Ashford Family

Chronological History of the Ashford Family

1937- 41

Rod’s Dad and Mom were married in 1937 and lived in five different locations in the city of Sweet Home, OR.  However, they did spend approximately six weeks in Idaho during this time period.  They drove a 1937 Studebaker converted to tow a 5th-wheel trailer. This trailer was specially built for the person Dad purchased it from.  Dad worked at the local Chevrolet garage while they lived in Idaho.


In 1941 they built a house on Knox Butte Road, a place near Albany, OR.  They sold this house to Doris (Dad’s sister) and Charley (her first husband) and bought a house from Herman (Dad’s brother) in Albany because Herman was going into the Army.  They sold this place and bought a place in Millersburg, OR.  While they lived in Millersburg Dad was drafted into the Army and returned there after the war. He served from June until December of 1945. After the war ended the Army kept Dad and had him and several other men help close the training bases in California.  Delberta (9/3/41), Rod (10/6/43), and Dennis (3/30/45) were born while they lived in Millersburg.  During the war, Rod drank kerosene while visiting Nanny and Grandpa.  Dad did not know about this until after he came home from the Army.  Dad arrived home the day before Christmas 1945.


They sold the place in Millersburg and moved to Jefferson, OR for a short while.  Rod played ‘big game hunting’ with his brother and sister in the corn field next to the house.  Dennis swallowed a penny while they lived there. 

Del’s input: While we were living in Millersburg, Mom was playing with you (Rod) on the bed and somehow your two front teeth got caught in the bedspread and pulled out, so you were without them until your permanent ones came in. Also, we had a hammock in the yard where I sometimes took my nap.  I remember getting out of the hammock after one of my naps and stepping on a bee.


They sold the place in Millersburg and bought a ranch in Vernonia, OR. Dad bought a silo from a man on an island in the Columbia River and moved it to the farm. They went broke trying to be farmers, so they sold out. David was born at home while they lived there.  Delberta and Rod started school in Vernonia and Rod cut his left hand playing with a sharp ax there.  Dad told him not to touch the sharp ax.  The ax Rod was allowed to play with was a single-bit ax and was dull on both sides.  Rod attended afternoon kindergarten, and, in the morning, Mom kept his school clothes clean by making him wear one of his sister’s dresses.  The hired hands would make fun of him.  Dennis was run over by an empty trailer while they lived there.  Rod turned over a car battery on the floorboard of Dad’s new car. 

Del’s input: While in Vernonia, I started school.  One day Daddy told me a story about laying 50 or so miles of railroad track and making it straight because a bear was chasing him, and he didn’t have time to go around corners.  Being a gullible little girl, I believed him and told my teacher at school all about it. I got lots of teasing from the family about that in later years.  Also, when David was born, I got to pick out his name — I guess because I really wanted a sister and just got another silly brother instead!  Anyway, I named him after a little boy in my class at school whom I must have had a crush on.  Grandma Buckle or whoever came to help when David was born, told me to go wash some potatoes for dinner, and to be sure to get them clean.  So, I washed them with soap!  Never heard the end of that either.


After selling the farm in Vernonia Dad and Mom moved to another farm on Stone Road out of Gresham, OR, and built a large barn on the property.  The kids used to ride the cows and one time David fell off one into a fresh cow pie.  Rod would play with sticks with a sharpened nail in the end (a spear).  He has a scar on his head to prove it.  He told his mother he hit his head on a nail.  There was a large tree on the hill that had a spiral stripe of bark missing, caused by a lightning strike.  Dad was going to plow a field with a horse and did that for one day.   On the second day he went to town and bought a Ford/Ferguson tractor.  Delberta and Rod would follow Dad around the field when he was plowing with the horse, and she stepped into a hornet’s nest (the nest was in the ground).  Delberta got her first bicycle at Gresham.  Rod learned to ride before she did.  Across the road were some very tall fir trees which Dennis and Rod used to climb clear to the top.  All the kids had the mumps while they lived there.  For one of Rod’s birthdays, there were two presents from which he could choose.   The one he didn’t pick was to go to David.  Rod chose the smallest (relatively speaking), and it was a steam shovel he could sit on.  The other was a large moving van, which David called a bread truck. The school-aged children attended Orient Grade School.  Rod had the same teacher, Mrs. Thompson, for the first three grades.  Marvin was born while they lived there (12/29/50).  Here at Stone Road an older neighbor kid and Rod would hide David in a large cow feed barrel.


