Ash (Esch), George, Sr.
B: 17 Nov 1843, Trimbach, Alsace (Bas-Rhin), France
D: 1914, St. Vincent, Kittson County, Minnesota, USA
M: Salome Donneral b. 1849 d. 1920

The Ash family and the Donneral family both came from Alsace-Lorraine. When George was five years old, his folks arrived and Salome was just six months when she crossed the ocean. They grew up in a German community near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

FN: George Ash (Esch)
MN: Barbara Unknown

The George Ash & Salomey Donneral Ash family moved to St. Vincent in 1879.

Children of George Ash, Sr, and Salome Donneral:

George Ash
B:
M: Nellie Sugden:

John Ash
B: 21 Mar 1872, and came to U.S. with his parents in 1879.
M: 03 Jun 1903, Mabel Horn, no children but they took the three daughters of Mamie and Russell Horne: Marie, May, and Madeline into their home and provided for their education.

William Ash
B: 15 Jan 1869, Vaughan Twp., York County, ON
D: 24 Jan 1950, St. Vincent, Kittson County, Minnesota, USA
M: Carolina "Carrie" Cederholm

Thomas Ash
B: 05 Jan 1874, Maple, Vaughan Twp., York County, ON
D: 02 Nov 1929, St. Vincent, Kittson County, Minnesota, USA
M: Jun 1906, Esther Johnson in St. Vincent, MN b. 05 Jan 1879, Cannon Falls, Goodhue County, Minnesota, USA, dau of Adolf Frederick Johnson and Mary Miller.

Marguerite or Margaret Mable "Mattie" Ash Esch
B: 02 May 1876, Vaughan Twp., York County, ON
D: Likely in Kittson County, Minnesota
M: Abt 1896, John Horgan b. Abt 1873, likely in Kittson County, Minnesota

Catherine "Cassie" Ash Esch
B: 1878, Vaughan Twp., York County, ON
M: Abt 1893, Thomas Seed b. 11 Aug 1876, Vaughan Twp., York County, ON, son of David Seed, Sr. and Barbara Ash Esch.

Barbara Ash
B: 02 Jan 1882, St. Vincent, Kittson County, MN
D: Feb 1970, Hallock, Kittson County, MN
M: never married

Lena Ash
B:
M: John Webster

Josephine Ash
B:
M: George Webster


They farmed for a few years in Ontario on rented farms. One of the two farms George rented was owned by a man whose son wished to get married and move onto that farm. George gave up his lease and started to look for a farm of his own. He spent a year searching in Ontario and Manitoba.

With about $1,000 from selling out, they started out for Manitoba in 1878. They took a boat from Collingwood, Ontario to Duluth, Minnesota. This boat, named Owen Sound, sank two years later. It is nice it didn't happen on this trip or here would have ended our tale. They stayed all night in the Emmigrant shed. There were other emmigrants there too as a quote from a letter by William states "That is where I saw the first firth happen." From Duluth, they took the railroad to Fisher Landing just west of Crookston, Minn. Next lap of the journey was by steamboat and the railroad company used wood for fuel cut in shorter than cordwood lengths. This wood was cut by horse powered tread mill saws.

Salome and the children spent some time with her sisters who were married to two Bernath brothers. The two Bernaths and George took the train in May and headed for Winnipeg. Within five miles of the city, a box car loaded with horses, jumped the track. The men used axes and chopped a hole in the car and saved the horses. They walked the rest of the way into Winnipeg where they saw teams of horses stuck in the Red River Valley mud on Main Street. George walked 60 miles to Blue Sefairs and saw some tame buffalo. On the way, they ate two calves that had lain all winter in the ground under the snow but had never frozen.

The family and the older Bernath brother went back to Ontario and ferried around Georgian Bay area as George wanted a farm where there wasn't too much woods, rivers, or lakes. Discouraged, back they went to Manitoba and stayed awhile in a hotel in Emerson while George worked in a brick yard.

Salome did not want to come to the United States as the States had a bad name in Canada for a while after the Civil Way. They had been moving just to put roots down somewhere. They bought the homestead rights from a man who had enough of homesteading. This farm was in St. Vincent Township, Kittson County, Minnesota along the Joe River, a tributary of the Red.

For $450.00 they now owned 160 acres of fertile Red River Valley land. On it was a delapitated shack 14 x 24 with one strip of roofing paper between them and the elements. A trip west of Pembina was necessary to find a team of oxen for $160.00 and a milk cow. Twenty acres of the land was broken and seeded, the rest was virgin prairie.

In June, the family moved in. The first night it rained and nine people huddled together under one strip of tar paper and an old umbrella. It looked like rain the next night so they accepted an invitation to spend the night with neighbors who lived along the river north east of the Joe River school. George had gone into St. Vincent to get shingles so the third night one side of the house was covered.

The house was built of one ply of lumber so they sealed it up on the inside with paper and boards. A ladder along one wall lead to the loft. After filling the mattress ticks with prairir hay, beds were made between the joists which were four feet apart. Here the boys slept foot to foot being careful not to raise up too quickly for fear of bumping their head on the low rood. Downstairs was furnished with a home made bed, table, and benches.

June 25th, George and the original owner went to Crookston, the nearest land office, to make the transfer of title. He also applied for his citizenship papers on this trip. Seven years later he got his second papers making the whole family bona fide United States citizens. As U.S. citizens, German was no longer spoken in the home.

Having no education, George did all his figuring in his head. He did serve on the Relief Jury in Toronto and on the first Peti Jury in Kittson County. He was the first Treasurer of the Joe River School Board.

George and Salome lived the rest of their lives in the Joe River community and are buried in the St. Vincent Cemetery.

Their son, Thomas, farmed the home place and later, Walter Ward, owned it followed by his son, Willis.

Sources:

William G. Ash = "William G. Ash" <wgash@hotmail.com>

Milfred D. Hart = "Milfred & Myrtle Hart" <mmh@ruralaccess.net>

Russel M. Hart = (Formation1@earthlink.net) (Has many pictures)