James Ashley, hardware, also of the firm of Drury & Ashley, bankers, is a native of England; came to New York in 1852, and worked in Brooklyn in the iron railing business two years. In 1854, he came to Chicago and followed the same trade there. In the spring of 1857, he came to Dakota County, Neb., and there carried on the blacksmith trade during the summer. In the fall he removed to St. Louis. In the spring of 1858, returned to Dakota County, carried on the blacksmith trade at Logan. In the fall of 1858, he came to Dakota City, and carried on his trade till 1860, when he removed to the Omaha Reservation; worked as the Government blacksmith four years, then came to Decatur in 1864. He, with his brother, carried on a shop two years. He then returned to the agency, where he again worked four years; was then appointed by the agent, Trader with the Omaha; continued two years; then returned to Decatur and went into the hardware business. Their bank was established in February 1879.