“By 1857, Joe Ashley was living near where Ashley Creek joins the Flathead River (in Louis Brun's 1847 cabin). Joe's parents Jack (or Jean Pierre) Ashley and his wife were somewhere in the Lake area also, as their daughter Angela married Peter Irvine at St. Ignatius Mission in the early 1850s and their oldest child, Billy Irvine, was born in 1856. Another daughter Mary married Patrick Finley; other children of Jack Ashley included Alex, Antoine, Louison, Parrish, Adele, Betsy, and William. William married Maggie Finley (daughter of Jocko Finley) and their son Pierre married Mary Ermatinger (the 1834* daughter of Frances Ermatinger and Mary, a Flathead girl)". *note: The date of birth for Mary Ermatinger is incorrect. It should be 1838.
“Ashley: One of the older communities of the valley. Situated on Ashley Creek, west of what is now Kalispell. Named for Joe Ashley, Flathead pioneer.” (Flathead County Gazetteer - http://www.digisys.net/users/scarlett/gazz.htm)
Joseph Ashley, Sr. married Rosette Finley, the granddaughter of Jocko Finlay, and second to Julia Finley, the daughter of Miquam Finley.
Joseph Ashley, Sr. was born about 1827 in Canada. He was the son of Jean Pierre Ashley (Asselin) and a Cree woman. His mother is variously called Rosalie, Augustine, and Angelic.
Joseph settled near Flathead Lake, in present Flathead County, Montana, in the mid or late 1840s with his friend, Francois Gravelle, both Frenchmen from Quebec. They would both marry Kootenai Indian sisters. He was a trapper and hunter, and trader.
From Sam John's HISTORY OF FLATHEAD COUNTY, volume 9, page 32, "Extracts From History of the Flathead Valley" by Mrs. E. E. Day and Mrs. Emma Ingalls, December 31, 1923:
"About 1811, David Thompson, of the Northwest Trading Co., came into the Flathead and built on what is known as the McCarthy place, south of Kalispell, a trading post. The ruins of which was still to be seen in 1882. It did not prove successful and was soon abandoned. In 1857, Joe Ashley came into the valley on this land and used these buildings
From Early Flathead and Tobacco Plains, "A Narrative History of Northwestern Montana", Marie Cuffe Shea, 1977, page 39:
"By, 1857, Joe Ashley was living near where Ashley Creek joins the Flathead River (in Louis Brun's 1847 cabin). Joe's parents Jack (or Jean Pierre) Ashley and his wife were somewhere in the Lake area also ...."
From page 63 of Early Flathead and Tobacco Plains:
"Ashley Creek was named after the Flathead pioneer Joe Ashley" (who lived in the area from 1845 or 1847 to 1883), "who then lived in a cabin between later Selish and Demersville on the ranch bought from him by `Judge' Eugene McCarthy's folks. On January 24, 1926, Robert J. Ball answered an inquiry from Tyson D. Duncan thus: `The log cabin was a short way south of my pre-emption (at Ball's Crossing) on what became J.D. Lambert's Homestead. In 1883 the McCarthy family came here and lived in the cabin until McCarthy located and built his home at the point of the mountain where D.
Griffith now lives. I was told the cabin was the remains of an old Indian trading post---You know the old Indian trail used to come around the foot of the mountain, by where the cabin stood, and kept on until it came onto the prairie around where Andrew Swaney's store was (1882); then it went on to where Ashley Creek Bridge is now, then the ford across the creeks. It was impossible to cross over the swamp below Lambert's house until someone cut the willows out and made a trail across there.'"
Another reference from http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/1/flathead/chap4.htm:
The W. W. DeLacy map published in 1870 showed a "half-breed" settlement located north of Flathead Lake, where a Native American trail crossed Ashley Creek. The small settlement had been established several decades earlier. In 1845 two French Canadians joined the Kootenai living at the north end of the lake and built a cabin on Ashley Creek, spending most of a year there. Two years later, four more French Canadians arrived, including Louis Brun, a Quebequois, and his Kalispel wife Emily. When gold was discovered in California, they and other families, including a man named Benetsee Finley, left for the gold fields. Most of them returned to the Ashley Creek area in 1850, but the Bruns moved to the Jocko area and then Frenchtown. Men who came and returned to the Flathead in 1850 may have included Joe Ashley and Francois Grevelle, both of whom are mentioned often in histories of the early settlement of the Flathead Valley. When Lt. John Mullan passed through the upper Flathead Valley in 1854, he reported that "Our camping ground — was represented — by the Indians as a great resort of their tribe and the half-breeds of the country some years ago" (Holterman 1985:25; Shea 1977:37-38, 41; T. White 1964:27).
Joe Ashley, for whom Ashley Creek is named, had come to the Flathead in the mid1840s. He and Angus McDonald (an HBC trader), Peter Irvine (a Shetlander), Francois Finley, and Laughlin McLaurin and several others farmed in a small way at the head of the lake. McLaurin (also spelled McLaughlin, McLaren, or McGauvin) was among the first traders at a post near the head of Flathead Lake. Ashley succeeded McLaughlin as trader, under the supervision of Angus McDonald of Fort Connah. In the late 1860s several of the families living at Ashley Creek left the area because of Blackfeet raiding, some only temporarily. Ashley stayed on, later moving to the foot of Flathead Lake and then selling out in the 1880s and leaving the area (Shea 1977:39-40; McCurdy 1976:71-72; Johns 1943
Taken from : http://www.oregonpioneers.com/bios/Pierre_MaryAshley1.pdf