Joseph Lindley, son of Simon and Anna (Stanley) Lindley, was born on January 7, 1793, in Orange County, North Carolina. Early in 1808 he moved with his family to Christian County, Kentucky, and afterward to what is now Bond County, Illinois. Late in 1811, when Lindley was eighteen years old, conflicts with Indians motivated settlers to build a fort near Greenville. During the War of 1812 the family lived in the fort, but after four years of Indian attacks and military protection, they moved to Edwardsville, Illinois. Lindley fought in the War of 1812 as a United States Ranger. He married Nancy Ann Hicks on June 17, 1817, in Bond County, Illinois, and they moved to Humphreys County, Tennessee. Ten years later they arrived in Texas with four children. Lindley was unable to get clear title to his 2,592 acres of land because he was involved in the Fredonian Rebellion at Nacogdoches. He received title to 4,428 acres in Montgomery County on April 6, 1835. He participated in the siege of Bexar in 1835, signed the letter of endorsement required by the Mexicans for the entry into Texas of Alamo defender Jonathan Lindley, and fought at the battle of San Jacinto. Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas, appointed Lindley an Indian agent with a charge to keep the peace. He was an elected civil officer for Montgomery County in 1839 and laid out the first road from Austin to the "springs at the headwaters of the San Marcos" (Aquarena Springs), so that a military post could be established there in 1840. He was appointed by the Congress of the Republic of Texas to survey a road from Washington to the Sabine in 1844. About 1846 the Lindleys moved to Limestone County, where they settled four miles north of the site of present-day Mexia. Lindley was elected county commissioner in 1854 and served one term. On January 20, 1874, he died. He was buried in Limestone County and later reinterred at the State Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 26, 1986, during the Texas Sesquicentennial.