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Jeffrey, Ashel


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 6/30/2021 at 11:48:00

Ashel Jeffrey, deceased, was for many years a resident of Oregon Township, living on section 23, where his widow yet resides. He was a native of New York, born near Seneca Lake, in 1812, and was the son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Gifford) Jeffrey, both of whom were natives of New York and of English descent. They moved to Indiana at an early day, and there subsequently died. Our subject grew to manhood in Indiana, and was there married, April 16, 1835, to Nancy Stephens, daughter of William and Jemima Stephens, who were natives of Pennsylvania, the father being of Irish and the mother of English descent. Both died in this county. She was born in Preble County, Ohio, in 1815.

Mr. and Mrs. Ashel Jeffrey were the parents of seven children, of whom five are living: William R., now living in this county; Elizabeth, deceased; Francis M., now residing in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, married Lizzie Morrison, who died, leaving three children Henry A., John, and Nettie B., all of whom are living with their grandmother Jeffery in Oregon Township; Abner A. is deceased; Jeremiah, now residing in Gage County, Neb., married Eliza Robinson, by whom he has three children living George R., Faith and Grace; Mary J. is the wife of John F. James, of Greenfield, Adair County. They have five children Ashel W., Elizabeth E., Faith, Essel B. and Bertha; Hiram is now living in Page County, Iowa. He married Mary B. Hampton, and they have two children living Chester V. and Arthur A.

The subject of this sketch came to Washington County in 1841, and settled on a farm in the southern part of Oregon Township, which he rented for three years, then took a claim on Government land, Mrs. Jeffrey saving the money she received from the boarders until she had enough to pay for the forty acres. Erecting their cabin on this first purchase, they at once proceeded to improve the same. To the original forty they added by subsequent purchase until they had a fine farm of 200 acres at the time of his death, all of which was under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Jeffrey died March 4, 1887. For thirty years previous to his death he was a respected member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In his death the county lost one of her best citizens, the wife of a loving and affectionate husband, the children a kind and indulgent father, and the Church a useful member. Mrs. Jeffrey yet resides upon the home farm. She is a well preserved woman, physically and mentally. At the first school meeting held in their neighborhood Mrs. Jeffrey and two other ladies voted in order to fill the required number necessary to form a school district. As an illustration of what may be done by one who has a will to d do, it may be mentioned that Mrs. Jeffrey learned to read and write after she was fifty-five years of age.

For almost half a century Mrs. Jeffrey has been a citizen of Washington County, and in that time endured all the hardships incident to pioneer life, and is now reaping the fruits of a life of toil.

She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which body all of her children are also members, each of them uniting when about thirteen years of age. After years of toil she and her husband secured the erection of a house of worship in the neighborhood in which they resided. Regularly upon each Sabbath she was in the habit of attending the holy place that she might engage in the worship of her Maker. A few years since the house was moved to Ainsworth, and on account of advancing years she is unable to attend as often as she desires, much to her sorrow, for to her there is no place so sacred as the house of God.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of Ashel Jeffrey, pages 353-354.


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