Dad sold the place on Stone Road and moved the family to the home place in Albany.  Nanny and Grandpa bought a house and had it moved to a piece of land north of the old home place.  The school-age kids had to walk one mile (one way) to a two-room schoolhouse called Oak Creek.  There were 36 students in the whole school.  The children attended all of one grade and six weeks of the next grade there.  Dad was working for a Seventh-Day Adventist who owned a planning mill.  One day Dad came in and sat down at the supper table and asked, “Do you kids want your whipping now or later?”  Rod immediately thought of all the things he had done that day that Dad knew about, and he deserved a whipping for (he was sure there was at least one) and announced he would take his later.  The rest of the children (there were five of them by now) followed suit.  Then Dad explained why he was going to whip the children.  Dad had spent several weeks putting up a free-swinging gate across the lane going to the back forty and knew the children would swing on it if given a chance.  Rod at the age of 66 has never swung on the gate.  Now as a sidelight to this story, when Dad and Mom had their 50th wedding anniversary in 1987, Dad tied back the gate on the deck to keep from tempting the grandchildren.

Del’s input: While we were living at the farm in Albany, we were playing tag outside one afternoon and Dennis fell against the side of the house and broke his collarbone.  Amazingly, that’s the only broken bone that any of us six kids had as we grew up.  Dennis and Rodney both cut their hands on axes at different times, but mostly we were free of serious accidents.


They moved to Myrtle Creek, OR, and lived in an old house near the Umpqua River.  They started to build a house there and when the double-car garage and kitchen were complete they moved in.  The garage was divided into three rooms and the plumbing was outdoors.  They stayed all of six weeks at this place.  The kids attended a very large, consolidated school in Myrtle Creek which had three fifth grade classes.  Contrast this with a two-room school at Oak Creek.


After Myrtle Creek, they moved to a rent house at Four Mile, OR, between Bandon and Langlois OR.   The school-aged children finished the rest of the current grade and the entire next grade here.  This was the third school for them in one year.  At Four Mile, Dad shot a large yellow jacket nest out of the tree.  He did this feat with just one shot from a dead rest on a stump across the canyon from the tree.  The nest was as large as an apple crate and was taken to school for “show and tell”. Robin was born while they lived at Four Mile (3/24/54).  A house was started at Two Mile but was never lived in.  At Four Mile Del always wanted us to play jump rope.  Dennis was not very interested so Del and Rod tied one end of the rope to the mirror on Dad’s pickup.  It worked great except they forgot to remove it when they finished.  Well, as luck would have it, Dad took the pickup to work and as he rounded a corner in the lumber yard guess what got caught?  You’re correct.  The loose end of the jump rope.  The lumber pile did not move, and the rope didn’t break.  The mirror was ripped off the side of Dad’s truck.  Boy did they ever get in hot water for that mistake.

Del’s input:  While living out at Four Miles near Bandon, Mom took all the kids except Rodney and me to stay at Nanny’s while she had her hysterectomy.  I stayed home to cook and keep house for Daddy, and I guess Rodney was just supposed to keep me company.  I was only 12 years old, but there was a neighbor lady living right across our driveway who kept an eye on us, so we weren’t in any danger.

David’s input: I remember the bathroom window would swing open and close when you opened the bathroom door.  One time when Marvin was in the bathroom, I was outside making the window swing when it broke.  I took off and Marvin got the whipping.


The next move was to Bandon into a house near the mill where Dad worked.  One complete grade was attended there.  Rod missed a lot of school that year because of sickness. Dad’s first head injury occurred here.  The forks of a forklift fell on him and nearly killed him.  He had a hard head.

Del’s input: The things I remember about living in Bandon are that while living there we got our first telephone, first electric mixer, and first clothes dryer.  Mom loved the ocean and I remember her getting us all dressed, down to the ocean, and back before 10:00 AM when the wind came up.  Quite a feat when you have six children.  I remember Marvin turning somersaults all the way across the floor when Aunt Polly and Uncle Ivan came to visit us in Bandon.  And I remember him running away from some of the older boys and telling them, “You can’t hurt me.  My head’s made of bone.”


The next move was to a rent house in Gardner, OR. The rent house was sold, and they were forced to move to Coos Bay, OR to find a house big enough for eight.  Dad took Delberta and Rod to Reedsport (his job was in Reedsport on Bowlin Island), so they didn’t have to change schools.  Rod was in the eighth grade and graduated from Gardner Grade School.  At Coos Bay they lived next door to an egg distributor and had access to lots of cracked eggs cheap.  Marvin collected strings from the Safeway store which was across the street, and he made two very large balls out of the string. 


After Coos Bay the family moved to a C.C.C. barracks in Reedsport, OR, and lived there while they built a house on Cedar Street.  Delberta learned to cook while Mom and the older boys worked on the new house during the day.  They had two single men (Del Spencer and ??) who rented the room over the garage.  The barracks roof leaked and because all of the kids slept in the attic, every time it rained (all the time in Oregon) they were constantly moving their beds to a place where the leaks would miss them.  Also, there was no bathtub or shower in this house.  We had to take baths in the kitchen in a tub.  Because the school had an indoor swimming pool, sometimes during the summer Mom would take us swimming instead of giving us baths on Saturday.

