A new photo of Joseph and Jane Askew

Joseph and Jane and grandkidsToday’s post highlights a photo that my second cousin once removed Ruth Rogers recently scanned last fall from the collection of family photos she received from her mother Ruth (Manfred and Hope Askew’s daughter).

Col. Joseph Askew was the first distant ancestor I researched as a boy, and I’m always delighted when I find a new photo of him. Until this photo, I knew of only eight different photos of the Colonel (dozens and dozens of prints and illustrations derived from these, but only eight distinct photos). Today’s photo is number nine.

This is definitely the latest photo taken of Joseph and his wife Jane—he’s clearly much aged beyond the photos I have of him from 1909 and 1910.  Since he died on September 21, 1911, I’d estimate that this photo was taken in the year of his death—1911. Given the outdoor setting and the warm weather clothes being worn, especially by the children, I’d guess that this dates to either summer or early fall, 1911. It may well be the last photo taken of Joseph before he died.


Joseph and Jane and grandkids

The older couple in the photo are without a doubt Joseph Askew (1840–1911) and his wife Jane Eilbeck Askew (1841–1914). But who are the five children? I’d assume that they’re some of the couple’s grandchildren or grandnieces/nephews, but who are they exactly?

I looked up all people with an Askew-related surname in my family history database that were born between 1896 and 1911 (since all of the children in the photo are certainly no more than 15 years old). Here’s what I found:

Name Relation Birthdate Age in
summer, 1911
James Askew grandnephew Dec 1910 6 mos
Stella E. Askew granddaughter 30 Jun 1910 9 mos–1 yr
Verl Joseph Gus Young grandson 20 Feb 1910 1.5 yrs
Gordon Charles Bradt gr. grandson 19 Oct 1909 1.75 yrs
Florence Askew grand niece 1908 3 yrs
Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison grandson 20 Oct 1907 3.75 yrs
Beulah Lucille Askew granddaughter 20 May 1907 4 yrs
Signa Askew granddaughter 7 Feb 1907 4.5 yrs
Charles Bernard “Charlie” Askew grandson 15 Jan 1907 4.5 yrs
Robert Joseph “Bob” King grandson 22 Mar 1906 5.25 yrs
Donald L. Bradt gr. grandson ca. 1906 5 yrs
Harold Thomas Askew grandson 23 Aug 1905 6 yrs
Marguerite A. “Margret” Askew granddaughter 3 Dec 1904 6.75 yrs
Alice Wilkins granddaughter circa 1904 ca. 7 yrs
Kenneth M. Bradt gr. grandson circa 1904 ca. 7 yrs
Florence B. Merida King granddaughter 31 Mar 1903 8.25 yrs
Hazel G. Askew granddaughter 25 May 1902 9 yrs
June Askew granddaughter 6 Jun 1902 died 1904
Bessie M. Askew granddaughter 26 Jan 1901 10.5 yrs
Manfred Eddy Askew grandson 4 Mar 1900 11.5 yrs
Jennie Louise Spencer granddaughter 27 Nov 1899 11.75 yrs
Gladys Wilkins granddaughter circa 1899 ca. 12 yrs
Clarence Lavern Askew grandson 15 Jan 1899 12.5 yrs
Fredrick “Fred” Spencer grandson 20 Apr 1897 14.25 yrs
Clyde Lawson Askew grandson 7 May 1896 15 yrs

Joseph and Jane and grandkidsChild 1: The youngest child in the photo is being held up, so s/he is probably about 6 months old, but no more than a year. The youngest children in my chart above are Stella E. Askew, who would have been 1 year old in the summer of 1911, and James Askew, who was born in December, 1911. If the photo were taken in the spring of 1911, Stella would have been 9 months old and James would have been 4 months old. If taken in the summer of 1911, Stella would have been a year old and James would have been about 6 months old. Stella was living in Cass County, North Dakota at the time (where this photo may have been taken), and James was living in Parton, Cumberland County, England at the time.

Joseph and Jane and grandkidsChild 2: The next youngest child is the boy on the far right. I would guess that he’s about 2–3 years old in this photo. The closest matches from the table above are Gordon Charles Bradt, who would have been 1¾ years old in the spring of 1911, and Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison, who would have been 3½ years old if the photo had been taken in the spring of 1911.

 

Joseph and Jane and grandkidsChild 3: The next youngest child is the boy at the far left, sitting in front of Joseph Askew. I’d estimate that he’s about 3–4 years old in this photo. The closest matches from the table above are Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison, Charles Bernard “Charlie” Askew, Robert Joseph “Bob” King and Donald L. Bradt, who would have been 3½ years old, 4¼ years old, 5 years old, and 5 years old, respectively, if the photo had been taken in the spring of 1911.

 

Joseph and Jane and grandkidsChild 4: The next youngest child is the girl sitting between Joseph and Jane. She is perhaps between six and eight years old. The closest matches from the above table are Marguerite A. “Margret” Askew, Alice Wilkins, Florence B. Merida King, and Hazel G. Askew, who would have been 6½ years old, around 7 years old, 8 years old and 8¾ years old, respectively, if the photo had been taken in the spring of 1911.

 

Joseph and Jane and grandkidsChild 5: The oldest child in the photo is the girl holding up the youngest child. She is perhaps eight to eleven years old. The closest matches from the above table are Florence B. Merida King, Hazel G. Askew, Bessie M. Askew, Jennie Louise Spencer, and Gladys Wilkinswho would have been 8 years old, 8¾ years old, 10¼ years old, 11½ years old and about 12 years old, respectively, if the photo had been taken in the spring of 1911.

