Meet the Richards – A Pioneer Family


In an earlier post, I profiled Dacy Eliza Richards but realized by the end of writing it, that the dates and names didn’t line up properly. It was pretty improbable that she should be the daughter of George Richards and Sarah Ann Sasscer of Maryland and Pennsylvania, who both died within a few years of her birth. Supposedly, Sarah Ann was 59 at the time.

dacy richards tree mistake

Here’s the ancestors that I now realize were mistakes. Some other trees have these names too but I’ve removed them all from my family tree.

Casting about for a more likely family, I found three families of Richards in the 1860 census (Eudora, Kansas Territory). There was a female Dadey in one household. Was it Dacy? The age of 18 was a match, as she was 20 when she married George Washington Joy in Eudora in 1862. The handwritten record is hard to decipher, so  I think it could be Dacey.

Fortunately, as a pioneer Kansas family, and as early settlers in other states, there was quite a bit of documentation. One of Dacy’s brothers, Oscar Grinman Richards, later served in the legislature and earned space in the Kansas Biographical Dictionary of 1879 (pages 300 – 301).

Xenophon Richards (Dacy Richards father)

The entry mentions the father, Xenophon Richards who was prominent in the Indian wars and was a soldier in the Blackhawk War.

Xenophon is an ancient Greek name with some history to it. For our Zenophon Richards, the Biographical Dictionary says he was “a man of but fair common school education.” It went on to say that he was “of superior mental abilities and the highest moral character; universally respected for his integrity, generosity, and philanthropy, and in every respect an eminently good man; he was of Scotch-English descent.” Now perhaps that is just the rhetoric of the times, but it’s fascinating to have this insight into your 3rd great-grandfather.

family histories oscar richards - eudora site

Oscar Grinman Richards. Photo Citation: Family Histories P-R. (2019). Retrieved 15 January 2019, from

Oscar Grinman Richards (Dacy Richard’s brother)

His son Oscar Grinman Richards was with the Kansas forces under General Lane during the border-ruffian war. He took a claim near Manhattan, Kansas which he improved and cultivated and then sold in 1857. He moved to the Douglas County area, then known as “the Shawnee Absentee Lands” bringing with him a party of 27 settlers. Those early Kansas settlers included his father, brothers, and others.

ancestry com kansas biographical dictionary 1879 oscar g. richards

1879 Kansas Biographical Dictionary – part of the entry for Oscar Grinman Richards.

This gets us to the point where Dacy Elizabeth Richards meets and marries George Washington Joy in Eudora, Kansas Territory in 1862.

I’m glad to know that my ancestors played a role in keeping Kansas a free state and blocking slavery. It’s sad to see that they also played a role in suppressing the Native Americans and taking their lands in several states. I’ll need to read more about the Indian wars in Illinois and the removal of Indians from Kansas.

One last bit of evidence connecting Dacy to this family. In 1865, Oscar Richards marries his second wife and the wedding takes place at the home of George Joy.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about Dacy as an unusual name. Now, I find that her father and brother had even more unusual names.

Week 3 of the #52Ancestors Challenge – The topic for the week was Ancestors I’d Like to Meet.

Update – January 20, 2019 – I’m in a quandary, as there is another possibility for Dacy’s parents. Since at age 18, she was in the household of Xenophon Richards in Eudora, Kansas in 1860, I assumed that was her father. That was one of the census forms that did not include relationships for the household. Then I found in the 1850 census in Illinois, that Dacy Eliza was living (age 8) with George and Sarah Richards. George was Xenophon’s brother.

So, the question is which one is her father and which is her uncle? I’ll keep looking for further documents relating to her life that might shed light on this mystery.

2nd Update – January 25, 2019 – I’ve found gravestones in New Michigan, Illinois for Sarah and George W. Richards who died in 1851. It seems likely that the 8-year-old Dacy in their household in 1850 was their daughter and that after their deaths, she was taken into the family of her uncle, Xenophon and Lucy Richards. Later, they ended up settling in Eudora, Kansas in 1858.


