Who Was Helen Newberry Joy?
Wednesday, January 27, 2021  | Search
Who Was Helen Newberry Joy?
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Who Was Helen Newberry Joy?

Helen Hall Newberry Joy was born June 9, 1869 into a life of privilege and wealth. She was the only daughter of John Stoughton Newberry, engineer, lawyer and businessman who had many businesses including railroads, telephone and car companies. He was also Provost Marshal for the State of Michigan, appointed by President Lincoln in 1862. He was also in Congress from 1879-1881. John Stoughton Newberry left quite an estate to his wife and children when he passed away January 2, 1887, when Helen was just 18 years old. At the time of his death, his fortune was valued at $4.5 million! Of that, he left $650,000 to charity!

Her siblings included a half-brother, Harrie, who went on to distinguish himself in international diplomacy; Truman Handy Newberry who was friends with Henry Bourne Joy, Helen’s husband and became another successful businessman; and John S. Newberry.
Helen, raised by a mother who encouraged independence, thrived in her environment. She married when she was twenty-three (23) to Henry Bourne Joy. Henry was hard working and enterprising; providing well for Helen and her children. They enjoyed a beautiful home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, “Fair Acres.” Helen invested in her family, her faith and her community. Helen, with her mother and her siblings, made their families wealth work for the betterment of their community’s health and well-being.
The accounts of her being a part of anywhere from seventy (70) to eighty-three (83) different organizations including the Red Cross, the Detroit Symphony, the Detroit Fine Arts Society and supporting various hospitals and nursing programs are astounding. 

Her portrait, painted by another strong, independent woman, Patricia Burnett Hill, shows her to be elegant and resides in the main lobby of HNJH. We are honored to be a part of the hospital bearing her name.


helen newberry joy