilding of the line, and the new equipment of every
department, and it was largely owing to his effective labors that the Mich-
igan Central came to rank as one of the leading trunk lines between
the east and middle west. During his presidency the road was double-
tracked over a greater part of the distance; and the old style rails were
replaced with steel rails which cost one hundred and thirty dollars
($130.00) in gold per ton in England. Mr. Joy promoted and finally se-
cured control of the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad, which was
built from Jackson to Saginaw and from the latter place to ]\Iackinaw. He
was also instrumental in the construction of the line from Jackson to


Grand Rapids, both of these roads now being parts of the MicTiigan
Central System. He built the Detroit & Bay City, and the Detroit, Lans-
ing & Northern Railroad, also the Alichigan Central's Air Line from
Jackson to Niles, the Kalamazoo & South Haven, and the Chicago and
West Michigan. During the early seventies, Mr. Joy became interested
in a railroad projected to run along the west bank of the Mississippi
River from Dubuque, Iowa, to a point opposite La Crosse, Wisconsin,
and the line completed as the result of his efforts is now a part of the
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul System. His work was an important
factor in securing to Detroit its connection with the Wabash Railroad,
and in the planning and establishment of adequate station facilities at
Detroit. With other influential Detroit capitalists he supplied most
of the money which built the Wabash from Detroit to Logansport, In-
diana. He and four other business men constructed the Union Station
and the Western Detroit facilities now enjoyed by the Wabash.

For several years before his death Mr. Joy lived in retirement, but
up to the end of his life his advice and counsel were often sought by
men of large affairs, not only in jNIichigan, but throughtout the nation.
His death occurred September 24, 1896, at the advanced age of eighty-
six years. It has justly been said of him : "His life was of great bene-
fit to his city and state, as well as to Chicago and the western country.
Few men have guided and invested such vast sums for a number of
years as he did."

Mr. Joy was one of the Michigan capitalists, who, in 1845, bought
the stock of the jNIichigan State Bank, and that institution paid regular
annual dividends of ten per cent until the expiration of its charter in
1855, 3-t which time its stockholders received one hundred and fifteen
per cent. He was also a director of the Second National Bank of De-
troit, when its charter expired. The Second National was succeeded by
the Detroit National, and Mr. Joy was one of its honored directors until
his death. In politics though a vigorous advocate of the principles of
the Republican party, Mr. Joy was never prominent as a practical poli-
tician, though he gave serious and beneficial attention to the dtUies of
citizenship. He was elected a school inspector of Detroit in 18.^8, and
in 1848 was city recorder. In 1861 much against his will, he was in-
duced to accept nomination for the legislature, and was elected by an
overwhelming majority, serving during the Civil war period when patriots
were needed at the helm of the ship of state. Until, business affairs com-
pelled him to resign, he also served as a regent of the University of

James F. Joy was twice married. His first wife was Martha .\rger
Reed, a daughter of Hon. John Reed of Yarmouth, Massachusetts, at
one time a congressman and lieutenant governor of his state. Mrs. Joy
at her death left children : Sara Reed, who married Dr. Edward W.
Jenks, both now deceased ; Martha Arger. who married Henry A. New-
land, both of whom were killed in a railway accident on the Michigan
Central Railroad; and James Joy. By his marriage to Miss Mary
Bourne, of Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. Joy became the father of : Fred-
erick, who died in 1805 ■ Henry Bourne Joy. now at the head of large
business interests in Detroit, including the Packard Motor Company of
which he is president : and Richard Pickering Joy, president of the
National Bank of Commerce of Detroit.

RiCH.^RD P. Joy. While none of his sons has attained to such a pre-
eminent position in connection with such large and varied affairs, as was
occupied by the late James F. Joy — and under the modern methods of
business organization and system, the possibilities of such individual pre-


eminence are now greatly limited — Richard P. Joy has for a number of
years been regarded as one of Detroit's foremost bankers, and has well
upheld the dignity and importance of the family name and fortune.

Richard P. Joy was born in the city of Detroit, January 25, 1870. He
received his education in the public schools and then entered Phillips
Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1890. His
active business career began in the engineering department of the Fort
Street Union Depot Company, and he quickly demonstrated his in-
dividual capacity for business and proved a worthy son of his father.
Mr. Joy was one of the young men of wealth and social prominence,
who early manifested a large interest and took a public spirited part in
civic affairs. He devoted much of his time to the study of municipal
problems, and from 1898 to 1901 served as alderman in the city council
from the second ward. In 1906-07, he served in the office of comptroller
of Detroit.

When there came an advantageous opening for a new bank to afford
more adequate facilities for the commerce of Detroit, Mr. Joy became
interested in the formation of the National Bank of Commerce, of which
h.; was made president bv the unanimous vote of the board of directors.
From its beginning this bank has been exceedingly successful. It was
the first large bank of Detroit to establish its quarters on the second floor
of a building, a situation which caused many firms to predict its early
failure. The founders of the institutions believed that bttsiness would
go where it was best taken care of, and their judgment was proved sound
when $8oo.O(X) was deposited in the National Bank of Commerce on the
opening of the institution. The bank proved one of the strongest of local
concerns during the crisis of 1907, and since that time no Detroit bank
has stood higher in the confidence of the people than the National Bank
of Commerce.

