Station Manager of Strangways Springs from 1870 until 1893. This station was on Arabana country in South Australia and was later named Anna Creek Station. In the 20th century it became part of Kidman Holdings. During John's time at the station he oversaw many alterations to the land and watercourses, sinking wells, boring and making of dams as well as through a vast operation of fencing. John noted that by 1891 £80 000 had been spent on fencing and the sinking of wells.
Arabana people worked for and lived around the station, for example working as stock riders and rabbiters. However, research undertaken by archaeologist Alistair Paterson indicated the Arabana people employed were unlikely to have been paid.
John sent information to Howitt about the Yendakarangu people.
For further information see: A. G. Paterson, 'Confronting the Sources: The Archaeology of Culture-Contact in the South-Western Lake Eyre Basin, Central Australia', PhD Thesis, University of Sydney, 1999.