When John Hawk was six months old, his parents bought a farm in Newton Township, and he lived the rest of his life in Whiteside County.
He was married to Elizabeth Blean on March 16, 1882, and they farmed in Newton until 1915, when they retired to Erie. They had four children, William, Arthur, Pearl and Hettie.
John Hawk was a prominent church worker in the Erie Methodist Church and had served as chairman of the official board for over 20 years. At his request, he gave up this office, and was placed on the official church list as “trustee emeritus.”