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FredQuest Genealogy

Eliza J. Ashley Nichols

Eliza Jane Ashley Nichols
Eliza Jane Ashley Nichols

Edwin Nichols and William David Ashley
Edwin Nichols, on right
William David Ashley (1834-1912)

Edit Nichols
Edith Nichols
daughter of Edwin & Eliza Nichols

Eliza Jane Ashley Nichols (1840-1922)

Biographical Review
Leading Citizens of Hampden County (1895)

Eliza J. Ashley Nichols, a highly esteemed resident and property owner in that part of West Springfield known as Ashleyville, was born on the estate, April 3, 1840. Her father, William Ashley, was born in the neighboring town of Westfield; and her grandfather, Eli Ashley, is supposed to have been a native of the same place. Eli Ashley married Miss Eunice Ashley who was born in West Springfield.

William Ashley was the eldest of three children, and was but fourteen years old when his father died. No property having been left to the widow, William bravely set to work to fill in a measure his father's place and help in the support of the family. At the time of his marriage he settled on the John Ashley farm, which finally came into his possession. He died there in his sixty-second year. William Ashley married Eliza Champion, who was born in Hampden County, and was the daughter of Harvey and Hannah (Ashley) Champion. Her death took place when she was fifty-eight years old. Their children were: Homer, who resides in Boston; Corintha, deceased in 1876; William who resides in Syracuse, Otoe County, Nebraska; Harvey, who died in 1882; and Eliza Jane, Mrs. Nichols.

Eliza Jane Ashley was educated in her native town, and resides with her parents till her marriage in 1865 to Edwin E. Nichols. Mr. Nichols was born in Springfield, August 5. 1839, and was the son of Willard and Sarah (Allis) Nichols. He has a natural taste for mechanics, and was employed in the government water-shops in Springfield for a time; later he worked for the Boston & Albany Railroad Company.

Mrs. Nichols succeeded her parents in the owner ship of the Ashley homestead, and since 1879, when he went South to Savannah, Ga., where he died August 16, 1889. His remains were brought again to his home to be laid in their final resting place. Mrs. Nichols has one daughter, named Edith, the wife of Edward J. Billings.

Mrs. Nichols succeeded her parents in the ownership of the Ashley homestead, and since 1879 has managed it in a thoroughly successful manner. The farm consists of about sixty-five acres of land, which, added to other lands belonging to her, make about one hundred acres all together. The buildings are plenty located on a rise of ground over-looking the Connecticut River and surrounding country. The house, which might well be the envy of the city dweller, is reputed to be one of the oldest among the old houses in town, having been erected over one hundred years ago. It is built in a substantial manner, is well preserved, and presents an appearance of comfort and stability such as belongs especially to the houses standing on the fine old farms in New England, and which seem to connect the modern with the honored times of our worthy forefathers.

An excellent likeness of Mrs. Nichols will be recognized among the portraits of honorable women of Hampden County, descendants of early setters, which find a place between the covers of this "Review."

Biographical Review, The Leading Citizens of Hampden County, Massachusetts (Boston, Massachusetts: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1895), pages 371-2.