W. J. Ashmore, dealer in boots and shoes (firm of Ashmore & Mitchell), Charleston; was born in Coles Co., Ill., May 15, 1853; he is the youngest son of Samuel C. Ashmore, who came to Coles Co. among the early settlers, and entered a large tract of Government land, and when Douglas Co. was formed, the line passed through the middle of his land; he was a prominent farmer and stock-raiser, and for many years held the office of Justice of the Peace. He died in 1855; his widow Sarah Ashmore and six children still surviving. The son, W. J. Ashmore, when about 20 years of age, went to Lebanon, Ohio, and spent one year as a student in the State Normal School. In 1874, he came to Charleston and engaged as a clerk for B. M. Payne, and on the 18t of January, 1878, engaged with A. M. Mitchell in the boot and shoe trade. He was married Oct. 2, 1878, to Miss Belle Arterburn, of Kansas, Edgar Co., Ill.