JOY MONUMENT 1939
By Rollin Southwell
Shortly after the Henry B. Joy's death, his widow wrote Payson W. Spalding, Lincoln Highway Assn. Wyoming State Director. "Because of Harry's deep interest in the Lincoln Highway, my daughter and son join with me in hoping that we may be able to put up a simple monument along the Highway, preferably in Wyoming, to perpetuate Harry's memory."
Who was Henry B. Joy? Henry Bourne Joy was born Nov. 23, 1864 in Detroit, the son of James Frederick and Mary (Bourne) Joy. His father, a lawyer, was involved with the great railroad push to Missouri and once hired Abraham Lincoln to assist him in legal matters with mergers.
A Yale graduate, in 1892, Henry married Helen Hall Newberry. His career began as an office boy with the Peninsular Car Co. From 1889 to 1903 he held positions with various railroad depots around Detroit. He was president, manager and director of the Packard Motor Car Co. from 1901-1918.
He resigned from the Packard Motor Co and the Lincoln Highway Assn. to accept a commission as a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army in 1917. Other military experiences were serving in the state Naval Milltia,Michigan for 9 years and earlier in the Spanish-Am. War.
Upon his return, he was encouraged to take over the Lincoln Highway presidency again but did not do so. His great passion for the Lincoln Highway did not stop him from continuing the fight for the Lincoln Highway. Esther Oyster's article in the Forum says that his great passion after his military experience was the Utah route problem. He felt strongly that the Lincoln Highway
route across Utah was the best and continued to fight for it. In a letter to Sieberling, a director of the Lincoln Highway Assn., Joy makes note "it pays to fight for the right - (even) if one loses."
For several years the association discussed whether or not to cease its operations. In 1923, Joy was asked by Gunn, another director, for his opinion and he replied "My vision has always been that under no circumstances should the Association cease because that would be almost total loss of the investment..."
Why a monument for Henry B. Joy in the Wyoming Red Desert? It started with Joy's experience with a group of Detroit business men involved in mining in Utah fourteen years before the founding of the Lincoln Highway. Henry Joy had become familiar with the roads and scenery of the west, including the state of Wyoming. He fell in love with the scenery and especially the sunsets. He often used the west as a test area for new Packard automobiles. One of these was his famous 'camp car', designed so he could use it for sleeping and cooking, a forerunner of the ecreational vehicle. Stopping for the night in the middle of the Wyoming desert, one can quickly see why he fell in love with the great Wyoming views and sunsets.
He once made the comment that he would like to be buried in the great Wyoming desert. His death came on Nov. 6, 1936. Henry was not buried in Wyoming, but the family strongly felt it necessary to create a monument. So this is the reason why Mrs. Helen Joy wrote her letter to Payson W. Spalding, a close friend of her husband, asking about a suitable site in Wyoming for the monument.
On Feb. 19, 1937, shortly after receiving Mrs. Joy's letter, Payson Spalding received a letter from Col. Sidney D. Waldon. Col. Waldon was a member of the Packard Motor Co. organization and a Lincoln Highway director. He expressed an interest in a monument to Joy commemorating his many years of activity in behalf of the Lincoln Highway. He suggested that it be taken in the form of a monument on land near Tie Siding. Tie Siding was close to the Ames Monument, the monument to the builders of the railroads located on Sherman Hill. He felt planting of pine trees to attract attention from considerable distance should back up this monument.
Mr. Spalding, with Col. Waldons' letter in hand, mentioned it to newspaper men in Cheyenne. Wyo. They liked the idea of the location on Sherman Hill opposite Ames Monument. The situation would then be a monument to the pioneer railroad leaders and pioneer highway leaders. The men agreed that Mrs. Joy would have the final say in the location.
On May 25, 1937, Mr. Spalding received a letter from Henry B. Joy, Jr. stating they were on a trip to Yellowstone and would stop and visit him and would like to discuss the location on the Continental Divide where the Joy family wished to erect the monument.
Payson Spalding quickly sent a letter to Henry Joy Jr. asking him if he could meet with them between Cheyenne and Laramie to show him the Tie Siding location rather than the Continental Divide, which is on the barren section west of Rawlins.
Then on Aug. 7, 1937, Mr. Spalding wrote a letter to Mr. W. H. Hulsizer of the Union Pacific RR, telling him of the family's desire for a monument to Henry B. Joy. The tract, which they had decided on, was on the south side of the highway on Union Pacific property across from Mr. Carter's gas station. He asked if the Union Pacific would sell an acre or two to Mrs. Joy at this location.
Again on Aug. 20, 1937, Mr. Spalding wrote another letter to Hulsizer giving him more details on Mr. Joy, his family and the Lincoln Highway. He mentioned in this letter that Mrs. Joy was a sister of Senator Newberry of Michigan. He describes that Henry Joy Jr. has drawn up plans of the monument to be about 12 feet high with a four foot base.
On Oct. 26, 1937, Mr. Spalding received a letter from Mrs. Henry Joy quoting a letter she had received from the Smith Granite Co. of Rhode Island describing the monument.
