Jefferson County Historical Society

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Joseph W. North, florist at Kimmswick, is a native of Uddersfield,
Yorkshire, England, born in 1840, and the same year was brought by his
parents, John and Bessie North, to Bridgeport, Conn., where the mother
died about 1879, at the age of sixty-five.  The father still lives, and
is eighty-eight years of age.  From the age of nine to twenty-one he
served as an apprentice to a florist, and from that time until the age
of twenty-four served as a landscape gardener.  Previous to leaving
England he was foreman gardener for Sir Lord Allen, at Udderfield, and
after coming to Bridgeport established himself in the nursery and floral 
business, which he continued until after the war, when the business
was continued by Joseph.  Since then he has lived a retired life, 
although he is yet very active, and delights in fishing, which is his 
favorite pastime.  He is a stanch Republican, and furnished three sons
and one son-in-law for the Union army.  Both he and wife are members of
the Episcopal Church.  The subject of this sketch was educated in the
public schools of Bridgeport, and also spent two years at Bennington,
(Vt.) Seminary, under George W. Yates.  At the breaking out of the late
war he enlisted in the Fifth Connecticut Regimental Band, but all 
regimental bands were discharged in 1863 by act of Congress.  He then 
re-enlisted in Company H, Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry at
St. Augustine, Fla., and was promoted to the rank of sergeant.  He was
discharged October, 1865, at Hilton Head, S. C., after over four years
of active service.  He then returned home and took charge of his 
father's floral work, which he continued until 1871, at which date he 
came to Kimmswick and established himself in the business at that place,
where he has continued, with his usual success.  He has a retail floral
store at 914 Olive Street, St. Louis, which is operated by his wife and
daughter.  His works comprise ten large houses with about 20,000 feet
of glass, making one of the most extensive establishments of the kind 
in the State, and second to but one in the State.  He was married June
1, 1861, to Miss Emily C., daughter of Henry W. Stillman, of Bridgeport,
Conn., and to them were born four children: Grace, wife of W. J. Eddy,
who is engineer on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad;
Hattie, Alice and James M.  Politically a Republican in his political
views, Mr. North cast his first vote for Lincoln, in 1864.  He is a 
member of the Knight Templars, Mystic Shrine, of the Masonic fraternity,
Ransom Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, and also a member of the
Victoria Council, Legion of Honor.