Portrait of David Joyce - Lumber King 

From: The Clinton Daily Herald; Tuesday December 11, 1894, P. 4
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.


What a Leading Lumber Paper Says of D. Joyce.

His Death One of the Saddest Events the Mississippi Valley Lumberman Ever Called Upon to Chronicle – Something About the Business Capacity of the Deceased – His Interest Covered Various Sections of the County – A Reliable Man.

The Mississippi Valley Lumberman, Minneapolis, contains the following editorial in its last issue:


“No other combination of words in the English language can better express what the late David Joyce was. In the highest regard will his memory always be cherished and his name will ever be a synonym for all that is the strongest and best in the world of the lumber trade. A pioneer in the trade, with the keen foresight of a general commanding a great army he looked into the future and saw its possibilities, and by means of the strictest integrity, grasping all of the details of a mighty business he went forward and reached the goal of commercial success. He had wealth but that does not count for all, by any means, and when historians sum up with unprejudiced pen, the deeds of those who have lived and passed on to the great beyond, a man is judged by what he was rather then what he had. So we can but simply say that he was a man among men, looked to for his views on matters pertaining to the welfare of the trade, respected and honored everywhere. By the people of his native town he was held in the highest esteem. And were there nothing else that could be said of him, their regard for him has more weight in the scale of public opinion than all the laudations of scores of business associates. But he has both. Always interested in institutions designed to better condition of mankind, he had long in mind a most cherished and fond hope of seeing a great educational institution in his native place, and although his hope was not realized it was through no fault of his. From Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi to far away British Columbia there are business institutions today that have prospered through his financial assistance and his far reaching business judgment. The ranks of the pioneers in the trade are gradually being decreased by that grim enemy, death, and he who last responded to the call was one who will be mourned by all. The ways of the Infinite One are often mysterious and beyond understanding but his grief-stricken family have in their hour of bereavement the sympathy of all who learned to know and admire him.”

A little further on this great paper utters these sincere words:
“The Lumberman has frequently been called upon to record sad events, but it has been long since it has had to anything that will bring such sorrow to the lumber fraternity as the death of David Joyce, of Lyons, Iowa, who passed away at his rooms in the West Hotel, Minneapolis, early Tuesday morning of this week. There are some men who have been associated with the lumber trade of the Upper Mississippi Valley longer than was Mr. Joyce, but it is a question whether there are any who are better known and liked than he was. Kind, genial and popular, Mr. Joyce was ever and always welcome in the offices of his fellow business men or at their gatherings for consultation, and his opinion was sought after and desired because it came from one of matured judgment and keen business sagacity. The news of the death of David Joyce will be as the death of a friend to many in the white pine belt. Thus passes out the history of those who labored to forward the white pine lumber industries, one of its esteemed pioneers. It was but a few weeks ago that he stood on the floor of the Minneapolis Lumber Exchange, surrounded by over a half a hundred of the leading lumbermen of the Mississippi Valley, and ably discussed questions of vital interest to the welfare of the trade, and although having reached nearly three score and ten years of age his interest in every detail was not surpassed by those many years his junior. He was a remarkable man and his life has been a continuous record of successes achieved by dint of patience, industry and economy. He had looked into the future of the lumber business years ago and had carefully reached out and grasped it in its infancy. By the death of David Joyce the ranks of the pioneers in the lumber trade of the Mississippi Valley are decreased by one.

JOYCE, DAVID 1825 – 1894
Clinton Weekly Herald, Thursday December 6, 1894, P. 4


Death Occurs at Minneapolis From Paralysis
A Man of Sturdy Qualities and a Wonderful Head for Business – The Head Officer in Many Large Business Concerns in the Northwest – He Did a Great Deal for Lyons – Death of ex-Representative – His Life.
From Tuesday’s Daily,
“Father died at 4 o’clock this morning, shortly after the second stroke of paralysis,” is the substance of a telegram received this morning by J. F. Conway from Mr. Will Joyce at Minneapolis. The news is a shock to the people of Lyons, although it has been known that Mr. Joyce had been dangerously ill. His death occurred at the West Hotel, Minneapolis, where he had been sick since November 22nd. His wife and only son have been at his bedside during his entire illness. Mr. Joyce has been absent from this city for nearly four months, spending his time in Wisconsin and Minnesota looking after his extensive lumber and logging interests there.

In his death, Lyons loses one of her foremost and best citizens; the business world loses one of its most tireless and successful workers; and Iowa loses one of her wealthiest men.
David Joyce was born in Berkshire, Mass., Feb. 25, 1825. He received a common school education, later taking up the study of civil engineering. In 1860 he came west, locating in this city, where he has since made his home. Shortly after he purchased what was known as the “Stumbaugh” mill. From this small beginning, by diligent labor and careful and painstaking devotion to the business, has grown the immense holding he has had for the past years.

He was a man who seemed equal to almost any business task, as is shown by the successful management of so many vast enterprises. At the time of his death he was president of the First National Bank, Lyons; Trinity County Lumber Co., Groveton, Texas; Langford & Hall Lumber Co., Fulton, Ill; Benjamin Machine Co, Chicago; Crescent Springs Railroad Company, Crescent Springs, Wis; secretary and treasurer of the Barronett Lumber Co., Barronett, Wis; and Shell Lake Lumber Co., Shell Lake, Wis. He was also one of the heaviest stockholders in the White River Lumber Co., Mason, Wis.; Park Hotel, Hot Springs, Ark.; and the Mississippi River Logging Co. and the several enterprises of the last named company. He also held stock in a number of Chicago Banks, and owned large tracts of timber land in Wisconsin and Texas. All these enterprises, together with his mill in this city and the many lumber yards in various towns in the State, were looked after by him personally.