Dacy Richards Joy


I’m puzzled by the first name of my 2nd great-grandmother, Dacy Richards Joy. Dacy is sometimes seen as a surname, and passing surnames down as a first name is a common practice. Generally, the Dacy surname when given to a baby girl, it becomes Darcy.

Looking back on her parents and grandparents, there are Richards, Sasscer, Throne, and Wight. I’ve yet to find any Dacys among the last names. I’ll try to follow these lines back further to see if there are some Dacys somewhere.

Dacy Elizabeth Richards was born on March 18, 1843, when her father, George Richards, was 53. Her mother’s name was Sarah Ann Sasscer and she died in 1843. Her parents had moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania where she was born. Her father had been a postmaster in Bryantown, Charles County, Maryland.

The records I have are rather skimpy. Did her mother die giving birth to Dacy? Her father died a few years later in 1855. Who raised Dacy and how did she end up in Kansas? The further I look into the Richards and the Sasscers, the more questions pop up. The Sasscer listed as her mother was 59 at the time of Dacy’s birth. That makes me wonder if there were 2 Sarah Anns and the trees are leaving out a generation.

In the 1870 census, Dacy is shown as being born in Ohio. Other family trees show her as being born in Illinois. I’m going to look at census listings in both of those states, but also in Pennsylvania and Kansas. Perhaps she’s not a Sasscer at all or even a Richards. She could have been married before with Richards being her married name.

She married George Washington JOY on March 22, 1862, in Douglas, Kansas. They had eight children in 12 years. She died as a young mother on May 25, 1876. I noted that she died the day after the twins, Frank and Ella, were born. The babies, Frank Peter and Ella Susan  lived less than 3 months, then died too. That leaves her husband with 2-year-old Henry, 5-year-old Hattie, 7-year-old Will, 9-year-old Lois, 11-year-old Sarah, and Mary Frances age 13 to raise.

gw joy life clipping from eudora ks paper

Eudora Weekly News

With the Joy names and dates, I’m on more solid ground. The family has a photo of Dacy and George W. Joy. We have his newspaper obituary which gives her full name and their marriage date. I still don’t know where Dacy is buried, so that and the other questions need further attention.

She is not listed for the Eudora City Cemetery where other Richards are buried or in the Hesper Friends Church Cemetery where her husband was later buried or the Deay Cemetery.

george washington joy and dacy

George Washington Joy and first wife, Dacy Richards

Later on, I see a granddaughter named Daisy Oshel. I’m wondering if she was named after her grandmother, Dacy, but the family went with the conventional spelling of Daisy. Sadly, this granddaughter died quite young.

This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. The topic for the 3rd week was an unusual name. #52Ancestors

Further research led me to cross out 4 paragraphs above. I’ll make a new post about Dacy’s family who are unlikely to be the Richards and Sasscers that I previously had attached to her. It seems that her father’s first name was much more unusual and I’m still grappling with what the correct spelling for it is.

The New Century – News Tidbits on the Joy Family


In an earlier post, we saw newspaper posts about the Joy family in the 1880s and 1890s. Now we take another look in the Eudora Weekly News to see what happens to the Joy family in the first ten years of the new century, the 1900s.

There are marriages and deaths, parties and farm work, with much coming and going among the family members. The arrival of the telephone hints at the many changes to come in the next 100 years.

I’ve highlighted a few of the major events. In a few places, I’ve added a note of explanation set off in parenthesis (  ).


24 Apr 1902 – Mrs. C. James, Mrs. G. Joy, and Mrs. Skates visited Friday with Mrs. Geo. Daugherty.

14 Aug 1902 – BELLEVIEW. Plowing is the order of the day. Mr. Alois Hadl is the happy owner of a new road wagon. Mr. Steven Joy and Geo. Still spent Sunday in Lawrence.

