Joel Miner, journalist and judge, was born in Rutland County, Vermont, on March 4, 1806. After training as a printer, he worked for some years in the United States and in Europe before immigrating to Texas in 1837. He served briefly in the Texas army and established himself in Austin, where he became head of the typographical department of the capital's first newspaper, the Austin City Gazette. Under the editorship of Samuel Whiting, the Gazette issued its first number on October 30, 1839. Miner moved to Houston in 1842 and later resided for a time at Washington, Texas, but by June 2, 1845, when he married Cynthia Blythe Tannehille, the daughter of Jesse Cornelius Tannehille Jesse Cornelius Tannehille of Montopolis, he was again living in Austin.
On July 23, 1845, in partnership with Jacob W. Cruger as editor, he established the proannexation Austin New Era. This paper received the contract to publish the proceedings of the Convention of 1845 but did not outlive the convention, which ended on August 28, 1845. On December 15, 1847, in partnership with Samuel Cummings, Miner took over the Texas Democrat when its former editor, John S. Ford, left to serve under Col. John C. Hays in the Mexican War. Late in 1848 or early in 1849, however, Miner and Cummings sold the paper to William H. Cushney who renamed it the Texas State Gazette (see AUSTIN STATE GAZETTE). From 1849 until 1852 Miner served as probate judge of Travis County, and during the Civil War he was county clerk.
Cynthia Miner died in San Antonio on April 2, 1874. Joel Miner died at the residence of his son Ashford on Wilbarger Creek in Travis County on September 29, 1877. He was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.