John Cyrus Lindley was born in 1852 in Dade County, Missouri, where he lived his entire life. His parents, John and Mary Lindley, settled in the county in 1833, and John Lindley became the largest tax-payer in the county before his death during the Civil War. J.C. Lindley received only a basic education, as he had to care for his aged mother and take over the family business after his father’s death. He married D.F. Hailey in 1877, and they had six children. Lindley is a successful farmer, owning 1,600 acres of land and handling stock, and he is a deacon in the Church of Christ. Although he was once a political candidate, his true ambition was to be a minister.