Ashton is located in Northwest Iowa in the southeast corner of Gilman Township in Osceola County. In 1870 Captain Eldred Huff, an officer with the Civil War Army, established St. Gilman when the proposed site of the Sioux City and St. Paul Railroad was established. The railroad still runs through Ashton today but the original location of St. Gilman was a few miles from the present site. The prospective railroad brought high hopes, homesteaders and business men and with the growing population came a black smith shop, dry goods store, a milliner shop, a saloon and a hotel but than came the plague of grasshoppers. The large infestation of grasshoppers ate everything green, from crops to trees and even the grass. Many left but many remained and once the infestation of grasshoppers died off those who stuck around were
bound and determined to build St. Gilman back up. As more and more people returned so did the businesses. St. Gilman was renamed in 1882
In 1883 A. Patterson and G.W Paterson (Father & Son) came and opened
a loan business that was developed into the Ashton State Bank which is
still in business today. The loan business brought the opportunity for
more homesteaders to open up shop and make main street Ashton
thrive again. Due to the boom in 1883 Ashton was incorporated and
rural public & parochial schools were opened, churches grew in
membership and more houses were built and Ashton began to grow.
There have been many changes throughout the years, businesses have
come and gone and families have scattered but Ashton holds a lot
of history and continues to be a
wonderful place to raise a family. Ashton’s motto for over hundreds of years has been "A Town Growing Together" and those words still ring true today. Ashton may be small in numbers but it is mighty in history.
Information taken from Asthon Centennial Books from 1882 & 1982