The following data is extracted from Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois.
Joseph Ashurst, principal and superintendent of the Camargo public schools and present nominee of the Democratic Party for the office of County superintendent of schools, has been a leading educator in the County for several years. He was born in Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky, April 16, 1872, and is a son of Henry Clay and Elizabeth (Thurman) Ashurst, who were both horn in Pulaski County, Kentucky. His grandfathers, Henry Ashurst and Joseph Thurman, were natives of Virginia and early settlers in Pulaski County, where they were engaged in agricultural pursuits. His father, Henry C. Ashurst, was one time sheriff of his native County.
Joseph Ashurst attended the common school and afterward the high school, and is largely self educated. In Douglas County he stands at the very front rank as a successful educator and teaches in his schools at Camargo, beside the common branches, botany, philosophy, zoology and algebra. Prior to his coining to Camargo, which was in September, 1899, he resided at Arthur, where lie located in 1890 and taught school in the country and subsequently was grammar teacher in the Arthur schools, which position he resigned to accept his present one. In 1894 lie was united in marriage to Miss Lucy B., a daughter of Henry C. Wood, a retired farmer, of Arthur, but formerly of Moultrie County. Mr. Wood was born near Vincennes, Indiana, in 1845, and is a son of Eli Wood, who was an early settler in Knox County, migrating from North Carolina. He was a soldier in Company F. Eighteenth Infantry, and served until the close of the war. His wife was Miss Ann Shultz, of Piatt County.
Joseph Ashurst, because of his high merit as an educator and general popularity as a gentleman, was chosen by the Democratic Party to make the race for County superintendent in the next election, and it is conceded that he has most excellent chances of being elected. He owns eighty-five acres of land just south of Arcola; is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities and of the Woodmen. He has been retained in the Camargo schools for another year at quite a good increase in salary, thereby showing to the people of Camargo and Douglas County that his work is appreciated. Although the majority in the fall election is against him he has a better show for election than any other candidate that the Democratic Party has put out in several years.
Source: Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois