Boone County Missouri - Town of Ashland
The following is quoted directly from The History of Boone County
Missouri by W.F. Switzler originally published in 1882, page 633-638.
Town of Ashland
This beautiful little inland city is located in one of the finest
agricultural sections of Boone county, or even the State of Missouri, for
that matter. Its immediate situation is on the line between sections
10 and 15, of township 46, range 12, the forest lying on the north,
west and south, the Two-Mile Prairie stretching up to the town limits
on the east. The country round is beautifully undulating, and no
stranger can visit Ashland without being impressed with the fact that
it would be a good place to live. The first house in the town was built
by Peter Nichols, on the lot now occupied by the residence of Mr.
Christian. D. M. and A. M. Burnam erected the first store-house in
January, 1853, on what is now known as "Farmers' Corner." The
Burnams occupied the building on its completion, placing therein a
general merchandise stock. In the fall of the same year a business
house was built by P. E. and Wm. A. Nichols on the site where
Keen's restaurant now stands. Other houses were soon added, and
the place began to take on the appearance of a village. For some
years it continued to grow and flourish, the fine farming country
adjacent demanding just such a market as Ashland afforded. It was not
till May, 1877, however, that the town was incorporated as a city of
the fourth class. The first board of trustees were Eli Penter, J. W.
Grannis, W. T. Nichols, John G. Wiseman, A. G. Payne -- Wiseman
being the chairman. R. C. Bowman had the honor of being the first
city marshal. The first sidewalk in the town was built in 1880. A
large mill was erected in 1877, with "five run of stone" and a grinding
capacity of one hundred barrels per day, the flour being made by
patent process. The mills are owned by the Ashland Mill Company,
and cost over $20,000. The Farmers' Bank was incorportated and
commenced business August 3d, 1881. The directors were Abner
Martin, J. W. Johnston, R. E. Sappington, H. T. Wright, Peter Ellis, Sr.,
O. B. Thomas and Eli Penter, the latter being elected president,
and Edward L. Dimmitt chosen cashier. The city board at this time
presents the following names: Eli Penter, chairman; T. W. Peck,
treasurer; W. R. Hopper, marshal; D. L. McBride, B. P. Matthews,
T. G. Tuttle, J. T. Rothwell, trustees, and W. J. Warren, city
At the town election in April, 1882, the citizens voted an appropriation
of $3,000 for improving the streets.
The school building, a two-story frame edifice, was erected in 1859
by a company incorported as the Ashland High School Association.
It was purchased by the district in 1871, and devoted to public school
purposes. They employ two teachers, the principle at this writing
being Prof. Buckmaster. The town also has a colored school, with an
attendance of about fifty pupils. The town now has a population of
about five hundred, as it has grown since the census was taken in
Ashland has two hotels, a livery, feed and sale stable, and several
restaurants, thus securing entertainment and comfort for man
and beast. The situation of the town generally, and on the gravel road
from Columbia to Claysville specially, give it a commercial prestige
enjoyed by few inland towns of its size. Her shops and stores are
therefore thrifty, and her citizens of a hardy class, most of her business
men having come from the agricultural element originally, and
possessed of that sturdiness that usually characterizes such a class.
Her professional men, numbering two lawyers and several physicians,
are as enterprising and successful as her merchants. The various
churches and lodges, of which Ashland has several, are historically
outlined in the sketches given hereafter. One of the chief enterprises
of this enterprising town is the well-known and far-famed
Ashland Stock Sales,
A term used to signify a periodical convocation of live stock dealers
at Ashland, to buy and sell and "trade" horses, mules, cattle, etc.
These stock sales had their origin and conception in the fertile brains
of W. H. Bass and J. W. Johnston, who may properly be said to
father the enterprise. In the fall of 1881, a company, called the
"Boone County Stock Sales Company," was formed, with W. H.
Bass a superintendent and J. W. Johnston, secretary. The other
members of the board of directors were O. B. Thomas, George M.