21 Aug 1902 – Mr. Geo. Still and Steven Joy went to Lawrence Friday night to attend the band concert.

20 Nov 1902 – Mr. G. Joy marketed five loads of hogs last Friday.


22 Jan 1903 – The Belleview Telephone Line. The Belleview Telephone Co., the new line just installed, is in fine working order. The following members have now telephones in there (sic) houses:  Chas. Pilla, J. Bohnsack. A. Schellack, G. Peppmoeller, J. Musick, J. Madl, Bert Daugherty, Steven Joy, Allen James, Chas. James. The line is a perfect success as far as sociability and usefulness is concerned.

The early phones were shared party lines.

19 Feb 1903 – Miss Daisy Oshel, aged 14 years, granddaughter of Mr. Geo. Joy, died very suddenly Friday, near Prairie Center. She formerly attended school at Belleview. Her many schoolmates wish to extend sympathy to the bereaved family.

Daisy Oshel (from the Hulsefam on Ancestry)

28 May 1903 – Mr. Joy is quarrying rock at the Keystone quarry for a barn.

1 Oct 1903  – KEYSTONE. Mr. Geo. Joy is building a new barn. Arthur Moeller is home from North Dakota. Charlie Dolisi visited friends here last week. Miss Ida Miller spent Friday with relatives here. Miss Ethel Hobson is helping Mrs. Joy this week.

31 Dec 1903 – Chas. Joy was a Kansas City visitor Christmas.


3 Mar 1904 – Messrs. Irv. McClelland and Chas. and Arthur Joy went to Kansas City Saturday morning.

3 Mar 1904 – Mr. Chas. Joy of this township, was married Sunday, in Kansas City to Miss Hulett, of that city. They arrived here Tuesday evening on the plug. After visiting here awhile they expect to go to western Kansas to live. The groom is a son of Mr. and Mrs. S. Joy. Many friends extend congratulations and well-wishes for future happiness.

7 Apr 1904 – George W. Joy visited in Kansas City last week, returning Friday evening.

19 May 1904 – Messrs. Bert Daugherty, Steve Joy, and Ed Milburn left Friday afternoon for Osceolo, Mo., to look up some land.

20 Oct 1904 – Mr. Stephen Joy, sr., left Tuesday morning for Gray county, Kans., to visit relations.


3 Nov 1905 – Mrs. Joy returned Friday from a visit with her niece.

elizabeth joy obit 1905

Elizabeth Joy Liggett obituary in The Eudora Weekly News (Eudora, Kansas) 01 Dec 1905, Fri • Page 7

15 Dec 1905 – Bert Daugherty, Steve Joy, and Ed Milburn returned Friday from a trip to western Kansas.


5 Oct 1906 – A jolly crowd of young folk gathered at the home of C. E. Crane on Saturday night to enjoy the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Crane and John Rogers, who had arranged a fine luncheon of which the main feature was ice cream of “Tarleton’s best,” cake and lemonade. Weather manufacturer sent out a very undesirable change of atmosphere for the evening which chilled the guests without and was not unlike the sensation of chill within, and all enjoyed the evening together very sociably. Games, conversation and a general good time was enjoyed by all until a late hour, when the guests departed, wishing for many more good times of like character. Those present were: Messrs. Geo Ott, John and Jim Rogers, Robert Walker, Will Custus, Fred and Carl Gustenberger, Steve Joy, E. E. James, Ray West, Charlie Godfried, Louis. Charlie, George Gustenberger, Misses  Pearl and Tina West. Gertie Ott, Tena and Mattie Gustenberger. Antony Madl, Ethel Allen, Clara Hadl, Maud Liberger, Mr. and Mrs. Emil Schmidt and three boys, Frank Wade and wife, and Mr. and Mrs. A B. Conner.


1 Feb 1907 – Mr. Joy is improving the appearance of his farm by having the large hedge, with a large pasture north of his house, cut down on two sides.

