Joe was born with an unknown name in around 1889 in Lima, Ohio. In around 1915, Joe had a son, Aldus, with his wife. Some years later, they visited the World's Fair. In 1920, after realizing that Vandal Savage was on his and his wife's tail, they had their names changed and moved once again. However, Aldus admitted to having heard them talk at night and so they decided to explain the nature of their reincarnation to him. Five years later, they were hunted down by Vandal Savage while the family was staying in a fleabag motel. They had Aldus hide in the closet, and he was forced to watch as both Joe and Edith were murdered.
The death of Joe and his wife, spurred their son Aldus to study all he could about Savage. This information then ended up in the hands of the Legends who used it to eliminate Savage.