John Shirley, one of Santa Ana’s most respected citizens, is a native of Hancock County, Ohio, born in 1835, and his parents were Daniel and Annie (Crow) Shirley, natives of Virginia. His father, a farmer and blacksmith, moved to Jackson County, Iowa, in 1850, and died there in 1872. When a lad the subject of this sketch drove an ox team across the plains to this State, and for the first several years here he followed mining at Placerville and other places till 1864, when he came with the soldiers to Southern California and Arizona. He enlisted in Company K, Seventh Regiment, California Volunteer Infantry, and served two years. He returned to Iowa and went to Clay County, Nebraska, where he erected the first good grain elevator in the county, and speculated in land and grain for a period of seventeen years. Having been very successful, and desiring a more congenial climate, he sold out his interests in Nebraska, in October, 1887, and came to the Golden State, selecting Santa Ana as his home. He bought a lot on Ross and Orchard streets, where he erected a neat and commodious residence. He has held some important offices, among which are those of justice of the peace in Clay County, Nebraska, for twelve years; chairman of the council four terms; associate judge with Judge Keyser, 1861-’62. As an evidence of his popularity, it may be stated that he was nominated for County Judge of Clay County, Nebraska, in 1887, even though he was at the time in California. He has traveled a great deal, crossing this continent eight times. Since locating in Santa Ana he has been engaged as a money broker.
He was married in Nebraska, in October, 1876, to Miss Mary V. Crow, a native of Virginia, and their children are John, Anna, Georgia and Mamie. Mr. Shirley is a member of the G. A. R., in Santa Ana, and also of the I. O. O. F.