James R. ASHLEY, Secretary Joliet Wire Fence Co., Joliet; was born in Lewis Co., N. Y., in February, 1825; in 1837, his father came West with his family and settled in Plainfield, Will Co., Ill. He was a minister in the Baptist Church: and labored many years for the churches in Plainfield, Naperville, Downer’s Grove, and organized the church in Joliet; he still resides in Plainfield, having almost completed his fourscore years. James enjoyed a good common-school education, and was at an early age introduced to business life; after his majority he began mercantile life in Plainfield, which he followed twenty years; in 1871, he sold out his store and in the sping of 1874, began business in Joliet in company with A. B. Sharp, in the manufacture and sale of the Excelsior Axle Grease; this he continued till January, 1876, when he formed a co-partnership with Scutt & Watkins, under the firm name of H. P. Scutt &. Co., and engaged in the manufacture of barbed fence; in October, 1876, he purchased the interest of Mr. WATKINS in the firm, and a stock company was formed under the name of the Joliet Wire Fence Company, of which he was chosen Secretary, a position he still holds. He was married Oct. 27, 1850, to Julia F. TYLER, a native of Troy, N. Y.; has one child living—Ellie M.; three deceased—Alice E., Christina, and Nellie.
Source: History of Will County, Illinois; Chicago: Wm LeBaron Jr & Co, 186 Dearborn Street, 1878.