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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Calvin L. Ashley

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 637-638 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Calvin L. Ashley, an official in the Union Mills, Incorporated, one of the important manufacturing concerns of St. Johnsville, has been connected with the textile business here since 1902. Alert and progressive, actuated by the spirit of enterprise, he has advanced steadily since he came here more than twenty years ago until he is now assistant treasurer in his firm, which owes much of its success and prosperity to his wise guidance and sound business judgment. He is a native of Taunton, Massachusetts, and was born June 28, 1878, the son of Joseph M. and Emma T. (Thatcher) Ashley. His father is actively engaged in his profession as a mechanical engineer, but the mother has passed away. Mr. Ashley's family is an old one, even in Massachusetts, where people trace their descent back to the Mayflower Pilgrims, and was well established in the colony long before the Revolutionary war was dreamed of. After obtaining an education in the public and high schools of New Bedford, Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1896, Mr. Ashley started out in the textile industry by working for textile and cotton manufacturers in New Bedford. He went to Albany, New York, to take charge of the selling office for the New England Cotton Yarn Company in 1900 and two years later came to St. Johnsville as assistant treasurer of the Royal Gem Mills Company, which has since become a part of the present Union Mills, Incorporated. During the changes in organization that have taken place in that concern Mr. Ashley has remained with it and advanced from one responsible position to the next as he has proved his capacity for bearing the burdens of important executive offices. He is the master of all the details of the intricate textile trade, for he has studied the business from every angle for more than a quarter of a century, and intelligently applies his knowledge to the solution of the problems of his own concern.

Mr. Ashley was married in St. Johnsville, in 1906, to Miss Minnie C. House, a descendant of Christian House, who was with General Herkimer at the battle of Oriskany, and therefore a member of one of the old families of the Mohawk valley. Mr. and Mrs. Ashley have become the parents of five children: Calvin L., Jr., Richard T., Robert C., Joseph M. and Alice E. Ashley. Mrs. Ashley is active in club and civic work in St. Johnsville as president of the Century Club and during the World war took the time from her many family and household duties to act as chairman of the Woman's Liberty Loan committee, which office she filled most acceptably. Mr. Ashley is likewise interested in all that pertains to the civic welfare and social progress of his adopted city. He was chairman of the local division of the Red Cross during the World war and assisted materially in advancing the success of the various Liberty and Victory Loan drives here. As the father of a growing family of children he is, of course, much concerned with the educational facilities afforded by the city and is one of the able members of the St. Johnsville school board, chairman of the board of trustees of the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library and a member of the recreation commission. His clubs are the St. Johnsville and Exchange Clubs and fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order, having taken degrees in the Scottish Rite. Mr. Ashley's membership in the St. Johnsville Reformed church, of which he is a trustee, indicates his religious faith. He has always led a busy and useful life and what he has achieved and enjoyed is the result of his own labors.

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