From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Joice, James and Jemima

In 1863 James Joice (1807-1872), an escaped enslaved man from Kentucky, was a cook and valet for Lt. Addison B. Partridge of the Union Army. When Partridge left the army, Joice followed him to Fremont Township, IL.

Two years later, James returned to Kentucky to get his family: wife Jemima (1824-1920) and their children, Asa (d. 1924) and Sarah (d. 1941). They were the first African American settlers in Ivanhoe, IL.

Asa would become the first African American elected to public office in Lake County, IL. The family remained in the community; all the members of the family are buried in the Ivanhoe Church Cemetery.

For more see Daily Herald articles, "First Black settlers found home in Fremont Township," 2/08/1997, Neighbor section, p. 1; and "Joices play important role in history," 2/21/1999, Neighbor section, p. 1. See also "A touch of the  past," Chicago Tribune, Magazine section, p. 7; and "Joice Family of Ivanhoe - African-American Settlers," at the Lake County, Illinois History website.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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NKAA Source: The daily herald (Illinois) (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Chicago tribune (newspaper)

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“Joice, James and Jemima,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-17 15:52:24