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W. H. Ashby

The buoyant life and daring energy which so unmistakably is shown in the development of the Great West springs in large measure from the coming hither of the bravest people of all nationalities, who bring the best elements of their respective countries and localities, forming a composite civilization of the highest value. This is notably shown in the young, progressive state of Wyoming, and in this volume, especially dedicated to the "Progressive Men of Wyoming," such men demand consideration. Among this number in the county of Converse we must particularly give attention to W. H. Ashby, who, a native of England, has cast in his lot and given his mental strength and physical abilities to the task of aiding in the redeeming of the state from its primitive condition of unproductiveness by replacing the wild beasts with domestic animals and thus exploiting the numberless resources of the state in the interests of civilization. Mr. Ashby comes of an old-time sterling family of England, his birthplace being in Northampton, where he was born on June 15th, 1848, a son of George and Mary A. (Starmer) Ashby, his paternal grandfather William Ashby, being a shoemaker, while on the maternal side his grandfather was a farmer, as was also his father, who continued in that honorable vocation all the days of his life. The eldest of the seven children of the family, Mr. Ashby early had great conceptions of the advantages presented in the wonderful land of America, and at the early age of fourteen crossed the mighty ocean and made his residence in the scenic city of Ottawa Canada, soon however crossing the international line, he passed two years in New York occupied with freighting, at the termination of this employment migrating to Iowa, being there industriously engaged for two years, thence removing in 1868 to Wyoming, then in the first period of pioneer occupancy. Cheyenne was but a small town of tents, but here Mr. Ashby found congenial friends and employment for a time on the Union Pacific Railroad and later in the dangerous life of a freighter. The Indians were then roaming in numbers over the vast plains and frequently made hostile demonstrations on the freighting outfits they considered they could easily overpower, and in this connection Mr. Ashby had manifold adventures. In 1872 he engaged in range riding, continuing this life of intrepidity and excitement until 1890, thence going to Grant, Oregon, and engaging in distilling for three years, when a mighty flood swept away, not only the distillery, but the entire town. Returning to Wyoming, for eighteen months he was in charge of, the Van Tassell cattle outfit, thereafter coming to the La Prele valley and purchasing the interests of George La Vassar on the upper La Prele, where he is building a most attractive home and conducting a fine stock business, having 320 acres of well located land, a portion being under effective irrigation, and raising large crops of alfalfa, etc. His residence, barns and other accessories to good husbandry are creditable additions to the estate, and the whole form a most desirable home. For a number of years Mr. Ashby was the efficient foreman of the Bridle Bit outfit of the Union Cattle Co., running 35,000 head on the Platte River. Miss Mona Furnall and Mr. Ashby were married on January 1, 1890. She is a native of Ohio, where her father has long been connected with coal mining.

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