Born in Milton on January 19, 1845, he was the son of merchant Robert H. Carey and his wife, Susan. Educated in local schools, he later attended Union College and received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. An active supporter of the Republican Party, Carey was appointed by President Grant as the first U. S. Attorney for the newly-created Territory of Wyoming in 1869. He later served as Associate Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court and Mayor of Cheyenne. In 1884 he was elected as Wyoming's Delegate to Congress. A strong proponent of statehood, Carey introduced legislation resulting in Wyoming's admission as the 44th state in 1890. His defense of a provision of the state's constitution extending voting rights regardless of gender resulted in Wyoming's entry into the Union as the first state to grant full women's suffrage. In recognition of his efforts Carey was elected as one of Wyoming's first members of the United States Senate. He served as Governor of the state from 1911 to 1915. A successful cattlemen, he was a noted advocate for growth and economic prosperity in the West. Joseph Maull Carey was interred at Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne following his death on February 5, 1924.