Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Joseph H Boyce

This biography is taken from Biographical History of Northeastern Ohio, Embracing the counties of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake; Lewis Publishing Company, 1893.

Transcribed and submitted by Becky Falin, 1996.

Joseph H Boyce is one of the representative men of Willoughby, Lake county, Ohio and stands very high in the estimation of all. He is proprietor of the Willoughby mills, which constitutes one of the leading enterprises of the town. He has been connected with the mills since May 1, 1871, when he entered into partnership with J.W. Penfield and purchased the plant. They converted it into a foundry for the manufacture of tile and brick machinery. At the end of six years, however, they dissolved the partnership and our subject embarked in the milling business, his partner continuing the manufacture of machinery. The mills have been equipped with full roller process, and control an extensive local trade.

Our subject is a native of New Brunswick, having been born September 19, 1823, to John and Ellen (Huggart) Boyce, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of Ireland. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject was of French birth and a Huguenot, who, during the great French Revolution, left his native land and went to Scotland, where his three sons, Daniel, Ezekiel and William, were born. The first emigrated to America, locating near Boston, William settled in Ireland, and Ezekiel remained in Scotland. The name of the family was originallly Du Boise. Our subject's parents were married in Nova Scotia. The father was a weaver by trade, and in 1833 removed to what is now Willoughby township, where he cleared a farm. He worked somewhat at his trade, but mainly devoted his attention to farming after his arrival here. He died at the age of seventy-six years. His wife, who was several years his junior, survived him by a number of years.

Joseph Boyce is the third in a family of nine children, four of whom are deceased. He was only ten years old when his parents removed to this county. He attended the common district school and afterwards spent a few terms in the Kirtland Academy, when it was conducted by Prof. A.D. Lord. When twenty years old he began teaching, and continued in that vocation for several terms, including in his tutorial work a select school at Willoughby. His brother, William, was also a successful teacher. For three years, our subject clerked in a store at Willoughby, and in 1849 received a commission to act as Postmaster of the village. At the end of four years he resigned and started a mercantile business. He first carried a stock of drugs, later adding groceries, and after a time, dry goods.

In the year 1852, Mr. Boyce took in a partner and continued in business until 1861, when, on account of the uncertain condition of the financial world, he sold out his business and invested the money in a farm, turning his attention for a few years to the pursuit of agriculture. In 1868 he sold his property and engaged with a company in the manufacture of stoves, machines and hardware, for the following three years. As stated at the beginning of this sketch, he has been for the past sixteen years, proprietor of the Willoughby Flour Mills.

The marriage of Mr. Boyce to Miss Julia E. French was celebrated December 23, 1856. The lady was born in Perry, Lake county, and is a daughter of Edwin and Nancy French, well-known and prominent old settlers, who lived until quite advanced in years. Mrs. Boyce is a twin of Julius E., who is a prominent and wealthy businessman of Cleveland, and is interested in more than a score of business enterprises. He is noted for his philanthrophy and integrity of character. The eldest sister of Mrs. Boyce is Amelia, wife of the Honorable A.J. Williams, a prominent attorney of Cleveland. The next sister, Adelia C., became the wife of George Baldwin, late of Chicago, but now deceased. Hannah, the youngest of the family, now deceased, was the wife of L.G. Kies.

Three children grace the union of Mr. and Mrs. Boyce: Leona is the wife of W.C. Talmage, of Cleveland, Ohio; Anna E. is the wife of J.H. Outhwaite, now of California; and Nancy is at home. Mr. Boyce has held various local township offices, and is a Republican in politics. Both himself and wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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