The Valley of Heart's Delight

Milpitas Businessman

 BIO-Pen Pictures

JOHN T. ASHLEY, deceased. The subject of this sketch, a native of the old Green Mountain State, was born in West Haven, Rutland County, Vermont, June 4, 1830. His boyhood and young manhood were spent upon his father’s farm, where he became inured to the toil incident to a farmer’s life. His educational facilities were good, he receiving an academic education and at the age of sixteen years was engaged in teaching school. In 1853 he came overland to California, arriving in Placer County August 14 of that year. Upon his arrival he located in Damascus, where he established a hotel. In addition to his occupation as a hotel-keeper, he was interested in various mining enterprises, and experienced the varying fortunes of a life in a mining town until 1875, when he was elected Recorder and Auditor of Placer County. Mr. Ashley was a strong Republican, and his popularity is shown by his being one of the very few Republicans who were elected in that year. In 1876 he moved to Auburn, the county seat of Placer county. The next year he was reelected to the office, and served until 1880. At the expiration of his term of office he was appointed Under-Sheriff of the county, a position which he held until 1883. In the latter year he came to Santa Clara County, and located in Milpitas. He purchased the interest of Mr. Clark, of the firm of Clark & Dixon, and entered into mercantile pursuits under the firm name of Dixon & Ashley. In 1885 Mr. Dixon sold his interest in the store to Mr. Ashley’s son, Aldace N. Ashley. The business was then conducted under the name of Ashley & Co., until his death, which occurred October 26, 1886.

Mr. Ashley was a man of fine scholarly attainments and literary talents, and was often called upon for orations, recitations, etc., upon public occasions. As a public speaker he was more inclined to sound reasoning and convincing argument than to oratorical display. He was a strong Republican, and an ardent supporter of the government during the dark days of Rebellion.

In 1862 Mr. Ashley married Miss Mary E. Bell, of Placer County. They have four children living, viz.: Aldace N. (a sketch of whom appears on this page). Osee E., Grata M., and Edna M.

SOURCE:  Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. - page 529-530 - Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben


SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY- The Valley of Heart's Delight
July 22, 2005