History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Charles Ashton
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CHARLES ASHTON, pioneer preacher and journalist, is a native of Lincolnshire, England, where he was born June 2, 1823. His parents emigrated to America in 1832, locating on a farm in Richland County, Ohio. Three winter terms at district school comprised his educational advantages. Early in the fifties he became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1860 entered the itinerant work. In 1870 he was transferred from the Central Ohio to the Des Moines Conference, preaching for nine years in western Iowa. Retiring from the ministry in 1879, he became editor of the Guthrian, a Republican weekly newspaper published at Guthrie Center. He was the organizer and first president of the Guthrie & Northwestern Railway, now a branch of the Rock Island, running from Guthrie Center to Menlo. Mr. Ashton was appointed a member of the Iowa Columbian Commission, and as chairman of the archaeological, historical and statistical committee of the Commission he wrote and published the “Hand Book of Iowa” of which 25,000 copies were distributed. He was also superintendent of the horticultural exhibit and under his direction Iowa made one of the finest pomological displays at the exposition. Mr. Ashton has ever been known as an advocate of sobriety, good government and the promotion of all liberal enterprises.