Rising from Ashton

By Lydia Alles.
Originally published August 1998, Weld County Past Times, Greeley Tribune

Beginning with our principal, Frances Anderson, who knew her responsibilities very well, each student was a special person at Ashton School.

She wanted the best for each one.

The Ashton School had student teachers from the college. A school bus would bring out the teachers in the morning, pick up the students on the way out, then the students in the 9th through 12th grades and college students rode the bus back to Greeley.

We had eight grades. First through sixth grades were in one room. Seventh and eighth with in the big room. We had three teachers – and Mrs. Anderson also to help out. We learned reading, writing and arithmetic very well.

When new students came to school, Mrs. Anderson had everyone down in the auditorium introducing the new students. We were to keep the grounds clean. We were taught to work together.

There was graduation at the end of the year; a valedictorian address, salutatory, class song, class will and diplomas.

The superintendent of Weld County Schools, Jerry Moreland, would be the speaker for at least my graduation. His message was titled, “Stand Up.”

Ashton was in a farming area. Most of us were “farm laborers” and our parents farmed. We learned to work hard and it was very beneficial to us.

We also had baseball games with other schools; Hazelton, Daniels and Evans. Win or lose, we were taught to be good sports, which was most important.

We had a few class reunions during these years. We noticed how all of us have changed somewhat.

The Ashton Community isn’t the same. Farms are being turned into city property: big homes, estates, shopping centers and what not.

Sixty to 70 years from now we may see more changes.

Lydia Dumler Alles attended Ashton School, located southwest of Greeley, from fourth to eighth grade and graduated in 1934. She went to high school for a short time until her mother became ill and quit to help take care of the family. She married H. Raymond Alles, a farmer, in 1942 and the couple, who live in Greeley, have three sons, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.