Ash Lake is on of the four townships within Lincoln county whereof the earliest official records are unavailable and the data from which this brief history is written was obtained from later official records, biographies and various other sources.

John Nelson was the first settler in the township and gave the lake which is located within its boundary the name of Ash Lake from the fact that there were so many ash trees skirting the border. From the lake the township took its name. The township was organized in 1879. Hans P. Paulson was the second settler in the township and assisted in its organization, serving as chairman of the board of supervisors for one term. Jacob Wickersheim also participated in its organization and attended the first meeting which was held in a small building located in section 19 used as a frontier store. Mr. Wickersheim was elected the first treasurer. David L. Phipps also participated in the township's organization and was one of the first supervisors. Hans Lavesson came to the township in 1878 and presumably took part in its organization, afterwards serving as a member of the board of supervisors and township clerk for several terms.

A meeting of the town board of Ash Lake was held on January 31, 1881 to consider a petition for the establishment of a public highway within the borders of the township. This petition was signed by D. L. Phipps, R. Kennen, J. Wickersheim, Fred Judd, F. N. Manchester, J. W. Ardell, Charles Lundbert, J. H. Jackling, Soloman Derby, and William Evans. This seems to be the earliest public record available. The order designating the establishment of the highway was signed by J. H. Jackling, H. Lavesson and D. L. Phipps, supervisors.

Thorsten Johnson, a son of John Nelson, was the first overseer of road district No. 1 and Lars Johnson, a brother, was the first overseer of road district No. 2. John H. Cook came to the township in 1876 and also assisted in its organization.

Morse's store was located in section 19, Ash Lake Township, adjacent to Shaokatan Lake. At the time of the establishment of this store it was thought there was a probability that the railroad from Tracy west would be built up to Marshfield, the county seat, and thence west through Ash Lake and Shaokatan townships and on to Brookings. These hopes were dashed on the road being built to Lake Benton and thence west.

Ash Lake Township

Ardell, J. W.

Cook, John H.

Derby, Soloman

Evans, William

Jackling, J. H.

Johnson, Lars

Johnson, Thorsten

Judd, Fred

Kennen, R.

Lavesson, H

Lavesson, Hans

Lundbert, Charles

Manchester, F. N.

Morse's Store

Nelson, John

Paulson, Hans P.

Phipps, D. L.

Phipps, David L.

Wickersheim, J.

Wickersheim, Jacob