John Macintosh was born in Galston in June 1853 to John Macintosh and Margaret Aird.
His obituary in the Kilmarnock Standard of 5 March 1932 includes the following :
A notable Galston man, Mr John Macintosh, passed to his rest on Thursday morning (3 March) in the 78th year of his life. Mr Macintosh was born at Strath Mill, where he lived all his days, and where his forbears carried on the business of paper making for a long period.
Mr Macintosh served his apprenticeship as an architect, and for a time he followed that profession in the Valley of Irvine, but later he took over the paper mill, and also devoted himself to literary and artistic work. He published four books: 'Historical review of Galston and Loudoun Parishes'; 'Ayrshire Poets'; 'Ayrshire Night's Entertainment' and 'Irvinedale Chimes'.
He was the author of many articles on a wide range of subjects, and these appeared in journals and magazines all over the country. For a long series of years he was a regular contributor to the columns of the Kilmarnock Standard.
An ardent admirer of Robert Burns, he wrote a great deal on the life and works of the national poet, on which he was an acknowledged authority. Mr Macintosh also devoted a good deal of time to painting (especially after the stoppage of Strath Mill many years ago), and his pictures, both in oils and water-colours, gave abundant evidence of his artistic taste and skill and temperament. He also indulged in the hobby of violin-making, in which he displayed a wonderful amount of deftness and skill.
Mr Macintosh was never married, and he and his sister stayed together at Strath Mill.