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There is very particular satisfaction in referring to the life history of the gentleman whose name initiates this review, since his mind bears the impress of the historic annals of the state of Kansas from the early pioneer days, and from the fact that he has been a loyal son of the Republic and a representative citizen of Atchison county. He was born in Hodgensville, Kentucky, in 1838, and is a son of Gediah and Barbara (Miller) Ashcraft, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, where they spent their childhood days and were married. The father was of Scotch and Irish lineage, while the mother was descended from an old German family that was early founded in North Carolina. In 1852 the parents of our subject removed from Kentucky to Missouri, and in 1856 came to Kansas, locating upon a claim in Mt. Pleasant township, Atchison county, where the father pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land, purchasing the same at a dollar and a quarter per acre when it came into market. This property he improved, continuing to reside thereon until his death, which occurred in 1872, at the age of sixty-two years, his birth having occurred in 1810. His wife died in 1894; at the age of seventy-eight years, her birth having occurred in 1816. They had a family of twelve children, four of whom are living, three sons and a daughter. These are: Abram; Mary E., wife of Benjamin B. Curtis; James W., who is living in Joplin, Missouri; and John J.

Mr. Ashcraft, of this review, acquired his education in private schools in Kentucky and Kansas. He accompanied his parents on their various removals and resided with them on the old homestead in Atchison county until June, 1862, when he crossed the plains to Idaho and was engaged in placer mining near Idaho City until the summer of 1866, when he returned and engaged in farming with his brother, Abram, until 1881, when he purchased his present farm, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of rich land in Shannon township, Atchison county. He is one of the successful cattle-dealers of his neighborhood. He raises stock on an extensive scale. His farm is well improved with all modern accessories and conveniences, and he is regarded as one of the leading agriculturists of this locality. His business methods are systematic, his dealings straightforward and honorable and his labors are prosecuted with energy and perseverance. Such qualities always insure success and have brought to him a well deserved competence.