Joseph Exell was a Methodist Minister who became superintendent minister of the Irwell Street circuit in 1879 and Wesleyan Minister for Weaste Cemetery.
Joseph was born on 23rd July 1819 in Dursley, Gloucestershire. He studied for the Wesleyan ministry and was ordained at Hull in 1848. His appointments took him to St. Columb (Cornwall), Downend (Glos), Glastonbury (Somerset), Melksham (Wiltshire), Teignmouth (Devon), Guildford (Surrey), Snaith (Yorks), Beverly (Yorks), Runcorn (Cheshire), Walsall (Staffs), Cardiff (Glamorgan), Horncastle (Lincs), Manchester (Great Bridgewater Street), Farnworth and Oldham before coming to Salford in 1879. He was appointed Superintendent Minister of the circuit based at Irwell Street Chapel, off Chapel Street, Salford, succeeding the Reverend J. Lancaster Ball. Three years later (in 1882, when he was aged 63) he retired and took residence in Cheetham Hill.
During Joseph's period in Salford he erected the little iron chapel at Seedley, saw completion of the New Brunswick Chapel, organised the construction of a new chapel at Irlams o' th' Height and was the Wesleyan minister for Weaste Cemetery.
In 1850, Joseph married Esther Gaskell, the daughter of William and Mercy (nee Bone) Gaskell of Thanet, Kent. Esther was born on Christmas Day 1824 and was the third of seven children. Joseph and Esther's nine children were Mercy Esther Ellen (born 1851 in Newton Abbott, Devon), William G. (born 1852 in Newton Abbott), Agnes N. (born 1854 in Allon, Hampshire), Martha P. (born 1856 in Goole, Yorkshire), Arthur B. (born 1858 in Goole), Ernest O. (born 1861 in Frodsham, Cheshire), Caroline G. (born 1863 in Frodsham), Ada B. (born 1865 in Pelsall, Staffs) and Amy C. (born in 1867 in Horncastle, Lincolnshire).
Joseph's last outing was on Sunday 6th March 1887 when he visited Weaste Chapel. He took ill with congestion on the lungs and gradually sank until he passed away on Sunday 20th March at his residence, 7, Moss Bank, Cheetham Hill. The Funeral was held at Weaste Cemetery on Thursday 24th where the service was read by Revs. J.S.Pratt, W.J.Foster and J.Crabtree. Joseph's sons Joseph (Vicar of Dartmouth) and Ernest were present as well as many of his Methodists friends and congregation. The interment was in plot A4 of the Dissenters portion.