Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Chemung County NY
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Sullivan Township, Tioga County PA to Minnesota
Submitted by Joyce M. Tice from her Sullivan-Rutland Genealogy Project

Moved to Minnesota Ashley Genealogy by Trowbridge, 1896 Syracuse Library.

 An Illustrated History of Jackson County, Minnesota, 1910, p. 342.

WELCH ASHLEY (1865), deceased was one of the founders of the village of Jackson and one of the town's prominent men in the early days.  The Ashley family is one of the old American families, Robert Ashley having come to the new world from England in colonial days and settled in Massachusetts.  Welch Ashley's grandfather, David Ashley, was born in Westfield, Massachusetts.  He was a soldier in the French and Indian war, serving eighteen months.  He also served seven years in the revolutionary war and was with Colonel Ethan Allen at the capture of Ticonderoga.  He rose to the rank of Major.  Welch Ashley was born in Hancock, Delaware County, New York, on the first day of the year 1807, the son of Forest and Harriett (Welch) Ashley.  Forest Ashley was born June 2, 1771, at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and died in Mainesburg, Pennsylvania, August 15, 1856.  He was married in Hancock, Delaware County, New York, in 1794.  He was a carpenter by trade.
 At an early age Welch Ashley moved with his parents to Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, where he lived a number of years.  He served as sheriff of Bradford County a number of years.  Later he moved to Tioga County, in the same state, where he was married and where he lived until he came west and settled in Jackson County.  Mr. Ashley was always very patriotic and a strong union man during the civil war.  He contributed to the cause and three of his sons were in the union army.
 It was during the month of September, 1865, that Welch Ashley came to Jackson County and bought the old Wood homestead, upon which had been enacted the tragedies of the Inkpaduta massacre more than eight years before.  At the time there were only a few families living in the whole of Jackson County, and these only recently returned after the fear of the Indians had been removed.
 In 1866 Mr. Ashley and Major H. S. Bailey laid out the town of Jackson, Mr. Ashley being the proprietor of all that portion of the town included in the original plat lying north of White Street.  About the same time he build the first saw mill erected in the county, which was located on the east side of the river at the site of the present dam.  At this mill much of the lumber used for the construction of the first buildings erected in the new town was sawed and prepared.
 From the first Mr. Ashley entered into the business life of the town, taking an active part in every movement for the advancement of its interest.  In company with his son, B. W. Ashley, he built the Ashley House, which ever since has been the principal hotel of the village and is now owned by his grandson, M. D. Ashley, and, for many years he was its owner.  Much of the material used in the construction of this hotel was hauled by team from Mankato.  He was also engaged at various times in the mercantile business and in farming.  He retained his mental vigor, and in great degree his physical strength until a few days before his death, and his interest in the town which he had founded continued to the last.  Mr. Ashley died at his home in Jackson February 23, 1885.
 Mr. Ashley was always a strong friend of religion and was a member of the Methodist church.  For many years the local Methodist church was largely supported by him and his excellent wife.  It was mainly through his efforts that the present church building of that denomination was erected, he being not only the larges individual contributor to the fund subscribed for its erection, but also devoting much of his time to looking after its construction and in the collection and management of the funds subscribed fro that purpose, in which matters his experience and sound judgment were invaluable.
 Welch Ashley was married in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, to Margaret Smith, who survived her husband nearly twenty years and died February 17, 1905.  To these parents were born seven children, as follows:  George G., Benjamin W., Mrs. Margaret Hill, Menzo L., Jesse F., Mrs. Julia F. Downey and John C., all of whom are living except Benjamin W. and George G.

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 14 SEP 2005
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

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