Maj. James H. Ashcraft

Source; Biographical Sketches from, "Kentucky, History of the State"
Main Author; William Henry Perrin 1887
Submitted by: Vera Burnham

Page 280

Maj. James H. Ashcraft was born on May 4, 1840, in Brandenburg, Meade Co.,Ky. His father, Absalom Ashcraft, died when James H. was an infant, he being the youngest of a family of eleven children. His mother, whose maiden name was Delilah A. Allen, is still living and resides with her son James H. in Paducah. In consequence of her widowhood, with a large family she was unable to do more than to instill habits of honor and industry into her children. James had the privileges of the common schools, and in early life engaged in the wharf-boat business in his native county, until the breaking out of the war, when he responded to the first call of the President for troops, and became a member of Company G.,Twenty-sixth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and in the organization was elected first Lieutenant of that company. He took the field in the fall of 1861, serving until the close of the war. In May, 1862, he was promoted to Captain, and in April, 1865, was promoted to Major of the regiment, with which commisson he was mustered out at the close of the war. He shared the vicissitudes and fortunes of his command through all their varied experience, including the battles of Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, battle of Nashville, Saltville, raid of West Virginia, and the campaign to the Atlantic Coast. While on detached duty in Kentucky, he was ambushed and wounded in Meade County, near his old home and birthplace. At the close of the war, he returned to Brandenburg and for two years was engaged in mercantile pursuits; thence went to Louisville, Ky., and for a short time engaged in the grocery buisness, but in 1869 was appointed United States Revenue Storekeeper, which he filled one year; was then made deputy United States Marshall, under Gen. Murray, serving six years, of which time he was also deputy revenue collector for the First Kentucky District. In February, 1876, he was appointed by President Grant to the official honors of postmaster at Paducah; reappointed by President Arthur, in 1884. Maj. Ashcraft is a man of fine personal appearance, of a military bearing and a true gentleman; to all polite and kind. He is a member of the Plainfield Lodge, No. 449, A.F.& A.M.; Paducah Chapter, No. 30, R.A.M.; Paducah Commandery, No. 11,K.T.; Freindship Lodge, No.61, A.O.U.W.; Rapidan Lodge, No. 341, K.of H.. In December 1865, in Louisville, Ky., he was married to Miss Mary E. Brown, daughter of Dr. E.O.Brown of that city. They have three children; Erasmus B., James H., and Allen M. Ashcraft.