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Lee E. Joslyn (23 Jul 1854- ?)
Attorney and Native of New York, resided in Bay City and Detroit.

The History of Michigan - by Charles Moore (1915)

LEE E. JOSLYN. For more than a quarter of a century Mr. Joslyn has been a member of the bar of Michigan, his home having been in the state since boyhood, and both at Bay City and at Detroit his official career has been one of usefulness and prominence, especially as referee in bankruptcy first in Bay City district and since 1910 his home has been at Detroit, where he is now referee in bankruptcy for the Detroit district.

Lee E. Joslyn, who as born in Darien, Genesee county, New York, July 23, 1854, a son of Willis B. and Amy R. (Mason) Joslyn, represents an old French-English family and one that has been identified with American history since the early colonial days. The Joslyn name was taken from France to England about 1090, soon after the close of the reign of William the Conqueror. The American branch was founded in 1635 in Massachusetts, and many of the name were locally prominent in that colony. Jabez Joslyn, great-grandfather of Lee, was a soldier on the American side during the war of the Revolution, and in 1800 founded the family in the state of New York. Jabez, son of this revolutionary soldier, moved from New York to Michigan about 1861, and his death occurred at Bay City, Michigan, in 1869. He was the father of Willis B. Joslyn. On the maternal side the Mason family was also of colonial settlement in New England, gave several members to the American army during the Revolution, and Mr. Joslynís mother was a cousin to Hon. William E. Mason, a former United States senator of New York until 1871, lived in Pennsylvania from 1871 to 1873, and on coming to Michigan to Bay City, where the remainder of his years were spent and where he died at the age of seventy. His widow died in 1902 at the age of seventy-five.

Lee E. Joslyn attended public school in his native town in New York, was about ten years old when the family moved to Michigan, in 1881 was graduated from the Union school at Dryden, Lapeer county, and soon after took up the study of law under Judge William W. Stickney of Lapeer. Later his law studies were pursued under Judge George H. Durand, at Flint. In the meantime it was necessary that he provide for his own livelihood, and his way was paid chiefly by teaching in the district schools during the winter seasons. In 1883-84 Mr. Joslyn was principal of the graded school at Otisville in Genesee county, and later for one year was principal of the First ward school in Bay City. With his admission to the bar at Bay City in 1886, his active practice as a lawyer has been of a substantial character much of his time during the past twenty-five years has been devoted to public affairs. In 1888 Mr. Joslyn was elected circuit court commissioner of Bay County, and that office was followed in 1892 by his election as prosecuting attorney of the same county. His retirement from the latter office was followed by some years of active private practice, but in April, 1904, came his appointment as referee in bankruptcy at Bay City. On the death of Harlow P. Davock, who held a similar office in Detroit, Judge Swan of the United States circuit court for the Detroit district appointed Mr. Joslyn to fill the vacancy. The duties of both offices in Bay City and Detroit were administered by Mr. Joslyn until November 21, 1910, when resigned from the Bay City circuit and received the regular appointment as referee in bankruptcy for the Detroit district. Since then his home been in Detroit.

Mr. Joslyn has been prominent in the affairs of the Independent Order of Foresters in Michigan, a fraternal organization with which his affiliation began in 1887. In 1892 the order elected him high counselor and in the following year high-chief range for the state, and in 1894 high-chief ranger, besides which he represented the high court of Michigan as a delegate to the supreme council of the world at Chicago in 1893, and in the city of London, England, in 1895. His relations with the Masonic order include thirty-two degrees of the Scottish Rite, and other fraternities holding his membership are the Knights of the Modern Maccabees, the Knights of Pythias, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Joslyn belongs to the Detroit Board of Commerce, the Detroit Club, the Detroit Golf Club, the Bay City Country Club, to the Detroit Young Menís Christian Association, and with his wife has membership in the North Woodward Presbyterian church. He manifests a keen interest in all affairs relating to the civic and material prosperity of his city and state. In 1893 Mr. Joslyn married Miss Alice L. Wilson, daughter of F. L. Wilson, of Bay City. Their four children are: Lee E., Jr., a student in the Michigan Univerity; and Alan W., Laura Alice and Mary Anne.

1912 - Re-appointed referee. - Added Jan., 2012.

Michigan Manufacturer & Financial Record, Vol. 9 Ė Aug. 31, 1912.


Lee E. Joslyn has been re-appointed as Referee in Bankruptcy for the Southern Division of the Eastern District of Michigan, by Judge Tuttle, for a term of two years.

This action by Judge Tuttle will meet with the most hearty approbation of all attorneys and others having business in the bankruptcy court, as Mr. Joslyn has earned for himself an enviable reputation for fairness to all comers appearing before him.

