Simeon Ashley, clerk of Coffee county Circuit court, and a prominent citizen of Manchester, was born March 8, 1830, near Beech Grove, Tennessee. He is the son of William and Mary (Weaver) Ashley, of English and Scotch descent respectively – the former born in South Carolina, Lawrence District, February 14, 1789, and the latter, in North Carolina in 1790. Their parents came to Tennessee in early days, and the maternal father was a companion of James K. Polk’s father in the then far west. After the marriage of the elder Ashley, in about 1812, they made Beech Grove their permanent home. He was a farmer, a stanch democrat, and a Primitive Baptist in religion. The mother of our subject was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The dates of the father and mother’s deaths were in 1870 and 1869 respectively.
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One of eight children, our subject received his early education at Beech Grove Academy, and taught and farmed about eight years. With W. T. Moore he established a general store at Bradyville in 1856. In 1861 he enlisted in the confederate service Company E, Eighteenth Tennessee Infantry. His varied experiences may be seen from the following engagements: Fort Donelson, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, etc. After his long military life he returned and cared for his father until the latter’s death. Since 1878 he has been in public service, as county clerk twice, and his present position of circuit clerk. He is a popular self-made man and property owner, having a farm in Coffee County, and Manchester lots.
August 6, 1856, he married Ellender J. Roughton, born December 24, 1844, in Coffee County, and daughter of Elisha H. Roughton, Esquire, of Coffee County. They have four children, three sons and a daughter. Mr. Ashley is a decided democrat, and although not a church member he believes in the Christian religion. Mrs. Ashley belongs to the Christian Church.