Dr. John Ash, who stands in the front rank among his professional brethren of this county, is now engaged in practice in Brighton, where he has made his home since 1853. He claims Pennsylvania as the State of his nativity, having been born in West Callen Township, Chester County, November 29, 1818. The family is of German origin and was founded in America by the great grandfather of our subject, Joseph Ash, who emigrated from Germany prior to the Revolutionary War. He lived in the city of Philadelphia for a short time and there married a German lady, after which he removed to a farm in Chester County, where he died at the age of ninety-seven years. He was a man small of stature but very wiry and only a few years before his death worked as a hand in the harvest field. Our subject is one of the four great-grandchildren who attended his funeral as pallbearers. His wife reached the ripe old age of ninety-five and both she and Mr. Ash were members of the Lutheran Church. William Ash, the grandfather of our subject, was born and reared on his father’s farm in Chester County, Pa., and there spent his entire life. He died in 1850, at the age of seventy years, from a cancer on the lip. In the county of his nativity he had married Nancy Stepler, who was a member of the Society of Friends and lived to an advanced age.
Joseph Ash, father of the Doctor, was also born in Chester County, Pa., where members of the family are still living. He married Miss Elizabeth Zigler, daughter of Tilchman and Catherine Zigler, who were natives of Germany but spent the greater part of their lives in Chester County, Pa., where they passed away when well advanced in years. Joseph Ash and his wife emigrated Westward in 1853, locating in Brighton, where the lady died at the age of sixty-six years. Mr. Ash long survived her and was called to his final rest when ninety years of age. In the East they had both united with the Baptist Church, but after coming to this county joined the Methodist church. They lived consistent lives and were numbered among the highly respected people of the community.
We now take up the personal history of the Doctor, who is the second in order of birth in a family of six children, four sons and two daughters, all of whom are living, are married, have families and are prospering. Our subject acquired his literary education in the public schools and having determined to make the practice of medicine his life work, he entered the Pennsylvania Medical College of Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in the spring of 1851. He also attended the Strawsburg Academy for two years. Believing in the West there were better openings than in the more thickly settled States of the East, he came at once to Illinois, locating in Delphi, Jersey County, but the same year removed to Piasa, where he remained until coming to Brighton in 1853. He hung out his shingle, opened an office and announced that he was ready to attend to any in need of medical services. From the beginning his business constantly increased and it was not long before Dr. Ash was considered one of the best physicians of the county.
In Brighton the Doctor wedded Miss Mary E. Loveland, who was born in Rhode Island, in 1830, and came to this State when a child, with her parents, Leonard and Elizabeth Loveland, who spent the remainder of their lives in Brighton Township, Macoupin County. She is a lady of culture and intelligence, having been educated in Monticello Seminary and Jackson Female College. Unto the Doctor and his wife have been born four children, but Charles died in childhood; Lena and Dora are both graduates of Monticello Seminary; the latter is now the wife of Dr. James Mason, a leading dental surgeon of the town of Carlinville; and John R., who graduated from the Vermont Hospital Medical College of St. Louis, is now engaged in practice with his father and is a leading and enterprising young physician. Mrs. Ash is a prominent and active member of the Methodist Church and the Doctor holds membership with the Baptist Church. He is also a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to Belvedere Commandery, No. 2 K.T. of Alton, and in politics he and his son are Republicans. His skill and ability are recognized by his fellow practitioners and the liberal patronage which he receives is well merited. He is still a student of the profession, keeping abreast with every discovery connected with the science of medicine and in his forty years’ experience he has gained a practical knowledge which classes him high in the ranks of his profession. During the late war he served for some months as a surgeon in Memphis, Tenn.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.