He initially came to the Valley with his parents in 1855. Several years later, he crossed the plains again, this time as a teamster for the 1866 Chipman out-and-back company from the Lehi Ward.
There is some inconsistency concerning John's date of birth, including inconsistent entries in the Lehi Ward records. Therefore, it is difficult to know with certainty when John was born. The birth date listed above was given at the time of John's rebaptism on 29 June 1862 (the earliest entry in any located record to record his date of birth).