Joy, James F.

Joy, James F. (Frederick)

(1810–96) railroad builder; born in Durham, N.H. A graduate of Harvard Law School (1836), he moved to Detroit and negotiated with a group of northeast capitalists to purchase the Michigan Central Railroad from the state (1846). Continuing to promote railroads as counsel and president of several companies, he built up the combine of western railroads long known as the "Joy System." He also supported the canal company that built the first ship canal at Sault Ste. Marie (1853–55). He served in the Michigan legislature (1861–62) and was president of the Detroit Post and Tribune (1881–84).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.