J.W. Joiner, one of the pioneer settlers of Elk township, located in Cloud county, September 30, 1870, and bought the Harley Williams homestead where he has since resided. The Joiner home is an exceedingly pleasant one and bespeaks all the comforts and conveniences of a well appointed farm house.
Mr. Joiner's capital of five hundred dollars that he brought to Kansas was well invested. He, with his sons William L. and John E., own a section of land that averages well with the magnificent farms of that vicinity. They were very recently offered $6,700 for one quarter section. Mr. Joiner, like many Kansans had a rough up-hill climb and has doubtless been oftentimes wearily discouraged, but after darkness comes dawn, and with the first streak of approaching light, renewed courage to push on. Instead of the present commodious residence and broad fields of cultivated land there were but a few acres of sod turned and a log house with one room below and a loft above. At a trifling expense they obtained a "roof-garden," not so extended as those that grace some of our modern cities, but where the sunflower and tall grasses grew in abundance, for the covering was of Kansas soil. This little cabin was later provided with a shingled roof and they continued to occupy it for five years and as all old settlers testify "there were passed the happiest days of their lives."
Mr. Joiner was born in the northwestern part of North Carolina, in the town of Sparta, in 1833. His paternal grandfather was of English birth and settled in North Carolina in an early day. Our subject's father died on the homestead in the early 'seventies, a few years later he was followed by the wife and mother who also died in the old southern home. She was of German origin, her father having been of German birth. Her maiden name was Hopper. Mr. Joiner is the fifth child of a family of nine, all of whom but one are living and all but the subject of this sketch are residents of North Carolina.
Mr. Joiner was married in 1866 to Emeline Edwards, also of southern birth. Her father was a slaveholder for a short time. To Mr. and Mrs. Joiner have been born eleven children, six of whom are living; four were deceased in early infancy. The angel of death visited this family and claimed one of their daughters, Myrtle E., a bright and promising young woman of twenty-one years. She was a pupil of the Clyde high school, preparatory to entering upon a commercial course. Caroline is the wife of C.A. Parker, a harness dealer of Clyde. Phoebe J. is the wife of A.C. Garwood, they reside in Sacramento, California. Sarah E., is the wife of William Trowbridge, a farmer of Elk township. Nellie, is the wife of Burt Arten, a carriage and wagon repairer of Clyde.
Mr. Joiner was a soldier of the Confederacy; he was conscripted and served one and one-half years, entering the second year of the campaign and remaining until he was discharged for disability.
There are ever some incidents occurring to give a merry side to the darker one, and many amusing episodes with contingent circumstances have mitigated the woes of soldiering. Mr. Joiner relates the following: There were thousands of "Yankees" and a few "Johnnies" marching through a field when one of the rebels fell wounded. Mr. Joiner and a comrade lifted him from the ground and tenderly carried him across the rough land. When they had gained a place of safe retreat their burden softly remarked "let me see, perhaps I can walk now," whereupon the two weary and almost breathless soldiers of the gray placed their cumbersome load on its feet. The next moment he was running at full speed, faster than his rescuers could possibly have done after transporting so many pounds avoirdupois over the broken field.
Just after the close of the war with its attendant horrors and scenes of bloodshed, Mr. and Mrs. Joiner with their three little children emigrated to Indiana, and six months later to Harding county, Iowa, where they resided until coming to Kansas, the "mecca" for homeseekers. He made a wise choice and does not regret the venture, although he would have returned and declared his intention of doing so as soon as financial conditions would permit, but says he would not know where to better his present condition, and is well content to continue in the home where every comfort is provided. One of the more recent branches of diversified farming in which they are engaged is their herd of twelve milk cows. At times this number is exceeded. The milk is sold to the creamery. Mr. Joiner has also been successful in hog raising; he sold one thousand dollars worth in 1900. They also find profit in poultry.
Mr. Joiner is one of the most reliable, honorable, and highly esteemed citizens of Elk township and there is no more loyal or useful citizen in the community. He is generous, just and kind. Mrs. Joiner is a worthy and most excellent woman; she has done her full share toward acquiring their present competency. The family are members of the Baptist church of Clyde. Mr. Joiner has been identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for more than thirty years.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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