22 Mar 1907 – Mrs. Geo. Joy has been confined to her bed several days recently on the account of a fall, which she had some time ago. Dr. Howe of Kansas City is in attendance.

17 May 1907 – Alf. Joy of Burlingame, Kansas, is spending a short time with his parents here.

21 Jun 1907 – Mrs.Thos. Oshel and George W. Joy left Friday morning for Hamilton, Kans., to visit a sick son of Mr. Joy.

Alfred Joy, daughter Cora, son Harry, wife Marie. (photo from the collection of Gail Lee Martin)

21 Jun 1907 – Mrs. Stephen Joy left Tuesday morning for Dodge City, Kans., to visit her two sons.

6 Sep1907 – Mr. and Mrs. Werts of near Clearfield and Miss Flossie Joy of Cave, Kansas, took dinner with Mr. Reuschs, Tuesday.


3 Jan 1908 – A Christmas dinner and family reunion was celebrated at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sol Wertz. All of their children ware present. Following is a list of those present and able to do justice to a fine dinner: H. A. Werts of Lakin, Kans., Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Wertz of Ft. Cobb, Okla., Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Stonebraker and sons of Allen, Kans., Mrs. Flora Davis and daughter of Milton Junction, Wis and Mr. and Mrs. N.J.Joy and two sons of Cave, Kans., Mr. and Henry Rohe and twins of Fall, Kans., Harry Wertz, Mr. and Mrs. S. Joy and Mrs. Jones. (I’m trying to puzzle out how the Joys are related here. I find a Nelson Joy who married Ida Wertz, but don’t have Nelson on my tree. )

10 Jan 1908 – Ed James and Steve Joy helped Bert Daugherty butcher for his mother, Mrs. Geo. Daugherty, Tuesday morning. Ernest Gerstenberger is helping Steve Joy dig a well.

31 Jan 1908 – T. H. Conner, Dr. J. E. Zimmerman, Mr. and Mrs. Joy went to Kansas City Saturday afternoon.

14 Feb 1908 – John Joy of Cave, Kansas, spent last Wednesday night with Robt. Reusch.


Feb 21, 1908 – Eudora Weekly News

13 Mar 1908 – Tena Leslie Dead. Tena, the 14-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Leslie and a grand-daughter of Mr. George W. Joy died at the home of her parents in Argentine last Sunday. The funeral was conducted Tuesday afternoon, 2 o’clock. Mr. Joy was there to attend the funeral. (Vera Justina Leslie 1893–1908)

13 Mar 1908 –  Geo. W. Joy went to Argentine Monday morning to attend the funeral of his grand-daughter.

Left to Right; Tina, Alfred, Vernon & Lloyd Leslie (photo from the collection of Dick Joy)

20 Mar 1908 – Steve Joy was hauling hogs to Eudora, Monday.

27 Mar 1908 – Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey Gerstenberger and Steve Joy were Lawrence visitors Saturday.

3 Apr 1908 -Rev. John Wuerth sold his beautiful residence in west Eudora last week to E. W. Joy of Osborne, Kans., and he takes possession at once. Rev. and Mrs. Wuerth have purchased a house in Lawrence and will make that city their future home. During the years of residence in Eudora, Rev. and Mrs. Wuerth have won the love of all who came to know them well, and it is with regret that we announce their departure from our little city.

3 Apr 1908 – John Wuerth and wife, Eudora, to E. W. Joy, lots 2 to 11 inclusive, blk 72 and lots 1 to 10 inclusive, blk 97, city of Eudora, consideration $2,500.

3 Apr 1908 – Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Crane called at Geo. Joys, Sunday.

17 Apr 1908 – Bert Daugherty, Godfrey Gerstenberger and Steve Joy were fishing Saturday night. We have not heard as to their luck.

1 May 1908 – Mrs. E.E. Crane helped Mrs. Joy clean house last week.

29 May 1908 – Belleview – Will Joy and children of Madison, Kansas, are here visiting his father, Mr. G.W. Joy, of this place at present.

