Family Stories

Benjamin Henry Ash and Mahala Biggs at Cedar Grove Methodist Cemetery

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Benjamin Henry Ash, born April 9, 1852, died June 10, 1912.  ‘Gone but not forgotten.’  Louellen Ash, born February 24, 1861, died October 7, 1919.  Cedar Grove Methodist Cemetery, Bullitt County, Kentucky.

Benjamin Henry Ash, son of Henry Ash and Mahala Biggs, was born April 9, 1852, the eldest child as far as I can tell, three younger brothers completed the family.  Unfortunately Henry’s father died October 26, 1859, from typhoid fever, according to the death records for Bullitt County for that year.  Henry was 36 years of age, born in Nelson County, Kentucky, the son of Henry and Margaret Ash.  Henry and Mahala Ash’s son, Hillary Huston, age two years, also died in 1859, on December 31st.   So in the 1860 Census of Bullitt County, Mahala Ash is listed as head-of-household, with sons Benjamin, 8; James F., 6; and John E. W., 5.  I could not find Mahala Ash and her children in 1870, but by 1880 she had married George Murray Ash – perhaps an older brother or relative of her first husband?  Included in the household is Julia Simmons, a granddaughter of George, and two step-sons – Ben, 28 and John, 24.

Let’s step back in time a moment to the 1850 Census of Bullitt County.  Mahala Biggs, 20, is listed with her parents, Benjamin G. Biggs, 61, born in Maryland, and Rutha, 58 (last name Friddle).  Other children listed in the Bigg’s household are Leticia, 21; Eli, 13; and Sarah F., 10.

There is one birth record of the children of Henry Ash and Mahala Biggs – October 1, 1855, John E. W. Ash.

Benjamin Henry Ash married Louellen Davis circa 1885.  I could not find an exact date, but their only child, Ila B. Ash was born in April, 1893, according to the 1900 Census of Bullitt County, Kentucky.  Benjamin is listed as age 48, born April 1852, married for 15 years.  Louellen is listed as 39, born February 1861, had one child, one child living.  In 1910 everything is the same except the addition of ten years to each age – still just one child.

The last thing I have to report on this family is the saddest by far.  According to his death certificate Benjamin Henry Ash died June 10, 1912, 60 days, 2 months and 1 day, from suicide ‘by cutting his throat with a butcher knife’ at 5 a.m.  What horrible things made him do this?  Was it something that happened in his life?  I felt so sad when I read that!  His father is listed as Harry Ash, mother, Hallie Biggs, both born in Kentucky.  How his wife and son must have mourned his passing.

Louellen Ash lived seven more years before passing away October 7, 1919.  She and husband Benjamin are buried side by side at Cedar Grove Methodist Cemetery.

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