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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 174~



Job Ashby


Job Ashby, who is engaged in farming on section 18, Westfield Township, is numbered among the early settlers of the county.  He was born in Butler County, Ohio, October 10, 1825, and is a son of Joseph and Sarah (Conaroe) Ashby, the former a native of Delaware and the latter of New Jersey. His father was a carpenter by trade and when a young man emigrated westward to Ohio.  He settled in Butler County, but on his arrival found himself in limited circumstances. He not only had no money but was $21.50 in debt. With a knowledge of carpentering as a foundation he began life and as his trade increased he was able to lay by money which he later invested in Government land in Indiana. In 1930 he removed to Tippecanoe County, Ind. where he spent the remainder of his life, dying at the age of sixty-six years, about 1872. He had made a good farm in that county and also devoted much of his time and attention to Gospel work. In early life he belonged to the United Brethren and later was a member of the Christian Church. Forty years he spent in the ministry and the life he led as well as his words, induced many to accept the truth.  In his political sentiments, he was a Whig and supported William Henry Harrison for the Presidency. His wife died some years previous to his death.  His wife died some years previous to his death.  They were the parents of six children -- William, who was commissioned Chaplain in an Indiana regiment during the late war, but never served as such and was a private, died in the service; Eliza A. living in West Union; Job is the next younger; Mary, who was born in Indiana now deceased; John is living on the old homestead in Indiana; and George, who served in the Seventy-Second Indiana Regiment, now resides on a farm in Center Township, this county.


When a lad of five summers Job Ashby accompanied his parents to Indiana where amid pioneer scenes, he was reared to manhood. Early inured to the hard labor of a frontier farm and receiving very meager educational privileges, his youth was not an easy one. Deploring his lack of schooling, he counteracted it by extensive reading in subsequent years and is now a well-informed man. He remained upon the old home farm until his marriage, which occurred February 11, 1847, when he wedded Miss Eliza E. Cave, a native of Indiana, born in Clinton County, on the 18th of February, 1832. After two years spent in Indiana, Mr. and Mrs. Ashby removed to Wisconsin, locating in Richland County, in 1849.  He settled upon Government land where the Indians had once had a farm and in connection with his brother-in-law owned and operated four hundred and forty acres of land, most of which he improved until 1853.  Selling out he came to Iowa and settled on a farm in West Union Township. The now flourishing city of that name was then a mere hamlet and the county gave little evidence of the rapid growth which would take place in the next few years. In 1862 Mr. Ashby again changed his place of residence. He spent a year and a half in Jasper County, Ind., and at the close of the war returned to Iowa, buying two hundred and forty acres of land where he now lives.  His farm is furnished with good buildings, a comfortable home and all the modern improvements and is operated by his son-in-law and nephew, he having retired from business life.  It also takes in the geographical center of the county.  In 1873 Mr. Ashby sold forty acres at &75 per acre to the C.D. & M. Railroad Company for a town site. The construction of the Davenport &Northwestern Railroad was begun and crossed near his farm, making a junction with the other road. This being in the center of the county, would likely have become the county seat, but work was suspended in 1874 and the Davenport & Northwestern was afterward changed so as to pass through West Union.


Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ashby, as follows: Mrs. Mary M. Burget, of Fayette, who was born in Indiana, November 16, 1847[ William Wesley, a farmer of Westfield Township; Mrs. Sarah Lucinda Turner, and Miranda J. who died June 27, 1864, were all born in Wisconsin; Susan M., wife of Oliver Ashby, born in Iowa, who operates her father-in-law's farm; Mrs. Etta Mathews, born in Iowa. Joseph F., who was born in Iowa, February 3, 1860, and died in 1861; and Grant, a farmer of Westfield Township, born in Indiana in the year 1865.  The children all received good educational advantages and Matilda, Susan and Wesley attended Western College. Mr. Ashby and his family are faithful members of the United Brethren Church with which he has been identified for many years. He is a man who keeps himself well informed on all subjects of general interest but has never taken an active part in political affairs, as far as office seeking is concerned. He cast his first Presidential vote for Taylor, and then supported the Whig party until its dissolution, since which he has been a Republican. He has witnessed almost the entire development of the county and has borne his part in its upbuilding, taking a commendable interest in all worthy enterprises. He is well and favorably known as an old settler and citizen and well deserves this recognition in his country's history.




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