Home Page: History
The first person known to settle in the area was Mr. Grouch in 1843.
Henry Barnett, Josiah Perry, and Charles Crownhart, along with several other people, settled in the Eastern portion of the Township in the summer of 1844.
The first homes built were log shanties to protect the settlers from the weather.
Land was cleared to make the way for planting crops the following year.
Timber was plentiful and consisted mostly of basswood, elm, maple, ash, hickory, oak, butternut.
The soil in the area was found to be mostly clay and loam, with a fine sand, that produced good wheat, oats, and peas, and was also excellent for use as pasture land for animals.
The Town of Ashford was established in 1849.
Before that time it was part of the Town of Auburn.
The first elected officials were Robert E Adams, Chairman; and George Thorn; Town Clerk. They were elected in April 1849 during an election held at the home of William Boener. Another paper says the first elected officials were: Daniel D. Wilcox, Chairman and Seth G. Pickett, Town Clerk.
Why was the township named “Ashford?” It was because of the large amount of ash timber in the area that was burned, with the ash being used for fertilizing the land, although it was called the Town of Chile for a short time before being changed to Ashford.
First death: Mrs. Electra Prior; September 1844. Her daughter Mrs. Watson, died soon after, so that both were interred in the same grave.
First birth was in the family of Mr. J.E. Helmer.
The first marriage was Mr. Elezar Sisco to Miss Fanny Prior.
The first school was taught by Miss Calista Colvin in the home of Mr. J Perry in the summer of 1847.
The first religious meeting was held at the home of Mr. Henry Barnett, conducted by the Rev. Mr. Sears.
Joel McShooler was Treasurer of both the Town of Ashford and Auburn during the early years of its settlement.
Population in 1853: approximately 1,000.