William Jackson Ash

Male, #5830, (6 Jun 1825 - 24 Jan 1913)
Birth*6 Jun 1825 William was born at McMinn Co., Tennessee, on 6 Jun 1825. 
Marriage*27 Feb 1849 He married Eliza Ann Culpepper at Cherokee Co., Alabama, on 27 Feb 1849 at age 23. 
1880 Census* William was listed as the head of a family on the 1880 Census at Hancock Co., Illinois
Photographed* He was photographed at Hamilton, Hancock Co., Illinois,
Standing: Narcissa Wolf, Alice Binderwald, Joel Ash, Jane Ernst, Sarah Melvina King
Seated: Louisa Ash, Eliza Ann (Culpepper) Ash, William Jackson Ash, Mary Jane Schriefer.1
William Jackson & Eliza Ann (Culpepper ) Ash family
Death*24 Jan 1913 He died at Hamilton, Hancock Co., Illinois, on 24 Jan 1913 at age 87. 
Biography* The following biography of William Jackson Ash was found in the "Biographical Review of Hancock County, Illinois containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of Today and also of the Past." The article was written in 1906 and the book was published in 1907 by the Hobart Publishing Company. William Jackson Ash is one of the venerable citizens of Hamilton, receiving the respect and honor which should be accorded to one of his years and whose life has been worthily spent. He is now eighty-one years of age, having been born in McMinn County, TN, on the 6th of June, 1825, his parents being Hugh Brown Ash and Nancy (Jones) Ash, natives of South Carolina and Tennessee respectively. His paternal grandparents were Robert and Esther Ash, the former a native of South Carolina and the latter of Ireland. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Jones, was a native of Tennessee, and in that state married Miss Beckham. Robert Ash, leaving his native country, crossed the Atlantic and became a resident of South Carolina, where he followed the occupation of farming for a number of years then removed to eastern Tennessee, where he and his wife spent their remaining days. It was in that state that Hugh Brown Ash and Nancy Jones were united in marriage and there they lived for a number of years upon a farm. He was injured one day while stacking fodder and soon afterward died. His wife married again none years later, her second union being with Edwin Pedegrew, who at one time owned famous gold mines in Georgia. They were married in Alabama, to which state the mother of our subject removed and about then years later (1849) they went to Dent County, MO, where they spent their remaining days. William Jackson was the eldest of three sons and three daughters, all of whom are now deceased with the exception of one brother who is residing in Carrollton, Carroll County, AR. By the second marriage there were two daughters and two sons, of whom one son is now living in Dent County, MO. William J. Ash was twelve years of age when he went with his mother to Cherokee County, Alabama. She there took up one hundred and sixty acres of land and in 1839 was married a second time. It was then that the subject of this review started out in life to make his own way in the world. He began learning the trade of a tanner and leather finisher. He was also the owner of three colts, two cows and several hogs, which he gave to his mother in exchange for homespun clothing. He continued to work at his trade until 1846, in which year Benjamin White, who ten years before had removed to Adams County, Illinois, returned to Tennessee on a visit and about a month later took three Tennessee lads with him to Adams County. He paid their fare and they worked for him two years for ten dollars a month. Mr. Ash had an uncle living in Adams County and after leaving Mr. White's employ he began operating his uncle's farm on share, being thus engaged for a year. In 1848 he returned to Tennessee and Alabama in company with his uncle, driving across the country with teams. The uncle soon again came to Illinois, but Mr. Ash remained in his native state until after his marriage, which important event in his life was celebrated on the 27th of February, 1849, the lady of his choice being Miss Eliza Ann Culpepper, who was born in McMinn County, TN, August 14, 1828, a daughter of Joel and Ann Elizabeth (Tyler) Culpepper, both of whom were natives of South Carolina. The former was a son of John Culpepper and the latter a daughter of John Tyler. On the 28th of March 1849, Mr. Ash with his bride started by wagon for Adams County, where they arrived on the 22nd of April, after spending almost a month upon the road. They remained in that county for one season and Mr. Ash engaged in the cultivation of a tract of land. He tried to raise a crop of corn but the worms took it and he sowed his land to buckwheat, raising an enormous crop, furnishing large supplies to the city of Quincy of buckwheat flour, which he had ground at Fletcher's Mills in Hancock County. In the fall of 1849 he and his wife removed to Wythe Township, this county, where they lived in a log house with puncheon floor and fireplace with stick and clay chimney. There was but one room in the cabin. The following season he purchased forty acres of prairie about a mile north of where he lived, fenced his land with rails and raised corn, which was planted on the newly broken sod. The following year he broke more land and also purchased forty acres additional. He also cultivated the eighty acres and rented some land adding to his place from time to time until he was the owner of three-hundred and forty acres in Wythe Township, which had been improved as well as any place in the township at that time. As the years passed he added further improvements to his property and made it a splendidly developed farm. He had two large barns, one thirty by eighty feet, which he afterward used for sheltering his cattle. He kept from twenty to thirty cows and conducted a dairy for ten years. Thus year by year he continued active in business, winning success by his close application and strong determination. He was never idle and indolence is utterly foreign to his nature. He has led a busy and useful life as the years have gone by has won the success which always crowns earnest effort. Unto Mr. and Mr. Ash have been born the following named: Sarah Melvina, the wife of William. H. King, who is acting as janitor of the public schools at Hamilton; Mary Adeline, the wife of Frederick Shrifer, a mail-carrier at Hamilton; Joel Brown, of Hamilton; Louisa Ann; Amanda Jane, the wife of J. E. Ernst, who owns the old homestead farm; Alice Alma, the wife of Charles F. Binderwald, of Montrose, Iowa, and Narcissa Elizabeth, the wife of D. William Wolf, a resident of Hamilton. On the 8th of March, 1897, Mr. and Mrs. Ash removed from the home farm to Hamilton, where he purchased a fine residence on Broadway. Since that time he has lived retired. He rented his land for three years and then sold it. He is one of the organizers and stockholders of the Peoples State Bank, of Hamilton, and also of the West Point State Bank, and thus his money has been placed in institutions where it is bringing a good financial return. He has justly earned the rest of which he is now enjoying, for his life has been characterized by unflagging diligence and also by unfaltering honesty in all business transactions. Wherever known he has won high esteem and moreover he is one of the honored pioneer settlers of the county, whose efforts have been a potent element in promoting progress and improvement in this section of the state as the county has emerged from its pioneer conditions. 


Eliza Ann Culpepper (14 Aug 1828 - 3 Apr 1920)
Last Edited29 Apr 2009


  1. E-mail written Apr 2009 -- Feb 2011 to Lew Griffin from Virginia Rottman, e-mail address.