Joseph Felix Bey was born in Perry County, Mo., two and one-half miles west from Perryville in 1850. He is a son of Casemear J. C. and Constance (Lohn) Bey, both natives of France, born in 1812 and 1814, respectively. They were married in their native country, and immigrated to America in 1838.
Casemear J. C. Bey was a house carpenter by trade, and upon coming to America, located on a farm in Perry County, Mo., which he managed in connection with working at his trade. He speculated considerably in land, and was very successful. At one time he owned 2,000 acres of good land. His residence was situated two and one-half miles from Perryville. He died in 1876, and his wife in 1879. They were the parents of two children who are living. Joseph F. grew to manhood on his father’s farm, and was educated at St. Mary’s Seminary.
When twenty years of age he began clerking in a store in Perryville, and continued four years, when he became proprietor of a general store. The same year that he engaged in business his brother Louis became a partner, and they sold goods for two year under the firm name of Bey & Bro. From then until 1878 Joseph F. did business on his own responsibility after which he formed a partnership with Louis E. French; but the next year Mr. Bey sold his interest to N. E. Farrar.
In 1881, he and James T. Greenwell established a general store under the firm name of Bey & Greenwell. But after one year the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Bey continuing the business until 1886, when he sold to the John and Louis P. Hooss. Since then Mr. Bey has made two trips to the "Golden Gate" for his health.
On January 11, 1876, he married Mary M. Edwards, a native of the county, born in 1852, and a daughter of John Edwards. To them have been born one child, John Emel. Besides, Mr. Bey’s property in Perry County he has possessions in Los Angeles, Cal.
Politically, he is a Democrat. He and wife are member of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.
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