Alvin Joiner


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ALVIN JOINER, lumber manufacturer, farmer and business man, is a native of Ogle County and for many years has been one of the most influential citizens of Polo.

                He was born at Buffalo Grove, Ogle County, November 13, 1848.  His parents, Charles W. and Harriet M. (Waterbury) Joiner, settled in Illinois in June, 1837.  Alvin Joiner attended school in Illinois for several years.  In 1857, when he was nine years of age, his parents moved to Sanilac County, Michigan.  He attended school there, and continued his education in an academy at Royalton, Vermont, and the Hillsdale Business College in Michcigan.  At the age of twenty-one he was admitted to a partnership in his fatherís lumber manufacturing business.  The Joiners owned and operated several sawmills and owned extensive tracts of pine lands in eastern Michigan.  The headquarters of their manufacturing enterprise were in Huron County.  During 1870 they bought some large tracts of pine timber in Lake County.  In 1871, the year of the great fire in Chicago, there were unprecedented forest fires in Michigan, which destroyed a large part of the timber holdings of the Joiners in the eastern section of the State.  Consequently, the Joiner family centered their operations on their new holdings in Lake County, where they erected mills and laid out the town of Chase on the Pere Marquette Railroad.  Mr. Alvin Joiner was actively associated with his father in the firm of C. W. Joiner & Son, Michigan lumbermen, for a period of twenty-seven years.  A strange freak of fate in connection with their lumber interests is that their saw and shingle mills were destroyed by fire six times.

                In May, 1884, Mr. Joiner resumed his residence in Ogle County, Illinois, and has had many business interests there as well as elsewhere.  He has been financially interested in real estate properties in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Florida.  Mr. Joiner still owns the Joiner homestead where he was born.  He is also owner of telephone lines connecting three counties in Wisconsin.  One of his very active interests, constituting a hobby, is a 300-acre farm in Carroll County, Illinois.  this model farm is operated by his two sons, to whom he deeded the place.  They operate this farm under the firm name of Joiner Brothers.

                Mr. Joiner served as mayor of Polo, and under his administration the cityís water system was installed.  He is a trustee of the Carnegie Library and was on the board when the library building was erected, and has served as president of the board since that time.  While a practical man of business, he is inclined to literary pursuits, and is one of the best read men in Ogle County.  In the publication known as the Illinois Libraries, issued by the library extension division, in volume 7, No. 2, of April, 1824, is an article under the title of ďGreat Books,: written by Mr. Joiner.

                Mr. Joiner married in Wood County, Ohio, June 13, 1873, Miss Ida P. Wood.  Her father, Henry L. Wood, assisted in the building of the second railway in the United States.  He was a member of the Ohio Legislature and was a quartermaster in the Union army during the Civil war.  Mr. and Mrs. Joiner became the parents of three daughters and two sons.  The daughters, Jennie H., was formerly a teacher of music in Blair Hall, New Jersey, and at Danbury, Connecticut, and became the wife of John M. Siddall, who was a graduate of Oberlin College of Ohio, subsequently attended Harvard University, and became one of the editors of the American Magazine.    Mr. Siddall died in 1923, and his widow now spends her summers in New York and her winters at her sisterís home in Florida.

                Alice Joiner, the second daughter, graduated from a private school in Wisconsin,, and spent three years in Leland Stanford University in California.  She is the wife of Ralph C. Bryant, of Princeton, Illinois, and a nephew of the poet, William Cullen Bryant.  Ralph C. Bryant was the first person in the United States to receive a diploma in forestry, graduating from the forestry department of Cornell University.  He is now connected with the forestry department of Yale University.  He went to the Philippines as assistant to the chief forester under the United States government, taking his bride to these islands immediately after their marriage.  Mr. Bryant is a well known authority on forestry, is author of two books on the subject, and one of them is used as a state text in China.  The two children of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant are Betenia, a daughter, and Ralph, Jr.

                Charles H. Joiner, the older of the two sons of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Joiner, spent two years at Leland Stanford University in California, took a special course in agriculture at the University of Illinois, and is now engaged in the practical phases of agriculture of his fatherís farm above mentioned.  He married Florence Hostetter, and has a son, named Rivhard Vaniah Joiner, and a daughter, named Jean Adell Joiner.  His younger brother, Alvin Joiner, Jr., also attended Leland Stanford University, and is especially interested in the animal husbandry side of farming.  He married Zella G. Mackay of Carroll County, and their two children are Alvin III and Joan.

                Flora Isabel Joiner, the youngest of the family, attended Barnard Cillege at New York, did special work in domestic science at the University of Illinois, and was married to Vaniah Hostetter, of Rockford, Illinois.  Mr. and Mrs. Hostetter have a son, Carl.


SOURCE: History of Illinois and her people by George Washington Smith
Chicago: American Historical Society, 1927, 3120  pgs.