He was mayor of Lyons from 1872 to 1876, being nominated against his expressed wishes and elected without opposition. He never aspired to political honors, preferring to devote his time, energy and talents to his business. He was a man of genial nature, approachable by all.

He has done much for Lyons, chief among the monuments he leaves behind him is Joyce’s Park and the street railway. His wife and only son, William T., survive him.

The body arrived in this city from Minneapolis Wednesday morning by way of the Burlington road, and was conveyed at once to the family residence on Eighth street. The body was accompanied by the sorrowing wife and son. Funeral arrangements have not yet been entirely completed, although it has been definitely decided to hold it Friday afternoon from the residence probably at 2 o’clock with burial at Oakland cemetery. Several relatives of the deceased have been informed of the sad news. The mill and business office in this city have been closed until after the funeral, and a visit to the office of the dead lumberman found everything there still, except a knot of yard watchmen sorrowfully discussing the death of the man they respected and revered.

Clinton Weekly Herald, Saturday December 8, 1894, P. 4

Funeral Services of the Late David Joyce.
Hundreds of Sorrowing Friends Pay Their Respect to the Memory of the Dead Millionaire – Ceremonies at the Residence – Conducted by Revs. A. R. Bickenback and G. R. Manning – Pall Bearers, Etc.
From Friday’s Daily,
The last solemn rites over the remains of David Joyce were performed this afternoon, the funeral being held at the residence, corner Eighth and Commercial streets. The hour set for the ceremonies was 1:30 o’clock, but at one o’clock friends of the deceased began to arrive, and it was nearly two o’clock before the people stopped coming. The large house was filled to its utmost, while many of the late comers stood outside. It was one of the largest, if not the largest, funeral ever held in Lyons. Hundreds of sorrowing friends from the tri-cities of Lyons, Clinton and Fulton were there to pay respect to the memory of the dead man.

The services were conducted by the Rev. A. R. Bickenback of the Presbyterian church, assisted by the Rev. G. R. Manning, of the M. E. church. The services were plain and unostentatious, as was the life of the deceased. After the ceremonies the funeral cortege formed and moved slowly up Seventh street to Oakland cemetery, where the body was interred in a steel vault.
The pall-bearers were H. Rohwedder, W. L. McArthur and J. H. Peters, of this city; Clarence Green, Fulton, Ill.; V. Hinrichs, Carroll, Ia.; and W. A. Remmick, Minneapolis, Minn., all men with whom the deceased had been associated during his busy life.

Among those present from out of town were-
Mr. W. W. Sperr, Falls Village, Conn.
Mr. H. C. Akeley, Minneapolis, Minn.
Mr. and Mrs. Robt. Turnbull, Minneapolis, Minn.
Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Remmick, Minneapolis, Minn.
Mr. W. R. Bourne, St. Paul, Minn.
Mrs. V. Hinrichs, Carroll, Ia.
Mr. M. W. McDonnall, Winona, Minn.
Messrs. A. H. Earl, James Devereaux, and Peter Heigard, Shell Lake, Wis.

The First National Bank, of which the deceased was president, closed at noon for the day, as did also the Citizens National Bank.

Clinton Morning Age, Wednesday December 5, 1894, P. 4

At Minneapolis – Two Paralytic Strokes the Cause – Brief Review of his Life.
David Joyce, known all over the Northwest as one of the most successful saw mill operators and lumber kings, died at Minneapolis at 4:20 a. m., Tuesday morning.
Some two weeks ago he suffered a stroke of paralysis while there on business, from which he did not recover sufficiently to return home, and two days ago he suffered the second stroke, which proved fatal, life remaining twenty-four hours after the death seal had been placed on the long time vigorous physical man, controlled by an indomitable will, a will and mind which knew not failure, or could not encounter any conditions it did not feel able to contend with successfully.

The only son, W. T. Joyce, and the ever faithful wife and mother, were with him during his last days, who wire that they will reach here over the Q at 5:15 this morning, when the body will be taken to the family home in the south part of the city, after which arrangements for the funeral will be announced, it yet being not known here whether the burial will occur in Oakland or occur in the far east where relatives have been interred.

Mr. Joyce had been in the north some time, called there by the forest fires which destroyed considerable property he was interested in, and looking after these losses he probably over-exerted himself, as his health had been feeble for some years, thus bringing on the dissolution.

His had been a busy life, he ceaselessly striving to acquire property and as earnestly looking after it when acquired, in person, doing work which would have been a task for several ordinary men and minds. He was eminently successful, and dies probably the wealthiest lumberman in the northwest, and perhaps in the world, no estimate of his vast wealth being possible to approximate.

At the time of his death he was president of the First National Bank, Lyons; Trinity County Lumber Co., Groveton, Texas; Langford & Hall Lumber Co., Fulton, Ill.; Benjamin Machine Co., Chicago; Crescent Springs Railroad Company, Crescent Springs, Wis.; secretary and treasurer of Barronett Lumber Co., Barronett, Wis.; and Shell Lake Lumber Co., Shell Lake, Wis. He was also one of the heaviest stockholders in the White River Lumber Co., Mason, Wis.; Park Hotel, Hot Springs, Ark; and the Mississippi River Logging Co. and several enterprises of the last named company. He also held stock in a number of Chicago banks, and owned large tracts of timber land in Wisconsin and Texas. All these enterprises, together with his mill in this city and the many lumber yards in various towns in the State, were looked after by him personally.

He was not partial to personal or public honors, so was little of a politician. Despite this he was elected without opposition as mayor in 1872 and served four years. He took much interest in school and municipal matters, and as an advisor was frequently consulted.

A stern man of great will power, he would rule, yet ask his men today, and many of them have served him for years, and they will tell you that he was just and generous, honest in purpose as well as act.