James Frederick Joy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
James Frederick Joy
James Frederick Joy.jpg
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 1st district
In office
January 1, 1861 – December 31, 1862
Regent of the University of Michigan
In office
January 1, 1882 – December 24, 1886
Preceded by E. C. Walker
Succeeded by Charles S. Draper
Personal details
Born December 20, 1810
Durham, New Hampshire
Died September 24, 1896
Detroit, Michigan
Resting place Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan
Nationality American
Children Henry Bourne Joy
Parents James Joy and Sarah Gee Pickering
Alma mater Dartmouth College (1833), Harvard Law School (1836)
Occupation Lawyer, railroad magnate, politician

James Frederick Joy (December 20, 1810 – September 24, 1896) was an American railroad magnate and politician in Detroit, Michigan.


He was born in Durham, New Hampshire, the son of James Joy (1778–1857) of Groton, Massachusetts and Sarah Gee Pickering (1781–1858), daughter of John Pickering,

Education and early career[edit]

Educated in Durham, New Hampshire, he entered Dartmouth College, graduating in 1833. From Dartmouth he entered Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1836. That year he moved to Detroit and formed a law firm with George F. Porter.

Railroad magnate[edit]

In 1846 he entered the railroad business as the lawyer and general counsel to the Michigan Central Railroad. He was subsequently connected with the Illinois Central Railroad. Joy organized the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, and was for many years its president. Joy was for several years president of the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway.

In 1872 he was president and a director of the Michigan Central Railroad, drawing a salary of $8,000 per year.[1] He was at the same time president and a director of the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad, and a director of the Detroit, Hillsdale and Indiana Railroad.[2] In 1873 he became president and a director of the Detroit, Lansing and Lake Michigan Railroad, taking over from H.H. Smith. He became president and treasurer of the Detroit Union Railway Depot and Station company at Detroit, Michigan.


Joy was intimately involved with politics from his early career. A member of the Whig Party and subsequently a Republican, for a time he had also been a member of the Free Soil Party. He was a close friend, confidant and supporter of Abraham Lincoln. At the 1880 Republican National Convention, he gave a speech nominating James G. Blaine for president.

He was a representative in the Michigan Legislature in 1861 and was later elected a Regent of the University of Michigan, serving from 1882 to 1886, when he resigned the office.[3]


  1. ^ First Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1873
  2. ^ First Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads for the State of Michigan, 1873
  3. ^ Hinsdale, B.A. (1906). History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan. p. 200. 

External links[edit]