After the house was complete, they moved into it, and then at the school break of 1958/59 (Rod’s sophomore year), they moved to Beaver, OR near Tillamook.  Delberta stayed in Reedsport living with Betty Kay Thompson because she (Delberta) was a senior and did not want to change schools.  Rod took the plant phylum half of Biology at both schools and got a ‘C’ both times.  At Beaver Rod attended Nestucca High School in Cloverdale.  Before the end of the school year, they moved back to a different rent house in Gardner which was across from the boat dock. Mom had to take Dennis and Rod back to Beaver so Dennis could graduate from grade school and Rod could take his final exams.  Dennis and Rod had a business selling worms and other kinds of bait to the fishermen.  While they lived at Gardner Rod had a thrill of a lifetime catching a 36-inch, 30-pound striped bass. 

Somewhere along about now, Dad had his second near-fatal head injury.  He was attacked by an employee (Ernie ???) who hit Dad over the head with a two-by-four. 


While living in Gardner, OR they built a house at Lakeside, south of Reedsport, and moved into it when it was finished.  Rod finished out high school when they lived at Lakeside and left for college.  He married Cathy Murray in 1963. His son John was born in 1964.

Dad and Mom sold the place at Lakeside and moved the family into a trailer house at the ranch (home place in Albany) while Dad and Dennis went to work in Alaska (this was not a good idea). 

After the fiasco in Alaska, they bought a house in Halsey and Dad quit millwork.  Dad and Dennis started building houses with Dad’s brother Elmer.

The next move was to the Coos Bay area where they built a house in Eastside, OR.  Rod got a divorce in 1964 and moved back home (at Eastside).

They built a bigger house north of North Bend, OR near the Hilltop Restaurant and moved there.  Rod cut the end of his thumb off while working at Conrad’s Building Supply.  Dad, Dennis, and David were involved in a near-fatal car wreck while they lived there.  Before Dad recovered completely from the car wreck, Rod joined the Army (February 1967). 

After Dad recovered from his car wreck they moved to Mt. Vernon, Washington, to a place in town.  They built a house in the country on 5 acres and moved there when it was ready.  Dad developed the rest of the property by building three more houses on it in his spare time.

They moved to Nevada and lived in two different towns.

After Nevada, they moved to Junction City, OR, and then to Green, OR, and then into a house Dad built on Arcadia Drive in the country near Roseburg, OR.

Mom died in the spring of 1989 and Dad sold the house on Arcadia Drive moving to Reedsport to be near David.  Dad lived in two places in Reedsport. 

In July 1990 Dad married Bonnie and moved to her place in Winston, OR.

After Dad and Bonnie’s divorce, Dad spent the next few years getting settled.  He lived in Mt. Nebo (near Roseburg), in Canyonville, OR in a retirement complex, a home in Roseburg, two places in a retirement trailer park in Sutherlin, and in 1997 he moved to Coos Bay where he lived in a trailer house across the street from David.

In April of 1998, Dad married Esta Horner) and they now live in her home on Old Wagon Road somewhere out of Coos Bay, Oregon.

In February of 2000, Dad died of pneumonia and is buried beside her first wife in Roseburg, Oregon.

Delberta lives in Anacortes, WA with her husband Stan.  She has two children, Debra, and Daryl.

Rod lived in Euless, TX with his wife Brenda. Rod passed away in 2023.  They have three children, John (from Rod’s first marriage), Justin, and a daughter. 

John is married to Sonia, and they have six children, Sarah, Jacob, John, Jason, Jeremiah, and Joshua

Sarah is divorced from Rob Fuhrmann, and they have three daughters, Katelynn, River, and Skyler along with a son named Gage. They live in Bedford, TX. 

Jacob is married to Amanda, and he has two sons, Ryan, and Max (from his previous marriage). They live in Bedford, TX. 

Justin is married to Jennifer, and they have two sons, Jared Walker Ashford, and Jake Scott Ashford. They live in Austin, TX.

Rod & Brenda’s daughter is married and lives in Texas.

Dennis is married to Susan and lives in Renton, WA.  They have four girls, RaAnn, Tova, Michelle, and Denise.

David lived in Portland, OR.  David passed away in 2021. He has one adopted child, Anne Marie.

Marvin was married to Judi and lived in Stanwood, WA. Marvin passed away in 2020. They have three children, Jeremy, Trevor, and Jamie. 

Jeremy has three children, Austin Cody (7/3/97), Jennifer Camille (3/10/01), and Lillyann Christine Pearl (4/10/03). 

Trevor has one son, Brendon James (12/24/03). 

Jamie is married to Steven Williams (7/31/04). They have two children.

Robin was married to Jerry Freadman and lived in Vancouver, WA.  Jerry Passed away in 2022. They have three children, Lisa, Jason, and Kyle.