29 May 1908 – Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Crane did some papering at Geo. Joy’s Monday and Tuesday.

14 Aug 1908 – Elmer Hagerman thrashed flax for Steve Joy and Allie Hadl, Tuesday.

4 Sep 1908 – Alfred Leslie of Argentine is visiting his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George Joy.

20 Nov 1908 – Geo. Joy and Robt. McKinley were Lawrence visitors Friday.

4 Dec 1908 – Steve Joy, Mrs. Geo. Daugherty and Chas. James sold cattle to Frank Varnum, Monday.


5 Feb 1909 – Bert Dougherty and Allie Hadl helped Steve Joy butcher, Monday.

26 Mar 1909 – Geo. Joy was on the sick list last week.

2 Apr 1909 – Steve Joy sold his driving team Saturday and has purchased a span of young mules, which he is breaking.

25 June 1909 – Mrs. Joy and sister, Mrs. Beck, of Osborne county, this state, are visiting Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Joy.

25 June 1909 – A. O. U. W. lodge No. 112, held election of officers on the night of June 10. … Steve Joy was elected Overseer. (The Ancient Order of United Workmen was the largest fraternal benefit group in the United States)

3 Sep 1909 – Steve Joy spent Sunday visiting relatives in Johnson county.

24 Sep 1909 – Mrs. Lloyd Douglas of Colorado is visiting her aunt, Mrs. Geo. Joy.

8 Oct 1909 – Mrs. Geo. Joy entertained a number of Prairie Center people, Monday, in honor of her niece, Mrs. Lloyd Douglas, of Colorado Springs.

26 Nov 1909 – I. D. Harris of Keystone dehorned some cattle for Steve Joy Monday.

26 Nov 1909 – Steve Joy spent Sunday in Johnson county.

(This post is week one of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks)

The Joy Family in the Eudora Weekly News


I’m finding all sorts of tidbits about the Joy family in the Eudora Weekly News. Some names were unfamiliar but I figured they must link together some way or other so I’ve saved them. The other people mentioned with the Joys may be in-laws, future spouses, or just good friends. The parts in parentheses ( ) are my notes to clarify a news item. Here’s what I found for the 1880s and 1890s:


29 Aug 1889 – Belleview – The quarterly meeting at Belleview was well attended. Two ladies joined the church – Miss Hattie Joy and Mrs. Touse. They were also baptized.

19 Sep 1889 – Will Joy and Bert Dougherty expect to go to Arkansas soon.


03 Apr 1890 – Joshua Weston has purchased the old Joy farm west of Hester.

24 Apr 1890 – Steve Joy is back from Illinois.

rr schedule eudora ks 1890

The Eudora Weekly News (Eudora, Kansas) 24 Apr 1890, Thu • Page 3

29 Jan 1891 – George W. Joy of the Belleview district left Thursday for a visit to his old home, the Muskingum Valley, Ohio.

19 Feb 1891 – Geo. W. Joy returned from Indiana Friday morning. He says he is glad to get back to old Kansas; Indiana he does not like.

26 Mar 1891 – Will Joy moved to Johnson County last week. He will work for Solon Rogers this summer.

17 Sep 1891 – Bob Davis and Nelson Joy were visitors from here at the Soldiers’ reunion last Thursday.

10 Dec 1891 – A soliciting committee was appointed Sunday for the Christmas tree, consisting of Mrs. E.C. Allen, Hattie Joy, Edgar James, and Will Rayson.

4 Feb 1892 – Alfred Joy and Edgar James captured a wolf a week ago Sunday.

20 April 1893 – Mrs. B. Joy fatally hurt at Hawkins Bank, MO. (This was part of a long list of injuries and casualties from a tornado outbreak over several states.)