Aside from his duties as president of this bank, Mr. Joy is vice
president of the Detroit Copper & Brass Rolling mills, a director in
the Packard Motor Car Company, director in the Diamond Manufactur-
ing Company, president of the Detroit Union Railroad Depot & Station
Company, and stock holder in many manufacturing enterprises. His
social clubs are the Detroit Club, the Detroit Board of Commerce, the
Yondotega Club, the Country Club, the Old Club, the New York Yacht
Club and others. In 1908 "Sir. Richard P. Joy married Miss Mary Moore
and their three children are Ella H., Richard P., Jr., and William Moore.

Hexrv Bourxe Joy. On other pages of this work is a review of the
career and a consistent tribute to the memory of the late James F. Joy,
father of him whose name initiates this review, and thus it is not neces-
sary to oft'er further record concerning the family history or to designate
the pre-eminent position held by James F. Joy as one of the most influ-
ential and honored citizens of ^lichigan, a state in which his sons have
distinctively furthered the high prestige of the family name. Henry
Bourne Joy has been one of the dynamic forces in connection with the
great industrial and commercial progress of his native city, where his
capitalistic interests are many and varied and where he stands forth as
an alert, enterprising business man and a loyal, public-spirited citizen, so
that he is fully entitled to specific recognition in this history of his native

Henry B. Joy was born in Detroit, on the 23d of November, 1864,
and here his early educational training was acquired in the public schools
and private schools. This was supplemented by attendance in the Michi-
gan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, and the historic Phillips
Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, in which he was graduated as a
member of the class of 1883. Thereafter he was a student for three


years in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, from which
institution he withdrew in 1886, in his junior year. His business career
began in the offices of the Peninsular Car Company, a Detroit corporation,
and with this company he filled successively the offices of clerk, pay-
master and assistant treasurer. From 1887 to 1889 Mr. Joy was actively
identified with mining operations in Utah. In November, 1890, he was
appointed secretary of the Fort Street Union Depot Company, Detroit,
on the 4th of February, 1891, was made secretary and assistant treasurer
of the company, and on February 7, 1900, was elected director, positions
which he held until February 5, 1902. He was elected a director of the
Detroit Union Railroad Depot and Station Company February 7, 1894,
elected treasurer October 8, 1896, vice president and treasurer, February
2, 1898. and from February i, 1899, to February 5, 1913, was president,
and in the last named year was elected vice president. Specific mention
of the building of the fine union station is made in the sketch of the life
of his father, elsewhere in this volume. From 1899 to 1906 Henry B.
Joy served as treasurer and director of the Peninsular Sugar Refining
Company, and from 1906 to May 25, 1910, he was a director in the
Michigan Sugar Company, which absorbed the interests of the former
corporation. His most important industrial connection is with the Pack-
ard Motor Car Company, which has contributed greatly to the precedence
of Detroit as the leading center of the American automobile industry.
This company was founded by James W. Packard at Warren, Ohio. One
of the earliest purchasers of Packard cars was Henry B. Joy, who later in-
terested Detroit capitalists and the Packard plant was moved to this city
in 1903, he becoming a director and the general manager of the company.
In 1908 he was elected to the presidency of the same, — a position which
he has since held. From a review of the history of the automobile busi-
ness in Detroit are taken the following facts :

"On October 12, 1903, the Packard Alotor Car Company, which had
operated at Warren, Ohio, opened its new plant in Detroit. Henry B.
Joy had been one of the early owners of a Packard phaeton, and his en-
thusiasm was so great that a company was formed and a handsome fac-
tory was built on the boulevard. An interesting commentary on how
little even the men in the industry anticipated the expansion that would
take place is that the Packard Company did not buy the frontage on the
boulevard, but contented themselves with seven and one-half acres of
ground about two hundred feet off the street, figuring that not for many
years would they need to acquire the piece of ground between their prop-
erty and the street. Today this company owns all the frontage for
blocks on both sides of the boulevard, and their property covers fifty-two
and one-half acres. The Packard was the first company in the city
to make a motor car with four cylinders, and was one of the pioneers
in the building of six-cylinder cars, which it now builds exclusively."

