William Thomas Joyce, biography c. 1906
[American Lumberman magazine]
  Source: American Lumberman. The Personal History and Public and Business Achievements of One Hundred Eminent Lumbermen of the United States, Third Series. Chicago: American Lumberman, 1906. pp. 169-172. Original courtesy University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Texas Transportation Archive
William T. Joyce

With the passing of the older generation in the white pine industry of the Northwest, who, in many cases, left large enterprises under way and great plans uncompleted, heavy responsibilities fell upon their successors. To take up the direction of a great and growing business, to enlarge its scope and successfully to give it a breadth and diversity of interests perhaps unthought of by its founder, requires not merely the courage and endurance of the pioneer but, in these days of keen commercial competition, a breadth of view and mastery of control that is, perhaps, best supplied by the man whose natural abilities are amplified and clarified by the most thorough training--the intellectual training afforded by the schools and the business training afforded by practical experience. Not a few of the northwestern pioneers have left their affairs in such capable hands, and among them was David Joyce, whose son, the subject of this sketch, William T. Joyce, of Chicago, is as striking a figure in the lumber industry of today as was his father in his time.

William Thomas Joyce is the son of the late David Joyce, of Lyons, Iowa, and Elizabeth F. (Thomas) Joyce. He comes of old New England Puritan stock, and was born January 3, 1860, at Salisbury, Connecticut. Though an easterner born he was reared in Iowa, his parents having taken up their abode there when he was a child. He was educated in the schools at Lyons, and supplemented this training by a course at the Shattuck School, Faribault, Minnesota, and an academic training in Chicago. His father directed his education with a view to having him engage in the lumber business, the senior Mr. Joyce being interested in the manufacture of lumber.

He was well prepared to undergo a practical course in the industry upon his leaving college, in 1880. He began his career in the office of the sawmill of his father at Lyons, remaining in a clerical position until he had gained a knowledge of the basis of office methods and financing. The next step in his training was in the practical side of the manufacturing business. Young Joyce was sent into the woods that he might study logging operations and woods work generally, and so equip himself to direct such affairs if it should become necessary. Next he was placed in a retail yard that he might learn something of the consuming trade and how it was catered to. When he had mastered the details of these several ends of the business he was sent out on the road as a salesman. To the credit of the care exercised in his training, Mr. Joyce developed into a broad-minded, resourceful man, ambitious and determined. When David Joyce, respected and admired by hundreds of lumbermen, was called from this life, December 4, 1904, William T. Joyce was capable of taking over his immense interests and managing them in a creditable manner. Even before his father's death, Mr. Joyce had assumed practical and intelligent command of the diversified interests of the family, extending into many states and lumber fields.

Among the lumber interests of Mr. Joyce in the North is the Joyce Lumber Company, operating mills at Clinton, Iowa; the W. T. Joyce Lumber Company, of Chicago, operating a line of retail yards in western Iowa; the Itasca Lumber Company, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, an Illinois corporation operating a mill at Minneapolis; the Deer River Lumber Company, of Deer River, Minnesota; the Joyce-Watkins Company, a wholesale concern with headquarters at Chicago; the Minneapolis & Rainy River Railway, extending from Bass Lake thirty-five miles south to Deer River, where connection is made with the Great Northern Railway, which road is used as an adjunct to the Itasca Lumber Company in its operations; the Chippewa Lumber & Boom Company; the Mississippi River Logging Company, and the St. Paul Boom Company. The Deer River Lumber Company is a subsidiary interest of the Itasca company and manufactures the by-products--hardwoods, principally--of the latter. The Itasca company has large holdings of timber and does a general manufacturing and logging business.

Of the interests above enumerated Mr. Joyce is president of the Joyce Lumber Company, the W. T. Joyce Lumber Company, the Minneapolis & Rainy River Railway Company and the Joyce-Watkins Company, and the heaviest stockholder in the Itasca Lumber Company and the Deer River Lumber Company. He is a director of the St. Paul Boom Company and a stockholder in the Mississippi River and the Chippewa Boom companies. He is one of the owners and a director of the Manistee & Grand Rapids Railroad, which operates sixty-one miles of road between Manistee and Dighton, Michigan, and connects with several other roads. With him in this enterprise are John Crocker and other Chicago capitalists.

Mr. Joyce has also large interests in the yellow pine field in the South. He was the moving spirit in the purchase, in 1906, by Chicago and New Orleans capitalists of the timber holdings and plants of the Winn Parish Lumber Company, the South Arkansas Lumber Company and the Tremont Lumber Company. The timber holdings thus secured are estimated at 1,300,000,000 feet, situated in Winn, Jackson, Lincoln, Ouachita and Union parishes, Louisiana. The mills formerly operated by the Winn Parish Lumber Company are at Pyburn, about two miles from Dodson, a station on the Arkansas Southern Railroad; that of the South Arkansas Lumber Company is at Jonesboro, Jackson Parish, on the same rail-road, and that of the Tremont Lumber Company is at Tremont, or Averill Station, Lincoln Parish, on the Vicksburg-Shreveport branch of the Queen & Crescent Route. The plants of those three concerns have a combined output of approximately 80,000,000 feet of lumber annually. Mr. Joyce is a director of the Tremont & Gulf Railroad, which extends fifty miles from Tremont to Winnfield.

Another company of which Mr. Joyce is president is the Trinity County Lumber Company, of Groveton, Texas, which operates one of the most modern sawmills of that section and has timber holdings aggregating 500,000,000 feet of yellow pine. Associated with him in this enterprise is W. F. N. Davis, formerly of Menominee, Michigan, an expert timber man and manufacturer. Mr. Joyce is president also of the Southern Investment Company, and holds the same executive position in the First National Bank, of Lyons, Iowa, the Lyons Savings Bank and in the Merchants' National Bank, of Clinton, Iowa. He is interested as a stockholder in the Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, and the Corn Exchange National Bank, both of Chicago; the First National Bank of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Interstate Trust & Banking Company, of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Union Bank & Trust Company, of Houston, Texas. He is a stock-holder in the Victoria Lumber & Manufacturing Company, of Victoria, British Columbia, and is president of the Park Hotel Company, which owns and operates the Park Hotel, at Hot Springs, Arkansas.

In 1897 Mr. Joyce established his general headquarters in Chicago, and occupies a handsomely furnished suite of offices in the center of the financial district of the city. An insight into his domestic inclination is revealed in the decoration of his office, the walls being graced with portraits of his family and his homes. One of these homes is the old family residence at Chapinville, Connecticut, and another is the Joyce mansion at Lyons, Iowa. He has a fine residence in Chicago, also.

Mr. Joyce has the happiest of domestic relations, being devoted to his wife and two sons. His wife was Miss Clotilde Gage, of a well-known Lyons family, whom he married in 1884. One of the sons--David G.--is about starting in business. The other son James Stanley--is attending Yale.

The social side of life has some attraction for Mr. Joyce, and he holds membership in the Chicago Club, the Union League, the Chicago Athletic and the Chicago Yacht clubs and in the Midlothian Country Club. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the B. P. O. Elks.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections and contributions of new material.