Biography of Justin E. Joy

Justin E. Joy, a prominent lumberman of Missouri, who always deserves mention in a history of the state as the one who was practically the builder of Webster Groves, was born at Oquaqua Junction, Iowa, June 17, 1844, his parents being Mr. and Mrs. Edward Joy, who removed to Burlington, Iowa, during the infancy of their son. There the father operated a sash and door factory for many years, or until 1874, when he removed with his family to St. Louis and in subsequent years was employed as superintendent of building by his son Justin.

The latter was educated in the schools of Burlington and in the public schools of Denmark, Iowa, from which he was graduated. He later became associated with his brother, James P., and their father in the planing mill and lumber business, organizing tile firm of Joy Brothers & Company. Justin E. Joy became the moving spirit in thin firm, tile success of the enterprise being attributable in large measure to his efforts, his diligence and his powers of organization. In 1873 or 1874 the business was transferred to North St. Louis, where their trade developed to large proportions. Justin E. Joy brought down the Mississippi river the largest lumber fleet ever carried down the river. He closely studied the lumber market and the conditions governing the business and developed his interests along the most progressive lines. He became a big operator in connection with the lumber business, nor was his attention confined alone to this line, far he was the pioneer in the development of Old Orchard, now Webster Groves, being practically the builder of the town, which is now one of tile most beautiful suburbs of St. Louis, having a population of about twelve thousand. During the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Mr. Joy built a log cabin in Webster Groves, known as Morning Glory cabin, and there be made his home to the time of his death, which occurred on the 5th of August, 1919.

On the 22d of June, 1862, in Burlington, Iowa, Mr. Joy was married to Miss Elizabeth Amelia Anderson and to them were born two children: Wilford Parsons, who is the successor of his father in the real estate and building business at Webster Groves; and Edward, who is a real estate dealer of Golden City, Missouri. The elder son and lets mother, ‘Mrs. Justin E. Joy, now occupy Morning Glory cabin at Webster Groves, a most attractive home, displaying the original ideas and tastes of the builder.

Mr. Joy was a member of the Mercantile Club, but was in no sense a club man. He loved his home and was a great reader, devoted to his books. He was also a lover of his fellowmen and took great delight In social intercourse with them. He had a host of friends who recognized in him a man of sterling character whose word was as good as his bond. He never entertained resentment for any act and made it his rule of life to remember only the good in his fellowmen. He was an active member and a trustee in the Congregational church and for many years family prayer was a daily custom at his fireside. He was always a great Bible student and few men of the laity have more comprehensive knowledge of the Good Book. Christianity became his rule of conduct, guiding him in every relation of life, and throughout his entire career he attempted to follow the Golden Rule, doing unto others as he would have them do unto him.


Stevens, Walter B. Centennial History of Missouri (The Center State) One Hundred Years In The Union 1820-1921 Vol 6. St. Louis-Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1921.

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