I’ve got several labor-intensive posts in the works, but I figured that I needed (and my readers might like) a bit of a break from long posts. Plus, I’m feeling like I need to pay some attention to some neglected branches on our family tree.
It is in that spirit that I present today’s brief post, about a curious photo that I scanned while I was in Minnesota almost exactly a year ago (Wadena, how I miss you!). Gordy and Geri Askew and their family kindly let me borrow their collection of older photos for a week to examine and scan.
One of the photos I scanned was this cabinet card image of a young boy in a rather elaborate costume standing next to a patient large dog that looks like a St. Bernard mix. The boy is identified as Raymond McDonald. Raymond was a grandson of Col. Joseph Askew, and the only child of Henrietta (“Etta”) Askew’s first marriage (to William McDonald, a cattle buyer and horse dealer). Raymond was born on September 30, 1895, and had a fairly short life, dying on April 24, 1922, at the age of 26.
From what l’ve been able to piece together (and please, do let me know if you know more about Raymond than I state here), Raymond was married (although I don’t yet know his wife’s name) by the time of his World War I draft registration in June, 1917 (see below), and he worked as a railroad brakeman for the Northern Pacific Railroad.
Raymond was born in Detroit (Becker county), Minnesota, but his parents appear to have moved shortly thereafter to Hawley (Clay county), Minnesota, where this photo was taken. Thanks to the excellent Directory of Minnesota Photographers put together by the Minnesota Historical Society, it appears that the photo was taken by a Norwegian immigrant named Sylvester Peter Wange, who was active in Hawley from 1894–1898, 1910–1912, 1918, and 1926. By 1910, Raymond would have been 15 years old, so this was clearly taken during Wange’s first stint in Hawley (1894–1898). Raymond would have been only 2½–3 years old in 1898, an age which seems consistent with his appearance in the photo above.
Please let me know if you know anything more about Raymond, his premature death, his wife and marriage (did he have any kids?), his mother’s first marriage, or anything that might be relevant to Raymond and his family. Also please let me know if you have a photo of Raymond later in his life (say, anything older than 3 years old), as this is the only photo I think I have of him.