Ashton, James, Jr. – Grundy County is largely agricultural, but its prosperous towns, its many manufactories, its schools and its churches prove that a vigorous life underlies every activity, although here, as in every section of the earth, dependence is naturally placed on the products of the land and the labor of those who develop it. It makes no difference in what way men toll, or how much they achieve in any direction, they must all be fed, and it is the farmer, in the background, who furnishes the food products. In Grundy County there are found numerous contented owners of land, who intelligently and willingly carry on the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, and although they may not seek such a term of approbation, are, nevertheless, benefactors of mankind. They are usually men of strong intellect and sturdy body, qualified for public service, for the proper cultivation of the soil and a realization of its utmost yield, require knowledge on many subjects. One of the younger generation of agriculturists in Grundy County, who is meeting with success as a grain grower is James Ashton, Jr., of Saratoga Township. He was born at Morris, Ill., May 10, 1879, and is a son of James and Harriett (McKenzie) Ashton.
Mr. Ashton received ordinary educational advantages in the schools of Grundy County, and was brought up a farmer, residing with his parents until 1899, when he embarked upon a career of his own on his father’s farm. He and his wife specialize on raising White Leghorn chickens, having more than 500 all the time. He boarded at the home of his brother until his marriage, March 5, 1907, to Miss Luella Hoyt, who was born at Morris, Ill., October 12, 1886, a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Sargant) Hoyt. To this union there have been born two sons, namely: Raymond Irving, on March 8, 1908, and Dorothy M., on May 21, 1913. Mr. Ashton is known as a skilled farmer and a steady, reliable citizen. He has at all times shown a commendable willingness to aid in the advancement of his county, and through honorable dealing has gained a reputation for integrity. He votes with the Republican party and his religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source: History of Grundy County, Illinois. Chicago, IL, USA: Munsell Publishing, 1914, p. 756-757.