William Henry Ash

William Henry Ash

Birth
Dartmouth, South Hams District, Devon, England
Death 10 Aug 1906 (aged 84)
Colusa, Colusa County, California, USA
Burial Colusa, Colusa County, California, USA
Plot Section J, Lot 30.
Memorial ID 95938530 · View Source
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Thank you contributor coloradogreengiant for the following:

History of Colusa and Glenn counties, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the counties who have been identified with their growth and development from the early days to the present

Pg 930

CAPT. WILLIAM ASH
A far-seeing pioneer who amassed a handsome estate and fortune because he had faith in California, and especially in her unrivaled land, was Capt. William Ash, who was born on January 30, 1822, at the old Ash family homestead in rugged and picturesque Devonshire, England, near the long-famous seaport town of Dartmouth. He was the youngest of fifteen children, and hardly knew his parents, for they had both died while he was yet a mere boy. In his youth he learned the carpenter's trade, and soon after left his native land, sailing for America when he was yet in his teens. He joined his brothers in Philadelphia, worked for a while at his trade there, and then went to Georgia. After something less than two years, however, he returned to the Quaker City. There he might have remained, had not the excitement incidental to the discovery of gold in California seized him, as it did others, and urged him to set out at once for the enchanted land on the shores of the Pacific. Leaving New York in 1852, he sailed for Aspinwall, boated up the Chagres River, crossed over the Isthmus by a flimsy railroad and on mule-back to Panama, and took passage on the John L. Stevens to San Francisco, where he arrived in November.
Attracted to the redwood section near Cape Mendocino, he helped to build and equip a sawmill there, returning to San Francisco after twenty months, when the work on which he was engaged had been successfully completed. In 1854, Mr. Ash began contracting at Marysville; and after a time he undertook teaming into the mountains from that center, and across the state line into Nevada and Idaho, his traffic soon becoming so extensive that he employed five teams of twelve and fourteen mules each. This he continued until railroading hit overland teaming a hard blow, when he retired, in 1869, to venture in other fields. His hardihood and fearlessness had become known; and when the Modoc Indians, in 1868, went on the warpath, he organized a company of whites to lead in exterminating the Redskins, and became captain of the volunteer militia. This hazardous but patriotic experience led to his designation as Captain, a title of honor he bore the balance of his days.
In 1870, Captain Ash leased a large ranch west of Berlin Station; and after farming the six sections to wheat for fourteen years he bought a portion of the splendid estate, thus acquiring two thousand choice acres in one compact area, situated six miles northwest of Arbuckle. Arduous as was the task of developing so large a ranch, Captain Ash was equal to it, for he had had charge, for a while, of six thousand acres in that vicinity, using from twelve to fifteen teams, and he was one of the first to use combined harvesters. For his home ranch he employed six ten-mule teams and a Holt combined harvester. At one time Captain Ash was a heavy investor in sheep, having on his farm a flock of no less than three thousand head; hut later he gave his attention especially to the breeding of high-grade cattle and horses. He also owned a ranch of twelve hundred eighty acres seven miles northeast of Willows, in Glenn County; a ranch of seven hundred eight acres five miles east of Germantown, also in Glenn County; two thousand acres of well-improved land six miles north of Colusa, in Colusa County; and a foothill ranch of fourteen hundred acres, with plenty of timber and suitable for stock, four miles southwest of his home.
Capt. William Ash was married to Mrs. Louisa Gouter, by whom he had three sons: William Henry, a graduate of the Stockton Business College, and secretary of the William Ash Company (whose sketch is to be found elsewhere in this history); George, a director in the William Ash Company, who resides in Arbuckle; and Louis, also a director in the William Ash Company, who is farming the old Ash ranch. All of the sons have profited by the advantages offered for commercial training in the California metropolis, and have since made their mark. In 1884, Captain Ash built for himself and family a spacious and most comfortable residence, surrounded by lawn, shade trees and a productive family orchard. Particularly fond of birds, he had built there an aviary one hundred feet square, at that time one of the largest in the state; and this was a well-known attraction to scientists and others, since it contained many varieties of California birds, and also various species of imported birds. In 1904 Captain Ash erected the well-known hostelry known as the Ash House, at Arbuckle, long the finest hotel building in all Colusa County.
Once an active Democrat, Captain Ash, at the outbreak of the Civil War, joined the ranks of the Republican Party; and a Republican
he thereafter remained. When Governor Budd was elected Governor of California, Captain Ash was chosen as the representative in the Assembly from Colusa, Glenn and Lake Counties, although those districts were decidedly Democratic.
While a member of the house, he aided in the election of United States Senator Perkins, fathered and put through a bill preventing the old form of marriage by contract; and in many other ways sought to contribute his experience and moral influence in laying broad and deep the foundations of the great commonwealth that was to be. Captain Ash was a man of recognized financial standing, and a stockholder in the Colusa County Bank. He was made an Odd Fellow in 1858, joining the lodge at Marysville. His demise occurred on August 10, 1906. Mrs. Ash, the highly-esteemed widow of the Captain, still makes her home in Colusa County; and her children reside in the same county, worthy bearers of an honored name.
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Additional information about this individual and their family tree can be found at Rootsweb World Connect DB "greengiant-2".
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November 19,2014 contributor Bill Lee submits:
The youngest of 15 children, William moved to California in Nov 1852, settling in Mendocino County where he built and operated a sawmill. During the time of the Modoc Indian War in 1866 he was elected captain of his regiment.. In 1870 he moved to the Williams CA area where he turned his pursuits toward agriculture. He later consolidated his large land holdings and formed the William Ash Company, putting his son, William, Jr., in charge.



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  • Created by: Belinda Titus
  • Added: 25 Aug 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 95938530
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry Ash (30 Jan 1822–10 Aug 1906), Find A Grave Memorial no. 95938530, citing Colusa Community Cemetery, Colusa, Colusa County, California, USA ; Maintained by Belinda Titus (contributor 47266701) .