THE PASSING OF EX-CHIEF W. R. JOYNER
Well Known Fire-Fighter Was Also the Mayor of Atlanta and State Fire Marshal—Thrice President of I. A. F. E.
AT the advanced age of seventy years W. R. (“Cap.”) Joyner, former chief of Atlanta, Ga., as briefly announced in the last issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, passed awav at the Grady Hospital in that city at 6 P.M., on Monday, January 5. Chief Joyner had been suffering for some time from the infirmities of age, an especial affliction being the partial loss of his eyesight. He was taken so ill several weeks ago, that he was compelled to take to his bed. and a week before his death he was removed, at his own request, to the hospital in which he died.
“Cap” Joyner, besides being among the most efficient of firefighters, was one of the best known and best loved chiefs of the International Association of Fire Engineers. The chiefs’ national organization, in tact, gave him a signal and unique honor not conferred on any other member—that of electing him three times to the post of president, two of these being consecutive. His first elevation to this important post was at the Atlanta Convention in 1887, the second at the Atlantic City Convention in 1903, and the third at that in Chattanooga, in 1904. He was the only chief who has ever served three terms.
Chief Joyner was born in the suburbs of Marietta, Ga., on June 30, 1854. By a coincidence Former Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo was born in the same house five years later. The Joyner family removed to Atlanta during the Civil War and in 1879, when only twenty-five years of age, “Cap.” Joyner was elected city marshal. He occupied this office until his appointment as chief of the fire department in 1885.
For twenty-one years Chief Joyner remained at the head of the Atlanta fire-fighting forces, and under his direction the department grew from an insignificant volunteer organization to one that was one of the best in the state.
On December 1, 1906, “Cap.” Joyner resigned as chief as he had purchased the franchise of the Atlanta Baseball Club. During his career as a baseball magnate he was induced to run for the post of mayor of Atlanta and was elected to that office, serving during 1907-8. In 1909 he sold his interest in the baseball team and shortly afterward was chosen as the first state fire marshal of Georgia. He retained this office until 1922, his failing eyesight compelling him to relinquish all active work. In 1917 the Atlanta fire department built a room for “Cap.” Joyner in the quarters of Engine Co. No. 8, where he lived for some time with a son who was a fireman. The chief is survived by four sons. The funeral services were held at the family burial grounds near Marietta, Ga., on January 7.