Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
The father of John H. Nixon was John B. Nixon, who was born in the State of South Carolina on the 17th day of
November, 1789. His mother, whose maiden name was Peek, was a native of New Jersey, and was born on the 11th day
of February, 1792. She was married to John B. Nixon about the year 1811. John H. Nixon was the fifth child in a
family of nine, and was born in Fayette Co., Ind., on the 24th day of August, 1819. At thc age of thirteen years
he went to learn a trade, selecting that of mason. At sixteen, May, 1836, he accompanied his father to Michigan.
His father remained during the summer and fall, then returned home, and in the fall-of 1842 brought his family
back with him, John H. remaining until 1852. In that year, being then thirty-three years old, he went to California,
whare he remained one year and eight mounths, working in the mines and at his trade during that time. He found
that gold was not to be picked up on every side, nor wealth to be had in a few days, but the labor of the hardest
kind must be performed and the most severe privations must be endured. Many indeed where were who, in those days
of excitemant, sought that renowned El Dorado, their minds filled with visions of wealth and splendor, but the
bones whithered the interbening plains, or who if so fortuniate as the reach their distination, were rewarded only
with poverty, disappointtment, and despire. In 1854 Mr. Nixon made his first purchase of land in Michigan, a farm
of one hundred and sixty acres, which is still his home. His advantages were few, and his education was acquired
after he was twenty one years old. He has never sought notoriety of any kind, and is rather retiring in his nature.
Yet his fellow citizens have, at divers times, insisted on his accepting various minor offices, he having filled
all the official positions in his township, except that of supervisor. Mr. Nixon was formerly a Whig, then joined
the Democratic party, and is now a Conservative. On the 7th day of February, 1849, Mr. Nixon married Mary, daughter
of J. and Mary O'Keefe, who were of Irish descent. Eight children have been born to them, all of whom are now living,
viz., Mills H., born Oct. 16, 1850; Mary L., born Sept. 6, 1852; Louisa B., born Nov. 23, 1854; John B., born Dec.
5, 1856; Charles M., born Nov. 27, 1858; Harvey C., born March 21, 1862; Frank, born March 16, 1864; and Dick,
born Feb. 25, 1866.
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.