Monday, June 19, 2017

Notes From My Grandmother | Ashby Lineage and Genealogy, Part 2

Somehow, much of my grandmother's hand written and (badly) typed notes and research wound up in my possession. Traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles and back to Chicago again. It sat, in the dark of my mother's closet, until my dad passed and my mom decided to begin her great purge. Knowing I had picked up the torch, the next generation to pursue the Greatest Hobby on Earth, the papers came to live with me. Unsure for many years on just what to do with them, I have decided to bring them out and share them with you - transcribed, of course - no one can read my grandmother's handwriting! But in her own words; mistakes, rambling sentences, and all. I think she will be pleased her work and her writing are once again out in the light.

Grandma didn't write a story about the Ashbys. At least not one that I found in my collection. She incorporated some of her research in other family lines and just left typed bios and snippets in her "Ashby" envelope. I will share the contents over the next few weeks - and add the genealogy as I have come to know it.

Ashby Family misc, con't ........

Mary Ashby was the eldest of the seven Ashby children born to Jesse Ashby and his wife Elizabeth Hays Wilson. Her obituary reads as follows:

Mary Ashby First School Teacher in Washington, Very Early Settler, Dies.

In the death of Mary Ashby, better known to all the old settlers of Washington as "Aunt Polly", Washington loses one of its most highly esteemed citizens and one whose name will ever be associated with the early education of this city as well as the making of the commonwealth of Iowa. She was the first teacher that ever presided over a school room in Washington, and that was sixty years ago, when only a few settlers had squatted on the prairie here and there over a territory now known as the beautiful city of Washington. Washington's first school and Washington's first school teacher are now no more. 

Her death occurs at a memorable time in the history of our city schools - -in a year when the "old school" is being replaced by the new. The last old school building has been torn down, and after this year Washington young people will go to buildings entirely new or comparatively so. The first school in which "Aunt Polly" taught was a log cabin, located in southwest Washington, on the lot just north of the Seceder church. There her pupils sat in front of a fireplace, on benches hewn out of logs, and wrote with goose-quill pens ans used indigo for ink.

The deceased died last evening at 7:15 o'clock at the home of her sister, Mrs E W  Dicken, on south Iowa Street. She has always made her home with this sister. She had enjoyed very good health until about a year ago when she fell and broke her hip. Since that time she has been helpless.

She often attended old settlers meetings and there it was everyone deemed it a privilege to give her homage and praise, for she had just claims on old citizenship. She was reticent, however, in speaking of her own deeds, yet was appreciative of every good favor in word or works.

She was born in Allegheny Co, Maryland, the 18th day of July, 1812, and was therefore 87 years of age.

When two years of age she moved with her parents to Preston Co, West Virginia, and when sixteen years of age to Perry Co, Ohio. In the year 1839 the family came to Iowa, being among the very first settlers. They resided on what in known as the old Enoch Winter farm for a number of years.

She was a faithful Christian and was loved by all who knew her. She has been a member of the Methodist church ever since she was sixteen years of age.

The brothers and sister who are living are: Mrs E W Dicken and J A Y Ashby, of this city; E W H Ashby of Pilotsburg; and Mrs P B Twining of Corning.

The funeral will take place from the family residence on south Iowa street tomorrow afternoon at two o'clock. The services will be conducted by Rev Thorn. Interment City cemetery.

.......... to be continued ..........

©2017 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

©1950-82 Elizabeth Twining Potwin Thomas - private collection

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