John J. Ash
Class of 1950
John J. Ash holds the distinction of serving as Olean’s first ever full-time mayor, an accomplishment which capped almost four decades of unselfish service to the City of Olean. Mr. Ash served on the city’s Common Council for 26 years and was mayor from 1985-1997.
While mayor, Mr. Ash led the effort to approve Olean’s first charter revision in almost 80 years, spearheaded early efforts to persuade Jamestown Community College to build a new campus in downtown Olean, and introduced the Tree and Sidewalk Improvement Programs to the city. He also convinced federal officials to build a new post office in downtown Olean and introduced the Economic Development Zone to the city.
Mr. Ash and his family own and operate one of the city’s most established businesses, John Ash Cleaners.