Mr. Joy has not only been most prominently identified with important
enterprises that have conserved the material progress and prosperity of
the beautiful Michigan metropolis, but he has also entered fully into its
representative civic activities and social life. For five years he was a
member of the ^Michigan Naval Militia, and he served in the United
States navy in the Spanish-American war, in which he was chief boats-
wain's mate, the Michigan Naval Reserves, consisting of eleven officers
and two hundred and seventy men. having been detailed on the auxiliary
cruiser "Yosemite" and having seen service in Havana, Santiago and
other points. In all situations they won the approval of the regular
naval authorities and honored the state which they represented. For the
sinking of the Spanish transport "Antonio Lopez," off San Juan, Porto
Rico, June 28, 1898, the crew of the "Yosemite" was, in 1902, allowed


by congress a bounty of fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Joy is a member of
the Navy League of the United States, is affiliated with the Yale Uni-
versity Chapter of the Delta Psi fraternity, and in his home city he holds
membership in and is a director of the Detroit Board of Commerce, a
member of the Detroit Club, the Countr)^ Club, the New Detroit Athletic
Club, the Old Club, the Detroit Boat Club, the University Club, the Yon-
dotega Club. He is also a member of the Yale Club of New York and
the New York Yacht Club. He is a director of the American Fair Trade
League of New York and of the American Protective Tariff League, New
York. Mr. Joy's wide interest in public affairs has made his name known
all over America, and as president of the Lincoln Highway Association,
which is building a concrete road from New York to San Francisco, as
a memorial to Abraham Lincoln, his work has won the favorable comment
of the motor enthusiasts and nature lovers of the nation.

On the nth of October, 1892, Mr. Joy was married to Miss Helen
Hall Newberry, of Detroit, and they have two children, Helen Bourne
an Henry Bourne, Jr.

Charles Edwin TitoMAS. Since the establishment of organized gov-
ernment, the legal profession has attracted to it men of unusual ability.
It is a calling that brings out the best in an individual, developing his
natural talents so that he is able to cope with opportunities that arise in
his own life or those about him, and it is not therefore unusual to find
the lawyer acting in positions of responsibility in various other fields of
endeavor. Battle Creek can boast of some of the most learned and pro-
found legists in the state of Michigan, and among them one who has
arisen to merited eminence in a professional way and who is widely
known among his fellow citizens as one who has ever been ready to give
of himself in the cause of the public welfare, is Charles Edwin Thomas.
A native son of this city, his entire life has been passed within its borders.
He was born November 28, 1S44, his parents being Thomas H. and Ma-
rinda (Whitford) Thomas, natives of New YoVk. He is a member of a
family which was founded in this country by his great-grandparents in
J 806, they coming to America from Wales. On his mother's side he is
of English and Irish descent. The parents of Mr. Thomas came to Mich-
igan in 1835, and his father, Thomas H. Thomas, became one of the lead-
ing contractors and builders of this part of the state. Nearly all of the early
bridges of the IMichigan Central Railroad and some of the early mills of
Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties were erected by him. When he passed
away, December 2j, 1850, he was known as one of the substantial and
highly respected citizens of Calhoun county.

Charles Edwin Thomas attended the public schools of his native city.
In 1858 he entered the home of Dr. Edward Cox, well remembered as one
of the pioneers of Michigan in the medical profession. Mr. Thomas
entered the law department of the University of Michigan in 1864, and
graduated therefrom in 1868. During the progress of his law course he
studied under the preceptorship of and in the offices of Judge Benjamin F.
Graves and Myron H. Joy. In 1869 he entered active practice as a member
of the law firm of Dibble, Brown & Thomas, an association which con-
tinued until 1871, in which year was formed the firm of Brown & Thomas.
When IMr. Brown died, in 1887, Mr. Thomas succeeded to the business,
and for a number of years continued in practice alone until the business
of the Advance Thresher Company took his whole time.

jNIr. Thomas became one of the five original stockholders of the .\d-
vance Thresher Company, at the time of its organization, May i, 1881,
and when it went out of business was the only surviving stockholder. He
acted in the capacity of director, legal advisor and member of the execu-
tive board from the date of its organization until November, 191 1, at


which time the business of the Advance Thresher Company was sold to
the Rumely Company, Indiana. Mr. Thomas was also one of the organ-
izers of the Union School Furniture Company and several other corpora-
tions. He has ever taken a warm pride in the growth and development
of his native city by taking hold of incipient industries and developing
them to their full power, and few men have done more to stimulate

From his young manhood Mr. Tiiomas has been interested and ac-
tively engaged in politics. In politics he is a Democrat of the old school,
and was early recognized as the leader of his party in this part of
Michigan, and, although his party was generally in the minority, his per-
sonal popularity and influence took him time and again to public office.
He became a member of the school board in 1873, a position which he
occupied for eighteen years continuously, during all of which time he acted
as secretary, and in this period a debt of $81,000 was liquidated and three
new buildings erected without bonding, an accomplishment which may be
in a large part accredited to his unflagging and well-directed efforts. He
had been first sent to the city council in 1871, and in 1873 was elected to
that office for a second term. He was appointed to fill a vacancy therein
in 1887, and in the following spring was elected for a full term. He stood
high in the confidence of his colleagues, and in the capacity of chairman
of the ways and means committee provided the way in the payment of
$200,000 railroad aid bonds, the payment of which had been stopped by
the Michigan courts and enforced by the United States courts, after a
lapse of five years. These bonds, bearing interest of eight and ten per
cent, accumulated a large indebtedness. While a member of the council

Online LibraryCharles MooreHistory of Michigan (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 90)