Ashburn Family Genealogy Forum
Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa, (Lewis Publishing Company (1887)), pp. 578-79:
"J. M. ASHBURN, one of the old pioneers of Decatur County, now living on section 26, Bloomington Township, was born in McLean County, Illinois, October 9, 1842, the eldest son of Jesse and Elmira (Glass) Ashburn, who were natives of Overton County, Tennessee, and Ohio, respectively. They had twelve children born to them -- James M., our subject; Mary F., Sophia J., Lydia A., Sarah A., Samantha, Hannah E., Robert A., George W., Charles and two who died in early childhood. Our subject was ten years of age when he left his native county, and started with his parents for Iowa. They located in Fayette County, Illinois. In 1856 the family settled in Burrell Township, Decatur County, making their home near Terre Haute. James M. grew to manhood on a farm in this county, receiving in his youth the benefit of the common schools. He enlisted in the late war July 6, 1861, a member of Company D, Fourth Iowa Infantry and participated in the engagements of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, first and second battles of Jackson, Mississippi, Champion Hill, siege of Vicksburg, Brandon, Mississippi, Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, in the Atlanta campaign, and in the battles at Jonesboro and Savannah. He was wounded by a piece of shell at Chickasaw Bayou, and was shot through his clothing at Vicksburg. He was honorably discharged at Davenport, Iowa, August 18, 1865, when he returned to Decatur County. He was married May 9, 1867, to Miss Ruth E. Mercer, a daughter of John and Margaret Mercer, her father having been one of the pioneers of this county. He was a member of the Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry in the war of the Rebellion, and died in the hospital at St. Louis in 1864. Mr. Ashburn has resided in his present farm since 1869, and is engaged in raising, feeding, buying and shipping stock. His farm, which contains 270 acres of choice land, is under thorough cultivation, and his residence and farm buildings are comfortable and commodious. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party. He is one of the representative citizens of Bloomington Township, and has held several of the township offices, with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He is a member of the Anti-Horse-Thief Association."
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