Most of the land for Darrell Joyce Park -- 227 of the current 313 acres -- was a gift to the city of Hamilton in 1955 from Henrietta Joyce, the widow of the man for whom it is named.
Darrell Joyce was a native of Butler County, having been born in Venice March 12, 1874, the son of Major Robert Joyce and Isabella Townsend Joyce. His father was a veteran of the Civil War, having fought in the Union army; and was also for many years one of the outstanding republican leaders of this county, altho his son, in his more mature years, cast his lot with the democratic party.
Mr. Joyce received his early education in the public schools of the county, attending the school in Venice. Following this he for several years taught in the rural schools of the county but eventually entered Miami University in 1900 and was graduated in 1903. During his student days at the University he was one of the most popular young men on campus and an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Possessing a powerful physique, Mr. Joyce was active in athletic events while a student at Miami and for three years was the star first baseman of the university team.
Following his graduation from Miami University, Mr. Joyce came to Hamilton where he was appointed principal of the Jackson school. His ability was quickly recognized and in the latter part of 1903, he was named superintendent of the public schools of Hamilton, a position he continued to hold with great credit to himself and to the great benefit of the schools until 1929 when he tendered his resignation and returned to his country home near Venice where he spent the remainder of his life.
Following his passing, March 27, 1936, the popular Journal-News writer Stella Weiler Taylor, in her column "Rosemary, That's for Remembrance," wrote:
Just roused from my dream... by the arrival of the Journal-News with the handsome picture of Darrell Joyce and the sad news of his passing. It was in the Straub House days that I first saw the dark-eyed little boy who later became a civic leader and superintendent of the schools of Hamilton. His father, Major Robert Joyce, gallant Civil War veteran... had a residence at Venice but spent most of each week, because of his official duties, in Hamilton. A tiny hall bedroom, marked No. 3, just over the Main Street entrance to the hotel was the major's room. Major Joyce was quite of the type of Gen. Grant, bearded, soldierly, erect and very kindly.