Contact the City of Ashton:

Nancy Marnach, City Clerk
2191 Nettle Avenue, Ashton, Iowa 51232


"Welcome to Ashton" 

"Growing Together: City and Country" 

Established in 1882.

Incorporated in 1885 

Almost 130 years ago there was a little village in Osceola County called St. Gilman. The first resident of the Gilman Township was Capt. Eldred Huff, who served as an officer with the Union Army during the Civil War. He hauled a load of lumber all the way from Sioux City for his house because there were no trees on the prairie. The town of St. Gilman was laid out in 1872. The first businesses included a lumberyard, a blacksmith shop and even a hotel. A millinery shop and a saloon followed. Then came the grasshoppers.

"They ate everything green; which included corn, grain, potatoes, the grass and leaves and bark of the young trees," according to "Growing Together," a history book of Ashton published in 1982. "The storekeepers sold, what they could and packed up everything else and left. The hotel had no customers and went out of business, the saloon keeper had to tend to both sides of the bar and do all the drinking himself.

In the early 1870s however, things began to improve. In 1883 business revived in Ashton, which had been renamed the previous year after May Ashton, the daughter of a railroad man who traveled in the area. The town was incorporated in 1885.

The first rural schools in the township were established around that time, and a school was built in town sometime before 1895. St. Joseph Catholic School was established in 1889. A variety of houses of worship also sprang up in Ashton, including the First Presbyterian Church and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (later renamed St. Mary's Catholic Church). The Ashton Bible Church was established much later, in the 1950s.

Ashton parents can choose to send their children to the Sibley-Ocheyedan or Sheldon school district, both of which are short drives.

Ashton (population: 450) is home to Osceola County’s Freedom Rock and Ashton Pits Access Area plus the DeBoer Grocery Museum.

Ashton website:

Ashton Town and County Facebook page: