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Ashley, Michigan is an incorporated village in northwest Elba Township, southeast Gratiot County, in the central Lower Peninsula.

No major state or federal roads pass through the village, although M-57 passes within a mile to the south. The main roads serving the village are East Garfield Road (Section Line), East McArthur Road (Wallace Street), and South Arnold Road (Quarter Line Street). Wisner Road forms the western boundary of the village, while South McClelland Road forms its eastern boundary. The village of Perrinton is 10.6 miles northwest, Elsie is 11.3 miles southeast, and Ithaca is 15.4 miles north-northwest of Ashley.

The village was platted by Ansel H. Phinney, George P. Dudley, and Miles W. Bullock, land speculators from Howell, Michigan, who correctly presumed that the Ann Arbor Railroad would adopt the location as a site for a station, with sidetracks allowing for the shipment of forest products from the surrounding region. Mr. Phinney became the first postmaster on January 14, 1884. The village was incorporated in 1887 and named for John M. Ashley, a founder and promotor of the Toledo, Saginaw & Muskegon Railroad spur into the town.

Incorporated in January of 1886, the TS&MR offered service between Ashley and Muskegon beginning in August of 1888. The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada took control that same day, but the company did not merge with the Grand Trunk Railway until 1928. Trains began using the Toldeo, Ann Arbor, and Northern Michigan between Ashley and Owosso Junction. Ashley Station became an important station on the Ann Arbor Railroad, as it was the junction point of that line with the Toldeo, Saginaw and Muskegon division of the Grand Trunk Railroad.

A combined sawmill, hoop mill, and stave mill was erected by Salliotte and Chittenden in 1884. Destroyed by fire, they were rebuilt and continued in operation until 1910, when they were closed due to a scarcity of timber. Other mills were started by Charles Lyon, and Cole and Rheubottom established several coal kilns along the railroad tracks. Brick and tile works were opened by Fred Tompkins and A.E. Fuller, which remained in operation for several years. The Fuller home was the seventh built in Ashley.

Today, the trains still come through Ashley, but Ashley Depot is no longer in operation. The village's population is between five and six hundred, most of whom work in agriculture or at small businesses and retail stores in town.

The focus of this category is on the village of Ashley, Michigan. Topics related to the village are appropriate for this category, along with local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, and individuals.



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