Exploring Small Communities in Siouxland, Ashton

13 Dec

In early November I was visiting a small community in Siouxland to photograph and film adult servers at the local Catholic church in Ashton, Iowa. I arrived early and drove around the town. Ashton is small, with a population of a little over 400 people. Originally known as St. Gilman, the town was laid out in 1872. The town later was renamed in 1882 after May Ashton, a daughter of a railroad man who traveled in the area. It was incorporated in 1885. The small community is feeling the effects of older residents and fewer young people, and church is needing to rely on adults to help with services as there are too few children to serve.

The day I visited the downtown streets were red in color, owing to the chaff of corn being unloaded at the local grain elevator, with harvest well underway, and hearing completion in this part of Iowa. And the grain elevator is one of the main business ventures in the community. November still had sunny skies and warm weather to greet a visitor. The elevator like a lot of smaller rural communities seemed to be a major business entity in the community. A small museum which was closed paid homage to the town’s past, and a number of well kept houses gives testament to the those that live there still calling the community home.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


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