John Crockett English, farmer, state representative, and county official, was born in Shelby County, Texas, on September 24, 1839, the son of John English and Elizabeth (Choate) English. English's father was a veteran of the War of 1812 who had immigrated to Texas prior to the Texas Revolution and was active in Texas politics during the Republic of Texas. Shortly after his birth John C. English's family left Shelby County, staying for a time in Livingston, Polk County. They settled a plantation near Old Pleasant Grove to the east of Crockett, Houston County, prior to 1852. English lived here throughout the 1850s. On April 26, 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War English volunteered for the Confederate Army joining Company I of the First Texas Infantry Regiment as a private. In April 1862 he was promoted to second lieutenant and transferred to Company B of John H. Burnett's Thirteenth Texas (Dismounted) Cavalry Regiment. English was with this regiment for the remainder of the war. He received promotion to captain of Company C in August 1863 and participated in several engagements including the battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and Sabine River.
Following the dismantling of his unit at the end of the war English returned to Houston County. John C. English married Jane Stuart here on July 5, 1865. This couple had no children. In 1870 English won election as representative for District Three—consisting of Houston and Cherokee counties—to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. He remained in Austin at the conclusion of his term as legislator. After his first wife died, John C. English married Emma Day on February 20, 1872, in Austin. This couple had one son and two daughters. English and his family lived in Austin for several years but returned to Crockett prior to 1878. He served as district clerk from 1878 through 1884. In 1890 he relocated with his family to the Texas Panhandle, staying briefly at Higgins, Lipscomb County, before settling in northwestern Texas at Haskell, Haskell County. John Crockett English died in Haskell on June 19, 1893, and was buried there at Willow Cemetery.