DR. JOHN ROSCOE ASH, of Brighton, comes naturally by his talents as a physician and surgeon, being the son and great-grandson of physicians, concerning whose ability and skill there was no question. He was born November 27, 1867, in the house in which he now resides, his parents being Dr. John and Mary Elizabeth (Loveland) Ash. The father was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and was of German descent, the founder of the family in this country, Dr. Heinrich Esche, the great-grandfather of our subject, having ben a physician to royalty in Germany. On account of his political opinions he was obliged to seek safety in the United States, which has been a refuge to thousands of his countrymen who preferred the republic to a monarchy. He located at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he married an English lady named Whitaker, and to this union several children were born. After spending a number of years in this country Dr. Esche went aboard a vessel bound for Europe with the intention of visiting his native land. The ship was lost at sea and none of its passengers were ever afterward heard from. John Ash, the father of our subject, graduated in medicine at one time of the eastern colleges, and in 1851 came to Illinois and began practice at Delhi, Jersey county. Soon after he arrived in this state there was an outbreak of cholera, and while victims died in various parts of the country, Dr. Ash never lost a case, thus establishing an enviable reputation in his practice. In 1852 he went to Piasa but after a short time took up his residence at Brighton, where he continued during the remainder of his life. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Loveland, a native of Massachusetts and a direct descendant of Lord Loveland of England. Her father was for many years a sea captain but gave up life upon the ocean and came with his family in the ‘40s to Illinois, locating on a farm three miles east of Brighton. At the outbreak of the Civil war Dr. Ash was appointed contract surgeon for the Union cause and was sent to Memphis, Tennessee. Later he joined General Elliott's naval flotilla plying on the Mississippi river and after the organization of the home guards to resist the encroachment of the enemy in the northern states he was commissioned captain of a company at Brighton. He engaged in active practice for more than fifty years and was one of the best known physicians in this section of the state. He died at the advanced age of eighty-five years, in 1903, and his wife passed away about three years previously. Politically he was an earnest supporter of the republican party and for many years was a close personal friend of Senator Cullom. His religious faith was indicated by membership in the Baptist church but his wife adhered to the Methodist faith. They will long be remembered as two of the most worthy residents that Brighton has known and especially for their kindly acts and generous deeds.
Dr. Ash of this review was reared under highly favorable circumstances and has never been obliged to fight the battle for sustenance, having always possessed an abundance of the good things of life. He attended the public schools, the Brighton high school and the old Brighton Academy, and early turned his attention to the healing art as his life work. He carried forward his preliminary studies under his father and in the fall of 1887, being then about twenty years of age, he entered the Beaumont Hospital Medical College of St. Louis and was graduated from that well known institution with the degree of M.D. in 1889. He practiced for three years with his father and then was appointed chief of the nose and throat clinic of the Marion-Sims medical School of St. Louis, serving in that capacity to the general satisfaction of the officers and students for three sessions. He then returned to Brighton and resumed practice with his father, having now been engaged in the pursuit of his profession at this place for twenty-two years. He fully deserves the high reputation he has gained in his chosen calling. His relations with his medical brethren and his interest in promoting the cause to which he devotes his life are indicated by membership in the Illinois State Medical Society, the Macoupin County Medical Society, the Medical and Surgical Society of Western Illinois, the Tri-State Medical Society and the Alton Medical Society. He is greatly esteemed by his brethren and has served as president of the Macoupin County Medical Society.
In September, 1896, Dr. Ash was married to Miss Mabel Martin, a daughter of Dr. Frank Martin, who was reared at Brighton but after completing his medical studies located at Greenfield, Illinois, and engaged in successful practice. Three children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Ash, John L., Eugene R. and Harriet Louise. Dr. Ash is an active worker in the Masonic order and is a member of Hibbard Lodge, No. 249, A.F. & A.M., in which he has served as master for three terms, he and his wife also holding membership in the Order of the Eastern Star. He is a member of Brighton Camp, No. 1688, M.W.A., and filled the office of president of the Macoupin County Woodmen's Picnic Association for three years. In politics he is an adherent of the republican party. By many years of earnest and successful application to his profession, and also to his duties as a citizen, he has won the respect of the people of this section and today ranks as one of the most popular men of Macoupin county.