Nichols, George Arnold, Peter Ellis, W. H. Thompson, Alex. Bradford,
W. S. Burnett, Thomas L. Bass, and W. S. Maupin, with R. S.
Martin as treasurer. The first notices of sales were issued for
November 5, 1881, and have taken place regularly once a month since
that time. The sale lots are located just north of the buildings on
the north side of the principal street, and are so systematically
arranged as to be a model of convenience in handling stock before and
after selling. Mr. W. H. Bass, one of the originators of this scheme,
was so kind as to take the historian all through these yards and
explain their utility and convenience. Buyers and sellers come from
other counties in Central Missouri to attend these sales, and much
valuable property of the kind changes hands at every sale. The selling
is done principally by auction or outcry, Col. Worley, of Columbia,
being the official auctioneer.
The only paper published in the place is a Democratic weekly,
called the Ashland Bugle, edited by James L. Wilcox, who has issued
it as a weekly since April 13, 1877. It was originally a monthly,
founded by Eli Penter and J. W. Johnston, who began its publication
chiefly as an advertising medium, in 1875. [See biography of
J. L. Wilcox.]
One of the historic reminiscences of the usually peaceable town of
Ashland is what is known as the "Ashland riot," which occurred
there on election day, November the 4th, 1878. About four o'clock
P.M., the streets were filled with negroes, many of whom were noisy
and turbulent, from having imbibed too freely of bad liquor that always
flows too freely on election days. The deputy marshal ordered
them to keep quiet, when one of the "nigs" replied with a most insulting
epithet, which naturally raised the anger of the officer, who, of
course, seemed inclined to resent. Both negroes and whites became
involved in the quarrel from this, and both sides armed themselves
(most of them probably already supplied), in anticipation of trouble.
The conflict soon became general, and a negro named Harris is said
to have fired the first shot, though the confusion was so great and
the excitement so intense that it is not certain as to who burnt the
first powder. But it is certainly known that, for a short space of
time, the air was filled with flying rocks and whistling bullets; and,
strange as it may seem, no one killed or indeed very seriously hurt,
though several casualties of a minor sort occurred. The Ashland
Bugle, in its next issue, makes mention of the following: Jim
Harris (colored) was shot in hip, and also received a scalp wound.
Alex. Bass (colored), wounded in breast by pistol shot. Lowson
Grey (colored, and reported to be one of the leaders of the riot),
shot through the hand and in the back. A stray shot grazed the
cheek of a daughter of Dr. R. S. Martin, who was standing in her
father's yard, listening to the band when the riot began.
Secret Orders -- Masonic Lodge.
Ashland lodge, No. 156, A. F. and A. M., was instituted May 1st,
1858, the dispensation bearing date of May 28th, 1859. F. G. Sitton
was the first master, and the other charter members were P. J. Ruffner,
E. M. Bass, J. S. Strode, Wm. H. Harris, John Grant, J. S.
Winterbower, D. L. Sitton, R. S. Martin, H. M. Strode, Theo.
Brooks and J. B. Patten. The present officers are H. T. Wright,
W. M.; A. P. Nichols, S. W.; John W. Sterne, J. W.; E. Penter,
treasurer; W. P. Boqua, secretary; H. S. Baxter, S. D.; William
Crane, J.D. The present membership numbers ninety-three and is
increased from time to time by acquistions of new members, the lodge
being in a growing condition. They have a neat frame hall that cost
$800, and the affairs of the order are in good shape.
Ancient Order United Workmen.
The Ashland Lodge of A.O.U.W. No. 192, was instituted by O. J.
Miller, the date of charter being June 26, 1880. The charter members
were J. W. Johnston, W. R. Hopper, H. T. Wright, John T. Rothwell,
W. R. Stone, H. S. Baxter, Jas T. Mays, B. P. Matthews, Joe Bauman,
S. H. Whitfield, A. J. Harrington, E. R. Westbrook, W. H. Bass,
B. W. Sapp, J. A. Oates, E. M. Bass, W. H. Callaway, H. W. Whipple,
W. P. Boqua, M. D. Matthews and Wm. S. Peak. The following
gentlemen were the first officers: H. T. Wright, P. M. W.; W. P.
