Biography of Joseph M. Dyer

The scion of an old Virginia family, which, like many others, sought a new home and larger hopes in the undeveloped West, Joseph M. Dyer, of Garfield county, Colorado, true to the traditions and practice of his ancestors, became a pioneer and has materially aided in building up his portion of this state as they did portions of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. His grandfather, John Dyer, was a native of Virginia and an early settler in Ohio, where Joseph’s father, also named Joseph, was born and where he was engaged in farming for a number of years after reaching his maturity. He married Miss Margaret McClintock, and soon afterward they moved to Fulton county, Illinois, and here Joseph, the immediate subject of this review, was born August 12, 1836. Four years later the father died, aged about forty years, and the duty of rearing her family of eight children, of whom Joseph was the fifth, devolved on the mother. She took up her task with a faithful and resolute spirit and, although she was unable to give her offspring all the educational and social advantages she wished, she did prepare them for the business of life by teaching them habits of industry and frugality, and lived to see them well established and prosperous in their several localities. She passed away in 1871, at the age of sixty-four. Joseph passed his boyhood, youth and early manhood on the home farm, remaining with his mother until the beginning of the Civil war, when, in August, 1861, at the age of twenty-five years, he enlisted in defense of the Union in Company A, Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry. His regiment was soon in the midst of active field service, and he participated in a number of leading battles, among them the contest at Farmington, Mississippi, the siege of Corinth and its subsequent defense, the battles of Jackson, Mississippi, and Pittsburg Landing, the siege of Vicksburg, and many others. He was discharged from the service at Springfield, Illinois, on October 11, 1864, and at once turned his attention to farming in that state, remaining there and so occupied until 1883. In the meantime he served there seven years as justice of the peace and one year as township assessor. In 1883 he moved to Colorado and settled at Tincup, Gunnison county, where he prospected and also worked in the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad for about four years. He then moved to the Balzac ranch, on which he has since lived and conducted a flourishing stock and farming industry and raised fruit on a scale of considerable magnitude. He has taken an active interest in public affairs also, especially in the cause of public education, having served some years as school director. He was married in 1855 to Miss Hannah Hall. They have four children, Nettie, Francis M., Mary J. and Alexander.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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