William Ashworth Biography


As is the case with many men after whom streets are named in this area, William Ashworth dabbled in the real estate business. Born in southern England in 1840, Ashworth came to the United States when he was 21. In 1870 he crossed the plains to California, and came to Seattle two years later.

Ashworth platted a town called Edgewater on the northern shore of Lake Union. Edgewater seems to have been bounded by what is today Woodland Park Ave, N. 45th St, and Carr Place. This area is now roughly the eastern part of Fremont and western portion of Wallingford. He established the railroad station on the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern line, now the Burke Gilman trail. Although this area is no longer referred to as Edgewater, legal descriptions of the real estate in this area still bear the Edgewater name. Ashworth served as Edgewater’s only postmaster from 1889 until the area was annexed to Seattle two years later. As real estate development moved northward, so did the street bearing Ashworth’s name. Ashworth continued to live in Edgewater until his death in 1906.

For those who believe the Haller Lake community was slighted by having a street bearing the name of someone who never lived here, don’t fret. Revenge later revealed itself in a way no one could have imagined possible. Following the Haller Lake community’s successful cancellation of the city’s plan to build a transfer station on the former dump site in the mid-1960s, the refuse facility was instead built at the very site upon which Ashworth’s residence formerly stood.