One of the prominent and prosperous farmers of Wolf River township, Doniphan county, is Martin Joyce, a native of the Emerald Isle, his birth having occurred in county Galway, Ireland, September 28, 1841. When he was nine years of age his father left that country and crossed the Atlantic to the United States, making their first settlement in Butler county, Ohio, where they remained for some years. The father, however, desired to seek a location where opportunities were greater and homes for the poor were cheaper than in Ohio. He, therefore, decided to take up his abode in Kansas, and accordingly purchased a farm on section 30, in Wolf River township, Doniphan county, where he died about five years later, at the age of seventy-five years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Martha King, died in Ireland. Their children were: John, now deceased; Patrick, Thomas, Martin, and Margaret, wife of Thomas Flaherty.
Martin Joyce remained in Butler county for some years. His educational privileges were very meager, and his time was mostly spent in the labors of the farm. On leaving the Buckeye state he removed to Rush county, Indiana, where he remained for a few years, working as a laborer in the fields or following any other honest employment which he could secure. He was economical and industrious, and when he followed his parents to Kansas, in 1874, he was the possessor of fifteen hundred dollars which had been acquired through his own efforts. Here he worked in the employ of others for a time, but later purchased a team and engaged in breaking prairie. He was thus employed for two years, after which he again turned his attention to general farming. His first purchase of real estate comprised a tract of eighty acres on Section 29, and locating thereon he began the operation of his farm with characteristic energy. To this he has added a quarter-section and now has one of the most desirable country homes on Wolf river. He has placed his land under cultivation, and the well tilled fields yield to him a golden tribute for the care and labor bestowed upon them. Good buildings stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise, and the neat appearance of the place indicates his careful supervision.
Mr. Joyce was married, in 1876, to Miss Dora Kirwan, a daughter of James Kirwan, a Severance banker. Five children grace the union of our subject and his wife, namely: Michael, Annie, Margaret, Dora and John. In his political views Mr. Joyce was formerly a Democrat, but recent financial and commercial conditions have caused him to renounce in a great measure his affiliations to the party, and to give his support and influence to the Republican party. He studies closely the issues of the day, yet has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to devote his time and energies to his business interests, in which he has met with creditable success.