Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tribute To My Grandfather

Joyce and Smith families circa 1906/07 in Washington state. Standing: Edward Smith. Sitting in chairs: Reddick Smith and Mary Ann Wolstenholme Smith. Sitting on ground: L. Mino Joyce holding Lacey Hebbert Joyce and Beatrice Mary Smith Joyce holding Charles Oakley Joyce.

On this Memorial Day weekend, I would like to pay tribute to Lycurgus Mino Joyce, the grandfather I never knew. He was born 3 February 1878 in Hardin County, Illinois and was the son of James Pinkney Joyce and his second wife, Martha Minerva Womack.

L. Mino lost his mother when he was only a year old and then, when he was three years old, his father died. He was reared by his older sister, Joanna, and lived near the old Iron Furnace in Hardin County.

On 10 December 1902, L. Mino Joyce married Beatrice Mary Smith in Hardin County. By the time their second son was born, they were ready to start a new life in another area. They sold all of their property and, with Beatrice's parents and younger brother, traveled by train to Washington state. The picture above was taken during their short stay in Washington. L. Mino's father-in-law became homesick so they packed their bags and returned to Hardin County.

L. Mino had a little farm and also worked as a fluorspar miner in Hardin County. On the 10th of February 1921, he died of lobar pneumonia, leaving a young widow and four children, the two youngest, John Morgan and Mary Arvetta having been born in 1913 and 1914. L. Mino's obituary in the Hardin County Independent described him as a "generous and upright man in every respect; being loyal, kind and affectionate to his family and all with whom he came in contact." He was 43 years and 7 days at the time of his death. He is buried in the Joyce Cemetery near Pleasant Hill Church, Hardin County, Illinois.

A few years before my Uncle Oakley died in 1995, my cousin and I took him to visit our family cemeteries. During that visit, Uncle Oakley described his father as "a good man, an honest man who did the best he could for his family." There is no higher tribute, in my opinion.


Anonymous said...

By today's standards I'm not considered an old man at 64. But your tribute reminds me of how lucky I am to be living in this time. Your account also reminds me of the commitment to family that seems to have been more important then than now.
Denny Hodge

Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG said...

Thanks, Denny, for leaving your thoughts here. When you come right down to it, family is our most important asset.