Biography and Genealogy
(1796 – 1866)
Conecuh County, Alabama
Captain Wilson Ashley, planter, was among the most useful of Conecuh’s sons. He was a native of Barnwell District, South Carolina, born in 1796 the son of John Ashley who emigrated to New York from England about the middle of the eighteenth century, and later removed to Barnwell District, S. C Captain Ashley died at Evergreen, Alabama in 1866. He enlisted as a private in the War of 1812, His entrance into public life was quite early when in 1814 the struggle with Great Britain was pending, Mr. Ashley, then a youth of eighteen joined a volunteer rifle company, of which he became the first lieutenant. He afterward became the captain of this company, and subsequently the captain of a cavalry company.
He removed to Alabama in 1820 and located in Conecuh County, where he resided until his death. “In his new home, his attention was directed altogether to husbandry. The results of his energy and skillful management soon showed themselves in a growing fortune. In 1832 he was called from his favorite pursuit and was made the sheriff of Conecuh county. Three years later he was chosen, without opposition, to represent his county in the General Assembly of the State.
At the expiration of his term of service he peremptorily declined further honors at the hands of the people of the county and returned to the quietude of his rural home. Here he remained until 1861 when the stirring scenes of that period drew him again from his seclusion.
In the election of President and Vice-President, of what was designed to be the permanent government of the Confederacy, Capt. Wilson Ashley was honored by the people of his State with a position on the electoral ticket of Alabama. This closed his career with public life. Mr. Ashley was noted for his suavity of manner, his penetrating discrimination, and his clear judgment.
Once convinced of the righteousness of the cause in which he was enlisted, and his zeal knew no bounds. He had all the elements necessary for a political leader of the people. In his home, he was proverbially hospitable. In his social relations, he was cheerful and generous.s eyes in death in the 74th year of his age. He was a Whig and a Mason.
Captain Wilson Ashley married in 1818, in Barnwell District, Mary Ann, daughter of Adam and Mary (Odem) McCreary, natives of Barnwell District, the former when quite a boy endured the many hardships of the Revolutionary War and removed to Conecuh County in the pioneer period.
Their children were:
- Wilson Ashley, Jr., d. in infancy
- William Adam Ashley m. Amanda Thomas
- Caroline Elizabeth Ashley m. Andrew Jay 4
- James Wilson Ashley d. in infancy
- Susan Ashley m. Sanford Jones, and had one daughter, Mary, who m. Edmond Martin
- Nathaniel Ashley, was a student University of Alabama, 1847-48, private C. S. Army, and retired merchant, m. Polly Stillworth, and had seven children;
- Mary Ann Ashley, m. Charles Thomas Tallaferro/
Captain Wilson Ashley’s last residence was Evergreen. Alabama. Full of years, well spent, and endeared to a host of friends and relatives, he closed his eyes in death in the 74th year of his age.
- History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
- History of Conecuh, Alabama, By B. F. Riley, 1881
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