William D. Ashley, deceased, is an honored name on the list of pioneer citizens of San Joaquin county, where he took up his home in 1852. He was a California pioneer of 1850, and throughout his life his interests were associated vitally with those of his adopted state. He lent his support to the educational, moral and social progress of his locality, and, being a man of great force and integrity of character, his actions with regard to any enterprise could be predicated in advance and his influence would always be found on the side of the general welfare. In private affairs he was successful, and the ranch on which he settled over half a century ago is now the possession of his son, George W., and under the long and careful management of father and son it has been developed into a model estate.

William D. Ashley came to California from the state of Wisconsin in 1850, and for a time mined gold in the vicinity of Georgetown. In 1852 he settled on the place eight miles from Stockton where he thenceforth made his permanent home. He returned to Wisconsin for his bride, Miss Algeline Jackson, a native of Pennsylvania, and they then made their long wedding journey over the plains to the Golden state, where they were destined to pass so many useful and happy years. Mr. Ashley's last years were spent in Stockton, where he died several years ago, and was survived by his widow until the fall of 1903. In the death of William D. Ashley the county lost one of her foremost men, and as such he had been recognized for many years. In politics he was a Republican. As a successful agriculturist he took much interest in the various agricultural fairs, and in many ways helped to raise the standards of his occupation. He was the owner of a number of high-grade horses, and this was a branch of his business in which he took much pride. He was a member of the San Joaquin Society of California Pioneers. His wife was a member of the Presbyterian church.

Four children survive this worthy pioneer couple: M. Alice, wife of James H. Maxwell, at Petalume; George W., mentioned below; Arthur H., who is a well known attorney at law in Stockton; and Grace A., wife of Dr. George C. Marlow, of Lancaster, Wisconsin.

George W. Ashley is a native son of San Joaquin county, and has followed in his father's footsetps in the successful pursuit of agriculture. His ranch contains four hundred and sixty-two acres of land, andhe has a nice vineyard of fifty-seven acres, the rest being devoted to gneral farming and stock-raising. He was born August 21, 1861, and was reared and educated in the county, being a graduate of the old Stockton Business College. He has been engaged in the various phases of farming enterprises from youth up.

In October, 1887, he married Miss Clara M. Alling, a native of San Joaquin county and a daughter of Norman Alling, of Stockton. by this happy marriage there are four children: Lorette A., Morma, Helen and Lawrence. Mr. George W. Ashley is now serving as a trustee of the Davis school district. He is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Stockton Parlor No. 7.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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