I found your message very interesting. Perhaps John was my great-grandfather's father. My great-grandfather was married and began his family sometime around 1880. There is good reason to believe that he came from S. Dakota. Please let me know if you have more information about James and John. Unfortunately, I don't have birth or other family information on John. He left his three young children in WI after his wife died, which was a few months after giving birth to my grandfather. John then moved to Muscatine, IA and married his second wife and had more children.