Boqua, M. W.; W. T. Lemon, G. F.; S. H. Whitfield, overseer;
W. J. Warren, recorder; W. R. Hopper, financier; Joe Bauman, recorder;
Eli Nichols, guard; J. A. Kerr, inside watchman; William Blackburn,
outside watchman. The number present membership is 36. They
own, as yet, no hall of their own, but use a rented room. Mr. H. T.
Wright is delegate to the Grand Lodge.
Patrons of Husbandry.
The Ashland Grange, No 533, P. of H., was instituted by J. R.
Cordell, district deputy, and the date of their dispensation was July
30, 1873, their charter being dated December 23, 1873. A. G. Payne,
Miles Forbis, James W. Edwards, R. V. Burnett, Milton Forbis,
E. M. Bass, J. G. Jones, A. G. Martin, R. T. Bass, R. E. Sappington,
J. C. Wilcox, Mrs. Mary J. Martin, Mrs. Julia M. Bass and ten others
were the original and charter members. The first officers were as follows:
Master, A. G. Payne; overseer, J. G. Jones; chaplain, W. T. Waters;
steward, J. H. Sappington; assistant steward, R. T. Bass;
treasurer, James Edwards; secretary, R. E. Sappington; lecturer,
E. M. Bass; gate keeper, J. C. Wilcox. The present officers are:
Master, J. G. Jones; overseer, S. H. Whitfield; lecturer, R. V. Burnett;
steward, J. H. Sappington; assistant steward, Eli Winterbower;
chaplain, William Coons; treasurer, T. Christian; secretary,
G. D. Sappington; gate keeper, J. H. Nichols; Pomona, Mary B. Sappington;
Ceres, Susan E. Bager; lady assistant steward, Celestine Guilloze.
The grange at this writing numbers a membership of fifty.
They use a rented hall, having never built a room in which to meet.
Ashland Baptist Church.
As indicated by its name, this church is situated in the town of
Ashland, its immediate location being lot No. 1 of block No. 2
Broadway Street. The date of its organization was April 19, 1879,
about forty members being named on its charter roll. The church,
which is a neat and commodious frame building, was erected in 1880,
at a cost of about twenty-five hundred dollars. It was dedicated by
the Rev. Joseph C. Maple, in November, 1881. The names of the
pastors are Jonathan M. McGuire, who served the church a short
time after it was constituted, and Rev. E. D. Isbell, D. D., who
succeeded Rev. McGuire, and is still the preacher in charge at this
writing. The present membership numbers seventy, and the church
bids fair to be a power for good in the community.
M. E. Church (South)
Was organized in 1854, the names of the original members being
James Roberts, Sr., Thomas H. Roberts, Lawrence Bass, Edwin
Bass, Eli M. Bass, W. C. Maupin, Mrs. Elizabeth J. Maupin, George
W. Dennis, Lewis Percell, Jacob Morris, Mrs, G. W. Dennis, Mrs.
Lewis Percell, Whitley Madden, Mary F. Martin, and William T.
Elliott. The first church building was a frame structure erected the
same year after the church was organized. The present building was
finished in 1875, and is also a frame, the cost of which was fifteen
hundred dollars. It was dedicated in 1876 by John D. Vincil, D. D.
The present pastor is Rev. H. D. Groves. George W. Rich,
A. P. Linn, William Penn and Samuel W. Cope were connected with the
organization of this church. The historian was not furnished with
sufficient statistics from which to make out a complete history of the
church, but has done the best he could with the matter at hand.
This church was organized April 20, 1881. The elegant new church
house is a frame structure erected in January, 1882, at a cost of
twenty-five hundred dollars, and was dedicated the same month by Rev.
C. H. Hardin of Mexico, Missouri. Rev O. A. Carr, the present
preacher in charge, is the first and only pastor the church has yet had.
The particular aim of Elder Carr and his congregation is the restoration
of Apostolic Christianity in faith and practice, with no creed but
that "Jesus is the Christ, the son of the the living God," and the Bible as
the only rule of faith and guide of action. The present membership
numbers fifth-two. Nothing is required as a test of fellowship but
what the New Testament enjoins as necessary to pardon.
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