Mr. Joslyn has been a deep student of bankruptcy law, and during the many years he has acted as Referee, many of his decisions and opinions have been certified to the District Judge for review, and of all cases that have appeared before him, but oe have been reversed.

The one case reversed, viz. Smith vs. Au Gres Township, was taken to the Circuit Court of Appeals and has become one of the leading cases involving the right to claim assets in bankruptcy cases as trust funds.

To Mr. Joslyn is owning, in a considerable measure, the adoption of a set of rules for the regulation and government of bankruptcy practice in the Eastern District of Michigan which has attracted much attention and received favorable comment from many parts of the United States.

Mr. Joslyn is now preparing a compilation of the rules and a treatise on the law in bankruptcy.

Previous to his appointment to his present position as Referee by Judge Henry H. Swan, in April, 1904, Mr. Joslyn was located at Bay City, and officiated in the Northern District, and was re-appointed in 1906-1908 and 1910 for that division.

In November 1910, he resigned as Referee for the Northern District of Eastern Michigan, and was appointed to the Southern District removing to Detroit the following spring and took up his residence on Euclid avenue where he resides with his family.

Additional Notes.

    Michigan in Letters, Central Michigan Univ.

  • According to the history of Frances Margaret Fox (1870-1959), an author of children's book -- she met Lee E. Joslyn and his family in Mackinaw City, and later moved to Bay City, living in the Joslyn homestead and working for Lee as a secretary. [michiganletters.org]

    1893 - Michigan Marriages: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Date: June 29, 1893.
  • Groom: Lee E. Joslyn, age 28, son of Willis B. Joslyn and Amy R. Foster.
  • Bride: Alice L. Wilson, age 20, daughter of Fritzland L. Wilson and Eleanor Reed.
  • Official: J. Kilpatrick, pastor.
  • Witnesses: Anna Joslyn and Carl F. Wilson.

    1890-91 - Directory: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Joslyn, Lee E - lawyer, bds 404 N Linn.
  • Joslyn, May E - teacher, bds 404 N Linn.
  • Joslyn, Willis B - carp, bds 404 N Linn.

    1910 - Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Joslyn, Lee E. - b. 1865 N.Y.
  • Alice S., wife - b. 1868, Mich.
  • Lee E., son - b. 1896, Mich.
  • Alan W., son - b. 1889, Mich.
  • Laura A., daughter - b. 1909, Mich.

    1920 - Census: Wayne Co., Mich.

  • Joslyn, Lee E. - b. 1865 Mich.
  • Ellis, wife - b. 1868 Mich.
  • Laura A., daughter - b. 1909 Mich.
  • Mary A., daughter - b. 1912, Mich.

    Book of Detroiters.

  • Office: 205 Trussed Concrete Bldg., 58 Lafayette Ave.
  • Residence: 66 Euclid Ave. W.

    Contact us if you can provide date of deaths on this family.

Related Note & Pages

Lee E. Joslyn



- Director of Lumberman's State Bank; partnership with S.G. Houghton; attorney for Grand Trunk Rwy, attorney for West Bay City (1899-1901); stockholder in Crystal Ice & Water Co., stockholder in Bay City Cast Stone Block Co.; stockholder in Valley Land Co.; Bay Co. circuit court commissioner (1888-92), referee in bankrupsy of District Court (1904-10); and Bay Co. prosecuting attorney (1893-94).
Related links:
Fox, Frances M.
People Referenced
Davock, Harlow P.
Durand, Geo. H. (Judge)
Foster, Amy R.
Fox, Francis M.
Joslyn, Alan W. (son)
Joslyn, Anna
Joslyn, Jabez
Joslyn, Lee E. (subject)
Joslyn, Lee E. (son)
Joslyn, Laura A. (dau.)
Joslyn, Mary A. (dau.)
Joslyn, Willis B.(father)
Kilpatrick, J (pastor)
Mason, Amy R. (mother)
Mason, Wm. E. (Hon.)
Reed, Eleanor (m-inlaw)
Stickney, Wm. W. (Judge)
Swan, Henry H.(Judge)
Tuttle, Judge
William (the Conqueror)
Wilson, Alice L. (wife)
Wilson, Carl F.
Wilson, F.L. (f-inlaw)
Subjects Referenced
Bankruptcy court
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Chicago, IL
Darien, NY
Detroit, MI
Dryden, MI
Flint, MI
Genesee Co., MI
Genesee Co., NY
Lapeer Co., MI
London, England
Michigan bar
New York
Otisville, MI
Revoluntionary War
Wayne Co., MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.