Joseph was the son of Civil War veteran Josiah Minnich and Rebecca (Johns) Minnich.
During the Spanish American War, he served with Co. G, 4 Regt. Pennsylvania Vol. Infantry. Joseph enlisted at Pine Grove on June 16, 1898 for a period of two years.
Joseph contracted Typhoid Fever in early September 1898. He did not receive proper medical attention until his arrival home on Sept. 9. He died at the home of his father. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Mackenzie at his late residence. Interment was in Old Fellow's Cemetery in Lykens.