10 Aug 1893 – Alfred Joy, aged about 20, and residing with his parents near Belleview, was seriously injured Friday afternoon by being thrown under and run over by a wagon loaded with wheat. With others, he was engaged in hauling wheat from the field to the machine.

While waiting for his turn, he got off the wagon and rested in the shade. In attempting to get on again, he made considerable noise with the double tree. This frightened the horses and they started to run. He held on the reins for a few seconds and then stumbled and fell, one of the hind wheels of the heavily loaded wagon passing over his body.

He was carried off the field unconscious and Dr. Bishoff summoned. No bones were broken but it is feared he was injured internally.

28 Jun 1894 – Chas J. and Ben Foust and wives, Sol Wertz and wife and Geo. Joy and wife all went to Ottawa last Thursday to take in the assembly for that day. (I believe this would be the Ottawa Chautauqua Assembly.)

3 Jan 1895 RAYSON-JOY Married – Tuesday, January 1, 1895, at the home of the bride’s parents, near Belleville, Mr. George Rayson and Miss Hattie E. Joy. Reverend Lawrence of Vinland officiating.

The contracting parties are known to nearly all hereabouts. Mr. Rayson is at present a resident of Greenwood county, where he went from here a little over a year ago. The young lady of his choice has grown up in our midst and has made many friends.

There were quite a large number of relatives and friends present and a large and valuable list of presents received by the happy couple.

Mr. and Mrs. Rayson will leave almost immediately for Greenwood county, where they will start in housekeeping. They have the congratulations of numerous friends here and elsewhere.

21 Feb 1895 – Mrs. Arthur Coate died Friday morning, Feb. 15, 1895, at her home southwest of town, of peritonitis, aged 27 years. She was a daughter of Mr. Stephen Joy and was well known and highly respected in the neighborhood. The funeral was Saturday morning at 11 o’clock from Harmony school house, and remains interred in the Deay burying ground. The husband and one small child are left to mourn her departure. (This is Helen Elizabeth Joy.)

14 Mar 1895 – Geo. Joy and two sons are getting stone out of B.J. McBride’s quarry for the foundation of a new house.

13 Feb 1896 – Keystone – Mr. Alfred Joy and his new wife will occupy the Hausman farm, one mile north of the corners.

10 Dec 1896 – Mr. and Mrs. Alf Joy are happy over a brand new baby girl. (This would be my grandmother, Cora Joy, born in November 1896)

3 Nov 1898 – Mr. and Mrs. Levi Woodard and Wilson Cox of Greenwood county are visiting friends and relatives here. The young folks of Belleview enjoyed a taffy pulling at Mr. Will Joy’s Saturday. The party was given in honor of Wilson Cox.

10 Nov 1898 – Steve Joy is on the sick list.

Pedigree View Ancestry com george joy

George Washington Joy


When George Washington JOY was born on August 5, 1836, in Zanesville, Ohio, his father, Thomas, was 34 and his mother, Amelia, was 20. He married Dacy Elizabeth Richards in 1862 and they had eight children together. In 1863, they were living in Eudora, Kansas when Kansas was a Union border state during the American Civil War.

After Dacy died, he married Mary Weisinger in 1879, sharing the last 34 years of his life with her. They had one son together, Stephen Garfield Joy (1881–1949).

george washington joy grave
George died on December 14, 1914, nine months after losing his wife, Mary. He lived a long life of 78 years. You can see his grave at the Hesper Friends Church Cemetery, Hesper, Douglas Co, Kansas.

JOY LINE 3rd & 4th great grandparents

George and Dacy’s children:

Mary Frances JOY

Sarah Amelia JOY

Lois Adelaide JOY

William Gardner Joy

Harriette Elizabeth “Hattie” Joy

Henry Alfred Alf Joy

Frank Peter JOY

Ella Susan JOY

George Washington Joy’s Parents

We will feature Thomas Tarlton Joy and his wife, Amelia Ann Rollings (or Rollins) in a future post.

Slideshow of their descendants

This slideshow requires JavaScript.