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Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 3/28/2020 at 01:59:59

JESSE ASHBY, deceased, was numbered among the true pioneers of Washington County, having located one mile south of the present city of Washington in 1839. At that time there was not a building on the town site, and Mr. Ashby assisted Jonathan Wilson in hauling the logs for the first building erected in the town. Indians were frequent visitors to his cabin as they passed to and fro, and before they were formally removed. Burlington was the trading point of all the citizens when they designed to buy any particular amount of supplies.

Jesse Ashby was born in Alleghany County, Md., Aug 31, 1788, and in about 1811, was there united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Wilson, a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Wilson, and subsequently settled in what is now West Virginia, where they remained until about 1834, when they moved to Perry County, Ohio. In 1839 they came to Washington County, where they resided until their death. They were the parents of six children, five of whom are yet living: Mary W., of Washington County; Julia F., the wife of Morgan Hart, of Wilson County, Kan.; Priscilla B., the wife of Rev. E. W. Twining, of Corning, Iowa; Hester W., the widow of Alpheus B. Dickens, of Washington; Elizabeth, who married William Bickford, and is now deceased, as is also her husband; Eusebius W. H. of this county. Mrs. Ashby died about 1851, and Mr. Ashby subsequently married Mrs. Fannie Ritchie, by whom he had one son; Jesse A., of Keota, Keokuk Co., Iowa.

Mr. Ashby died in 1880, at the advanced age of ninety-three years. He was for many years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in the early day his cabin was the place in which all religious services were held, and was the home of all pioneer preachers. He assisted in the erection of the first church building in Washington. Few men deserve more credit for the present generation now enjoys in Washington County, than Jesse Ashby, the pioneer.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of Jesse Ashby, pages 477-478.


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