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William Horace Ash

Member From: 1887 - 1888

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  • Birth Date: May 15, 1859 Birth Place:Loudoun County, Virginia
  • Death Date: February 14, 1908
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Sallie B. Miller (m.1889)
  • Children:
  • Religion:
  • Education: Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (Hampton University) - graduated 1882
  • Military Service:
  • Occupation/Profession: Studied law; taught agriculture at Virginia Normal & Industrial Institute (Virginia State University)
  • Additional Info Links: Encyclopedia Virginia Biography
    Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
  • Additional Info: ​William Horace Ash, born in slavery in 1859 in Loudoun County to William H. and Martha A. Ash, preferred to call himself Horace Ash of Leesburg. He was educated at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) and graduated in 1882. He relocated to Nottoway County, where he taught at a school for African American girls. He served as a county delegate to the Republican state party convention in 1884; three years later, he was nominated for the Virginia House of Delegates for the district comprising Amelia and Nottoway Counties. He served in the House of Delegates from 1887 to 1888 and was a member of the standing Committees on Propositions and Grievances and on Printing. He studied law and identified himself as a lawyer, but he is not known to have practiced law; he remained concerned with education. He also taught agriculture at Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute, later named Virginia State University. Mr. Ash died in 1908.​
  • Bio: William H. Ash represented Amelia and Nottoway counties in the House of Delegates during the 1887–1888 session. Ash was born enslaved and graduated from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (later Hampton University). He settled in Burkeville as a teacher and helped establish the first statewide organization for African American educators in 1884. Three years later the Republicans selected Ash as their candidate for the House of Delegates but his ties to party leader William Mahone likely cost him renomination in 1889. He remained an educator and was an agricultural instructor at Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute (later Virginia State University) at the time of his death in 1908.
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1887-1888 Nottoway & Amelia Republican Printing Committee
Propositions and Grievances Committee

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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