John went to California as a member of the Mormon Battalion, He remained in California and purchased land there. He went east again, met and married his wife, Mary Louisa, in Indiana in June 1853, and they came to Utah the same year.
John was rebaptized in Salt Lake City on 6 November 1853.
In 1856 he was appointed captain of the company on 22 September. His surname is often spelled "Naile."