"This is planned to show seven feet above the grade line. The width would be two feet ten inches across the bottom and the thickness one foot six inches from front to back. With the tapered outline and receding moldings around the top, we feel that we have as massive and rugged a design as can be handled within the limits of size, which you have suggested. "As the principal theme of the inscription we have used a quotation of Mr. Joy's which he apparently used to good advantage in the early days of the Lincoln Highway campaign. Immediately below this quotation we have indicated the symbol of the Lincoln Highway as a central feature supported by what may be called sketches in stone suggesting the dream of transcontinental transportation through several eras and improvements until the realization of that dream in a motor highway. The balance of the inscription is a simple tribute to Mr. Joy. We feel that the solid panel of lettering and insignia produces a fine enrichment of an otherwise relatively simple composition.
We have suggested that boulders be placed around the bottom of the stone to add a feeling of stability and protection to the main stone.
We have planned the stone in an antique or stippled finish in our Red Westerly Granite."
In closing her letter to Mr. Spalding, Mrs. Joy mentions that " this Red Westerly Granite is not red but grey with flakes of red and black in it. It is more appropriate, to my mind, than the cold hard greys."
Mr. Spalding, in his quest to acquire the property from the Union Pacific, took much longer than expected. The Joys had ordered the monument with the hopes of dedication in 1938. However, because of the slowness of acquiring the property from the railroad, Henry Joy, Jr. wrote the Smith Granite Co., asking them if they would change the inscription on the monument from 1938 to "erected 1938". But the Granite Co. informed Mr. Joy it was too late to change the inscription.
In 1938, property was acquired from the railroad, leaving a few details to complete. The monument needed to shipment from Rhode Island to Rawlins, Wyo. and from Rawlins to the Continental Divide. The Joy Family handled this detail. Eight cement Lincoln Highway
markers were required, four to be used around the property line and four to be used as corners of the wrought iron fence which was used to protect the monument. Using the arrows of the four Lincoln Highway property markers, directions were given on how to enter, view and exit the monument site. In acquiring the eight cement markers, Spalding found four of them in Rawlins and had to have four more shipped in.
Finally, Spalding sent dimensions to the Sheridan Iron Works of Sheridan, Wyo. to build the wrought iron fence. The fence arrived just in time to be put in place before the dedication of the monument on July 2, 1939.
The Joy Monument dedication was part of a five day, six-monument dedication tour sponsored by the Wyoming Historical Landmark Commission. Starting on July 2, 1939 and ending July 6, 1939, it included dedications of the Joy Monument along with five other dedications.
They are in order: Owen Wister, author of The Virginian at Medicine Bow; Henry B. Joy, president of the Lincoln Highway at the Continental Divide; The Lander Cutoff on the Oregon Trail at Star Valley, Wyo.; The Astorians, early fur traders at Snake River Canyon; John Colter, the first white man in Yellowstone at Jackson ,Wyo., and Esther Morris, the first woman Justice of the Peace at South Pass, Wyo.
The tour started on July 2, 1937 and included Warren Richardson, Wyo. Historical Landmark Commission chairman, Gov. and Mrs. Nels Smith and at least 10 state officers and wives. The first dedication was at 12 o'clock noon at Medicine Bow with ex-Gov. Brooks giving the dedicatory speech for the Owen Wister monument.
At 5 o'clock in the evening, the time of day Mr. Joy loved while viewing the Wyoming sunsets, the dedication for the Henry B. Joy monument at the Continental Divide was held. The principal speaker was Payson Spalding, chairman of the monument committee. Warren Richardson gave the dedicatory speech and accepted the memorial in behalf of Wyoming. Gov. Niles Smith spoke a few words to about 800 gathered at the monument. H. Larsen of Rawlins, Carbon County's first residents to become a member of Lincoln Highway Assn. and Joseph Weppner, sec. of the Landmark Assn. spoke briefly. Henry Joy Jr. read messages from his mother who could not attend the services because of illness. Mrs. Helen (Joy) Lee, daughter, placed a wreath for Mrs. Henry Joy, her mother, on the monument. The ceremony was closed with a recitation of a poem by J.D. Waldon, personal friend and admirer of "H.B. "
Members of the Rawlins Chamber of Commerce served coffee and sandwiches to the crowd. The tour then motored to Rawlins to spend the night, enjoying the beautiful Wyoming sunset much as Henry B. Joy did.
The material for this article is from the Spalding Collection, American Heritage Museum at Laramie Wyo.
Payson Spalding was a lawyer and a judge from Evanston, Wyo. This collection includes correspondence between early Lincoln Highway Assn. leaders including Henry Joy. Correspondence would indicate frequent letters between Mr. Spalding and Mr. Joy. Spalding once asked Joy what was wrong with that Utah bunch. Joy replied he didn't know but if Spalding wanted to go down to Salt Lake City to straighten them out, it would be OK with him. Another letter from Spalding to Joy talked about Joy's recent stop at Evanston and having had beers before noon !!!!!! Mr. Spalding was a excellent choice to help Mrs. Joy in the creation of the monument.
THE OTHER HERITAGE is a newsletter about the Lincoln Highway.
The man from Utah, editor. Comments welcomed.