Joseph McCormick was born on January 9, 1806 in Christian County, Kentucky. He came to Texas in 1829, and although he secured land from the Mexican government, he settled on a farm belonging to his uncle David McCormick and lived there the rest of his life. On June 22, 1832, he received title to one league of land in Austin's Second Colony in what is now Fort Bend County, but never improved upon it. On March 5, 1836, he enlisted in the Texas army for three months, from March 5 to June 5, 1836, as a member of Captain William H. Patton's Columbia Volunteers and with them fought at the battle of San Jacinto. He re-enlisted on July 4, in Captain Byrd Lockhart's Company and was discharged a month later for unknown reasons. McCormick married Agnes Louisa McKenzie, the sister of Josiah Hughes Bell, on January 3, 1852. He died January 21, 1865 and was buried in the cemetery at West Columbia.