John Abram Taylor was born on April 3, 1836, in Michigan, son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).
James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where John was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.
John A. was 26 years old and living in either Allendale or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company I on November 5, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, joining his three younger brothers Chauncey, James and Martin. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)
John A. joined the Regiment December 26, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and by late April he was sharing a tent with his two brothers James and Martin. John was shot in the right shoulder on May 2, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, the bullet exiting near the upper part of his arm. He was subsequently hospitalized, and transferred to 78th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) on January 15, 1864, at Washington, DC.
He was eventually discharged from the VRC and returned to Allendale.
In January of 1865 he married Amanda Jane Todd (1850-1909), and they had at least three children: Charles H. (b. 1866), Frank J. (b. 1871) and Anna M. (b. 1873). Following the death of Amanda, John may have married a third time to a Susan McFarline.
In 1867 John applied for and received a pension (no. 82351).
John was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. He worked as a farmer on 78 acres in section 9 until about 1876 when he moved his family to Indiana and then on to Kansas, where he was joined by his two brothers James and Martin. All three brothers remained in Kansas from 1877 until about 1887 when they moved to Arkansas. They were living in Little Rock in 1900 and in about 1902 both James and John moved to the Oakland, California area, where John worked for some years as a cabinet-maker; brother Martin returned to Ottawa County. John was living as a widower in Oakland, California in 1910.
John A. died on August 27, 1915, in Oakland, and was buried in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland, California. Curiously, however, the dates of birth & death are left blank in the space reserved for them on his headstone. It is possible that he was buried in another location, quite likely with his third wife. In fact, according to the SUVCW database, he died in 1918 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, although this has yet to be confirmed.