History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 554
Alexander John, who is numbered among the pioneer farmers and stock-raisers of Taylor county, dating his residence here from 1855, was born in Indiana near Rossville, May 4, 1841.  He acquired his education in the common schools, remaining in his native state until fourteen years of age, at which time he accompanied his mother to Iowa, settling in Bedford, which at that time was little more than a crossroads village, consisting of a few log huts.  They made this their permanent abode, however, Mrs. John entering a tract of land east of the village, which the son, with characteristic energy, immediately proceeded to break in preparation for cultivation.  He remained with his mother for several years, assisting her in the improvement of the farm, and then, wishing to engage in business on his own account, he purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty acres, upon which he now resides.  It is located on section 23, Bedford township, and adjoins the corporation limits of Bedford.  He at once broke the sod and put the fields under cultivation, while he also set out a fine orchard, consisting of twenty acres of fruit trees.  As the years passed he added improvement after improvement until his farm now ranks among the valuable properties in Bedford township.  He has built three commodious barns upon the place, in addition to other substantial outbuildings, has introduced all of the modern devices for facilitating farm labor, while the year 1873 witnessed the erection of a fine large residence.  He carries on general farming, in addition to which he has, for many years, bred and dealt in shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs.  In 1906 and again in 1908 he conducted a public sale and on these different occasions his shipment of stock was very large.  He has been very successful in this branch of his business and it has been a source of gratifying profit to him.  He also owns considerable timberland and some residence property in the village of Bedford.
An interruption came in his active business career when Mr. John enlisted for service in the Civil war, joining Company F, Twenty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in August, 1862.  He saw much active service, most of which was confined to Arkansas and the adjoining territory, participating in the battle of Helena and numerous lesser engagements.  He was taken sick and remained for some time in the hospital at Memphis.  Later he rejoined his regiment at Little Rock, Arkansas, and participated in several skirmishes, among which was the battle of Saline River, Arkansas.  At the close of the war he was mustered out (page 555) and in September, 1865, was honorably discharged at Davenport, Iowa, with a most creditable military record.
In February, 1866, Mr. John was united in marriage in Oquawka, Illinois, to Miss Eliza J. Shoemaker, a native of Henderson county, that state, where she was reared, educated and taught school for some years.  Their home has been blessed with five children, namely: Mattie, the wife of E. C. Dowlin, of Bedford; Alla, the wife of John F. Keifer, of Wichita, Kansas; Frank, a merchant of Larussell, Missouri; Grace, the wife of Glade Kinnison, residing in Lincoln, Nebraska; and Esther, who is now attending the University at Lincoln.
Mr. John and his family are members of the Baptist church, and his wife is actively and helpfully interested in various phases of church work.  Fraternally he is a Mason, joining the lodge in Bedford.  His political support is given to the democratic party on all national issues but at local elections he prefers to support the men and measures that, in his opinion, are best adapted to conserve the public welfare.  His fellow citizens, recognizing his personal worth, have called him to various positions of trust and responsibility, and the duties which devolved upon him were at all times performed with a promptness and thoroughness that reflected credit alike upon himself and his constituents.  He was elected clerk of the courts, serving for one term, and later was elected and reelected county treasurer, his term of office extending from 1874 until 1877 inclusive.  In 1885 he was called upon to serve out an unexpired term, while the entire period of his incumbency in the office of treasurer covered seven years.  He was identified with school interests for some time and proved himself a stalwart champion of the cause of education.  He is interested in all that pertains to the material, intellectual and moral development of the community and as the years have passed he has made a splendid record as one whose close application to business and whose enterprise, guided by sound judgment, have gained for him rank among the foremost representative and progressive farmers of Taylor county.