Milton Warren Ashmore

MILTON WARREN ASHMORE, a highly respected retired farmer of Cherokee County, residing on his farm in section 23, township 31, range 25, Pleasant View township, was born in Clark County, Illinois, October 13, 1830, and is a son of Rev. James and Catherine (Armstrong) Ashmore.

The Ashmore family is of Scotch-Irish extraction. The paternal grandparents of the subject of this sketch were Amos and Patience Ashmore, natives of North Carolina and early settlers in Illinois. The Ashmores have been noted for the quick temper which usually accompanies an alert intelligence, but the patient qualities of the grandmother, who was rightly named, brought in the strain which has been the controlling element in her descendants. Rev. James Ashmore was born before his parents moved to Illinois, and, although a youth of unusual intelligence, was a grown man before he had mastered the common-school curriculum of the present day. In the pioneer region in which the family settled, no educational opportunities were afforded, and the subject of this sketch recalls the spectacle of his father studying the rules of grammar with his children, by the light of the hearth fire.

At a very early age James Ashmore was convinced of his call to the ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Although a graduate of no school of theology, he was a vigorous and successful preacher. Thoroughly persuaded of the truth, and a firm believer in the Bible, he earnestly and efficiently set forth the doctrines of his faith. Naturally an orator, his ministry was attended with convincing proofs of its efficacy. Like the Apostle Paul, he believed it right to provide for his necessities with the work of his hands, and all his active life he followed the quiet pursuits of agriculture. In 1838 he removed to Vermillion County, Illinois, where he died in 1882, aged 76 years.

James Ashmore was but 19 years of age when he married Catherine Armstrong, a daughter of Richard Armstrong, of Illinois, who had only reached her 14th year. This marriage was an unusually happy one, and eight children were born to them, viz: Hiram H.. of Peoria, Illinois; Milton Warren; Mrs. Sarah Brown, of Edgar, Illinois, whose husband is deceased; Richard Nelson, of Chehalis, Washington; Mary Catherine, residing with her brother at Peoria, Illinois; Robert Alexander, deceased; Belle, wife of Henry Traughber, of Monett, Missouri; and James, who was a victim of the Civil War, being killed at the battle of Perryville. The mother of this family died October 13, 1851, aged 40 years. The father married, secondly, Sarah Newman, and they had five children.

The subject of this sketch was reared a farmer and remained at home until he reached the age of 21 years. He worked on various farms in his home neighborhood until the year 1866, when he and his wife started for Kansas. They stopped for two years at Medoc, Missouri, and there engaged in farming, but in December, 1868, pushed on into Kansas, locating in the Cherokee Neutral Lands, and settling on the farm where they now live. This farm Mr. Ashmore continued to operate until 1899, when his son, Henry H., relieved him from the responsibility. There are light veins of coal on the place, which Mr. Ashmore mined for 12 years, finding it of very fine quality. He has made a specialty of the growing of fruit, and has an apple orchard of 300 bearing trees, a large vineyard and a peach orchard of 40 trees. He has demonstrated here the possibility of raising some of the finest fruit that can be placed on the market, and has made a financial success of his venture.

In February, 1854, Mr. Ashmore married Caroline H. Newman, a daughter of Alexander Newman, of Oakland, Illinois. They had seven children, the six who grew to maturity being as follows: James, of Cushing, Oklahoma; Lillie Catherine, wife of Charles Roberts, of Pleasant View township; Stephen Allen, of Pleasant View township; John, who died in 1891, leaving a widow and two children, who now reside with the subject of this sketch; Belle, wife of Albert Harmon, of Crawford, County, Kansas; and Henry H., who operates the home farm.

Mr. Ashmore is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which he has been an elder since 1867. In his younger days, before coming to Kansas, he was a Douglas Democrat, but for many years has been identified with the Prohibition party. He was one of the active members of the Sons of Temperance, in Illinois, and has always cast his influence in favor of prohibition measures. As a good citizen, he has taken an interest in the management of township affairs, and has served as school trustee and as road master. For some years, during his active agricultural life, he belonged to the Grange and Farmers' Alliance. He is a man who stands very high in his community. As one of the old settlers, he has witnessed the wonderful development of this region, and has done his share in bringing about the improved conditions which prevail throughout Cherokee County. His portrait accompanies this sketch.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Lacey Myers, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 02/28/97.


[TOC] [Biog. Index] [1904 Index] [Cherokee Co.] [Archives]
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