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Biography of Hezekiah J. Ashmore

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Hezekiah J. Ashmore, deceased, late of Ashmore, and for whom the township and village was named, was born in Kentucky Sept. 30, 1802; he was a son of Samuel and Letitia (Guthrie) Ashmore; his parents removed to Murray Co., Tenn., when he was a child, and when he was about 12 years old to Illinois, settling on the Wabash River, about twelve miles south of Terre Haute. He was married May 24, 1825, to Miss Elizabeth Black, a daughter of John Black; she was born in Muhlenburg Co., Ky., Dec. 10, 1807, and came at the age of 4 years to the then Territory of Illinois. About the year 1828 he removed to Vermilion Co., where he remained till February 1831, when he removed to Coles Co. His mother had died several years before in the Wabash country, and his father having married Miss Ruth Cowan, had removed in 1829 to Coles Co. and settled in what is now East Oakland Tp., where he died in 1836, and his wife some four years afterward. Mr. Ashmore also located in the same township, and putting up a log cabin as he had done twice before, he began to open a farm; after a residence there of about five years, he sold his farm, and removing to a point about two and a half miles northwest of the present village of Ashmore; he purchased a large tract of land, and became the largest land-owner in the township, owning at one time some 1,600 acres; he engaged largely in stock-raising, and continued that during his residence on the farm; he laid off a part of the village of Ashmore in 1855; in 1866, he retired from the farm and removing to the village, there resided till his death, Dec. 9, 1872, at the age of 70 years; he left a family of ten children, viz.: Samuel C., of Ashmore; James M., of Charleston; Martha J., wife of Rodney A. Phelps, of Kansas; Hezekiah M., of Charleston; Sarah C., wife of Jacob Zimmerman, of Ashmore; Elizabeth S., wife of I. N. Van Dyke, of Charleston; Rebecca, wife of William P. Ferriss, of Decatur, Ill.; Orlando F., of Ashmore; Mary M., wife of Jacob Collom, of Paris, Ill.; and Harvey B., of Ashmore. Mr. Ashmore held several offices of public trust, among which may be mentioned that of Justice of the Peace, for several years, Constable and County Commissioner. He was a man of enterprise and unusual business ability, and a liberal supporter of churches, schools, and whatever pertained to the public welfare.

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