John R. Baylor was born in Paris, Kentucky, the son of a United States Army surgeon, and lived on various military posts during his youth. He moved to Texas at the age of 18, where he became a prominent citizen, state legislator, Indian agent, and publisher of a local newspaper called, The White Man. His uncle was R. E. B. Baylor who was an associate judge on the Texas Supreme Court and co-founder of Baylor University. His great uncle was Col. George R. Baylor who served in the American Revolution; his brother was Col. George Wythe Baylor also of Texas.
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