John William Cheek was born on 15 Feb 1855, the son of Thomas and Martha Cheek of Braintree, Essex, England. He was born and educated in Launceston. He left school in 1865 and worked with his father on a pioneer bush farm until 1872, when he started farming on his own account. From 1894 he farmed 1200 acres at 'Cambock', Evandale, until his death in 1942.
John was MLC for Westmorland, Tasmania, from 1907 to 1942. He was machinery manager for AG Webster & Son 1889 - 1910; vice president of the Australian Prohibition Council for Tasmania from 1920; superintendent of the Evandale Methodist Sunday School from 1893; vice-president of the Farmers, Stockowners & Orchardists Association; coroner and municipal councillor for Evandale and justice of the peace. He was awarded a CBE in 1939 for service to the community. He married Lydia Walker, daughter of Joseph Walker of Glenore on 30 Sep 1886. They had six children between 1887 and 1899. JW Cheek died at a private hospital aged 87 on 26 Feb 1942. He was buried at St Andrew's Presbyterian Cemetery, Evandale. See The Examiner 20 May 2006, p. 32.