John Denman was born in Newark on February 17, 1825. He was orphaned at the age of 3 and was apprenticed out as a house helper to an Aaron Soloman of Mt. Olive, NJ. When Soloman died, Denman was sent to work for a mason, and a farm hand during his teen years. As an adult, Denman became a carpenter and married Susan Smith in 1859. They had seven children and resided in Morristown, NJ on Mt. Kemble Ave.

Denman was recruited on March 10, 1864, where he was enlisted with the 5th New Jersey. A month later, he was transferred to the 7th New Jersey, Company E, where he fought in Spottsylvania and was wounded in the leg and abdomen. He spent a year in a Newark hospital recovering and wasn’t able to return to active duty before the war’s end in 1865.

After the war, Denman resumed his carpentry business, as well as starting a trucking business. He was an active volunteer fireman with Morristown’s Washington Engine Company and a sitting Democrat for the Morris Township Committee.

Denman passed away due to unknown causes at the age of 90 on July 18, 1915. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Morristown, NJ.