John Thomas Ashcraft - Biography



JOHN THOMAS ASHCRAFT, a prominent member of the Lauderdale county bar, was born in Clay County, October 15, 1859. He is the son of Andrew J. and Eleanor E. (Wiley) Ashcraft. His father was born in Jackson county, Ga., December 18, 1839. John, the grandfather of A. J., came from England and settled in Anson county, N.C., where his father, Thomas was born August 6, 1786. The mother of A. J. was the daughter of Ephriam Able, a Baptist minister of Culpeper county, Va. Mrs. Eleanor E. Ashcraft, the daughter of John Wiley, was born in St. Clair county, Ala., September 21, 1839. John Wiley's father was Thomas, his grandfather was an Englishman, his mother was Tabitha Noel, the daughter of a Scotchman. Thomas and Tabitha were married in North Carolina, where John was born in 1809. Thomas was in the Indian war, and way lying sick in Talladega when the battle of Jackson's Ford took place. Near the site of this battle John soon afterward settled. John Wiley married Susan, the daughter of Thomas Fairris, who came from the Emerald Isle and settled in Edgefield, S. C., where Susan was born August 20, 1812. John Wiley, his father and mother were Presbyterians, his wife a Methodist. Andrew J. Ashcraft came with his parents to Talladega county, Ala. (afterward changed to Clay), when a boy, where he he [sic] lived till he moved to Whitesboro, Tex., in February, 1889. He is a farmer and machinist. He volunteered and was enrolled in the Fourteenth Alabama, company I, Confederate States army, in March, 1862, and surrendered with Lee, being then chief steward in the receiving and forwarding hospital. He and his wife are the parents of eleven children, eight of whom are living. John Thomas Ashcraft is the eldest. His boyhood was spent on his father's farm and in the schools of the community. At the age of seventeen he entered the Lineville high school, remaining two years. The next two years were spent at the Agricultural and Mechanical college, Auburn, Ala., graduating in 1880 with the degree of bachelor of engineering. He was then co-principal of the Newton, Dale county, high school, till the summer of 1882, when he went to Pike county as co-principal of the Brundidge high school, remaining there three years. In 1885 he accepted the chair of natural science and applied mathematics in Savoy college, Texas. Was principal of the Bells, Tex., high school the next year, and returned to Clay county, ala., in the summer of 1887. Was principal of the Lowndesboro, Ala., institute, 1888-89. His vacations were spent in driving through the country, stimulating young men and women to seek an education. Many came to his schools, and he has enjoyed the pleasure of seeing a good proportion press on through the college and university to honorable positions in the professions and other walks of life. In July, 1889, he moved to Florence, Ala., and was admitted to the practice of law on the 19th of September. Here he has since practiced his profession with success. He is a member of the order of I. O. G. T., an active Baptist and an ardent democrat. On December 21, 1886,he married Anna A., daughter of Dr. G. Hendrick, a prominent physician of Brundidge, Ala. She is a graduate of Judson institute, Marion, Ala. --class 1883. After returning from the war, it was his father's peculiar pleasure to gather the neighboring children around his fireside on the long winter evenings and encourage them to the study of their books, which ad been neglected for four years. To a desire for knowledge there kindled does the subject of this sketch attribute his past achievements and present position in life. [Memorial Record of Alabama. Vol. II. Brant & Fuller. Madison, Wis., 1893. pp. 356-357]

Go To: J. T. Ashcraft - page 2
Go To: J. T. Ashcraft - page 3

Return to: Biographies