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Capt. James M. Ashmore, Charleston; is a native of Coles Co.; he is a son of Hezekiah J. Ashmore, one of the pioneers of the county, who was born in Kentucky, Sept. 30, 1802, and came to Coles Co. with his family, consisting at that time of a wife and two children, in 1830, and settled in the northeast part of the county, in what is now Oakland Tp.; in 1836, he removed to the eastern part the county, and for him the town of Ashmore was named, as well as the village of that name, which he laid out in 1855; he came to Coles Co. a poor man, with but thirty-seven and a half cents in his possession, but went to work and as fast as he accumulated a little money, he invested it in land, owning at his death, which occurred in 1872, about 1,600 acres; he was for many years a Justice of the Peace, and one of the Commissioners of the county. He left a family of ten children, of whom James M. is the second in age. He was born April 4, 1832; he remained at home on the farm until 1859, when he engaged in merchandising in Charleston. In 1861, he entered the Union army as Captain of Co. C, 8th Ill. Vols., for three months, and on the expiration of his term of service, re-enlisted with his regiment for three years; he was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, upon which he resigned and returned home; upon the organization of the 123d Ill. Vols., he was appointed Drillmaster, and drilled that regiment for six months. In 1865, he located at Ashmore, and followed mercantile business there two years, and then engaged in shipping stock until 1876; he served six years as Justice of the Peace, and seven years on the Board of Supervisors; in 1876, he was elected Sheriff of Coles Co., holding the office two years. He was married March 26, 1852, to Miss Lizzie March, daughter of Thomas J. March, an old resident of Charleston.