Joel Cross was born in Illinois on March 17, 1824. Joel (age 39) married Julianna Whisman (age 21) on August 6, 1863 in Santa Clara County, California. Joel and Julianna moved to the Lynns Valley area by 1867, and had four children over the course of eight years: John (1864-1946) , Asa Addison (1867-1959), Margaret Ann (1870-1892), and Elizabeth (1873-1948).
Joel and Julianna were farmers and lived in the Lynns Valley area most of their married life. Joel died on August 1, 1875 in Glennville at the age of fifty-one. He is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery just outside of Glennville.