Jefferson County Historical Society

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J. F. Joyce, locomotive engineer on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern 
Railroad, with headquarters at De Soto, is a native of Louisville, Ky., and 
was born in 1853.  His parents were Michael and Mary (Ball) Joyce, natives 
of Maryland; the former was born in 1826, was a contractor on the Baltimore 
& Ohio Railroad, and at the time of his death, in 1856, was engaged in 
constructing a tunnel on the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad.  He was 
the father of five children, of whom J. F. is the only survivor.  Mrs. Mary 
Joyce was born in 1831, and after the death of her first husband was united 
in marriage with Christopher Finlon, by whom she has six children; they 
located in De Soto in 1879, where they still reside.  J. F. Joyce was 
educated in Maryland and Virginia, and at the age of sixteen engaged in lead 
mining in Mineral City, W. Va., where he worked six years, he then located in 
De Soto, where for two months he worked in a blacksmith shop and then secured 
a position as fireman on a locomotive engine.  In September, 1879, he was 
given charge of an engine, in which capacity he is still employed.  June 30, 
1880, he married Miss Ella Sullivan, who was born in Charleston, S. C., and 
is a daughter of John and Ella Sullivan. This union has been blessed by the 
birth of four children: Alfred, Ella J., May and John F., Jr. In politics Mr. 
Joyce is a Democrat, he is a member of the brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, 
and has held all the offices in the order.  In 1884 he was a delegate to the 
Grand International Convention held at San Francisco, and in 1886 went in the 
same capacity to New York City. He was one of the engineers who made a contract 
with the Missouri Pacific Railroad regarding wages in 1882, and was present 
when that contract was revised with Supt. H. M. Hoxie, in 1885.  Mr. Joyce is 
also a member of the A. O. U. W., and, with his wife, affiliates with the 
Roman Catholic Church.