John Nystrom was born in Kallas, Finland on 28th August, 1848. The son of a farmer he became a became a sailor.
Nystrom visited San Francisco in 1871 and decided to stay. He worked on schooners sailing in San Francisco Bay and eventually became the master of Sierra, a ship owned by George Ellis.
In 1871 Nystrom left the sea and purchased a seventy acre farm near Ellis Landing. He married Mary Griffins in 1881 and over the next few years she had eleven children.
Nystrom was active in the First Presbyterian Church and also served for fifteen years on the local school board. John Nystrom died on 14th December, 1913.