The possible identities of the children are summarized in the table below (numbers presented are the childrens’ ages, in years, in the spring of 1911):

Name Child 1 Child 2 Child 3 Child 4 Child 5
James Askew ¼–½
Stella E. Askew ¾–1
Gordon Charles Bradt
Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison
Charles Bernard “Charlie” Askew
Robert Joseph “Bob” King 5
Donald L. Bradt 5
Marguerite A. “Margret” Askew
Alice Wilkins 7
Florence B. Merida King 8 8
Hazel G. Askew
Bessie M. Askew 10¼
Jennie Louise Spencer 11½
Gladys Wilkins 12

I don’t yet have photos of most of these people as children, so I’ve got to look for other ways to narrow the list of suspects. Why were these particular children with Joseph and Jane? It would seem a reasonable assumption that some of these children were siblings (e.g., their families were visiting at that time). Below is a list of the parents of the children:

Name Parents
James Askew 1. John Askew & Mary Westmorland (England)
Stella E. Askew 2. Samuel “Sam” Clarence Askew & Anna C. “Annie” McDermott
Gordon Charles Bradt 3. Charles Leroy Bradt & Vennie Jane Young
Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison 4. Adelbert “Albert” Barker & Jennie Eilbeck “Jen” Askew
Charles Bernard “Charlie” Askew 2. Samuel “Sam” Clarence Askew & Anna C. “Annie” McDermott
Robert Joseph “Bob” King 5. William J. King & Louisa Beacham “Edith” Askew
Donald L. Bradt 3. Charles Leroy Bradt & Vennie Jane Young
Marguerite A. “Margret” Askew 2. Samuel “Sam” Clarence Askew & Anna C. “Annie” McDermott
Alice Wilkins 6. Charles Sumner Wilkins & Henrietta “Etta” Askew
Florence B. Merida King 5. William J. King & Louisa Beacham “Edith” Askew
Hazel G. Askew 7. William Henry Askew & Olette M. “Lettie” Nelson
Bessie M. Askew 2. Samuel “Sam” Clarence Askew & Anna C. “Annie” McDermott
Jennie Louise Spencer 8. James “Jim” Spencer & Isabella “Belle” Askew
Gladys Wilkins 6. Charles Sumner Wilkins & Henrietta “Etta” Askew

James Askew’s parents were living in Parton, Cumberland, England, at the time, although it’s not inconceivable that they would have travelled to see their American relations (James’ father was the nephew of Joseph and Jane). But James also had a sister who was two years older than he; why wasn’t she in the photo?

Samuel and Annie Askew had four children among the set of children possibly in the photo. There’s a fifth child of Samuel and Annie Askew—Harold Thomas Askew—who would have been six years old at the time this photo was taken. If four of these children are Sam and Annie’s, then where was Herald? Was he sick? Was he playing elsewhere?

Charles Leroy Bradt and Vennie Jane Young had two children among the set of children possibly in the photo—Gordon Charles Bradt and Donald L. Bradt.  But they also had an older brother, Kenneth M. Bradt, who would have been seven years old at the time the photo was taken. Where was he?

Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison was the only son of Albert Barker and Jen Askew, so there are no missing siblings in the photo.

Robert Joseph “Bob” King and Florence B. Merida King were the only children of William J. King and Edith Askew, so there are no missing siblings in the photo.

Charles Sumner Wilkins and Henrietta “Etta” Askew had only two children. Both of these children are among the set of children possibly in the photo.

Hazel G. Askew is among the set of children possibly in the photo. William Henry Askew and Lettie Nelson had four older children who would have been 16, 18, 19, and 22, and wouldn’t be expected to be in a photo of the younger children, but they also had their youngest daughter, Signa Askew, who would have been four and a half years old at the time of the photo.  Where was she?

James “Jim” Spencer and Isabella “Belle” Askew had only two children. One of these, Jennie Louise Spencer, is among the set of children possibly in the photo. Jennie had an older brother, Fredrick “Fred” Spencer, who would have been 14 at the time of the photo. Given his older age, it’s not unusual for him not to be in a photo of the younger children.

Putting it all together

There are 14 children on the possible candidates list above, but only five of these can be the children in the photo. I’ve color-coded the table below so that children of the same parents are colored the same color. Let’s see what family groupings seem most likely.

Name Child 1 Child 2 Child 3 Child 4 Child 5
James Askew ¼–½
Stella E. Askew ¾–1
Gordon Charles Bradt
Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison
Charles Bernard “Charlie” Askew
Robert Joseph “Bob” King 5
Donald L. Bradt 5
Marguerite A. “Margret” Askew
Alice Wilkins 7
Florence B. Merida King 8 8
Hazel G. Askew
Bessie M. Askew 10¼
Jennie Louise Spencer 11½
Gladys Wilkins 12

I think the most likely scenario, given the above data, is that these are the children of two sets of parents:

  • Samuel “Sam” Clarence Askew & Anna C. “Annie” McDermott
    • Stella E. Askew
    • Charles Bernard “Charlie” Askew
    • (Harold Thomas Askew—missing from photo)
    • Marguerite A. “Margret” Askew
    • Bessie M. Askew
  • Adelbert “Albert” Barker & Jennie Eilbeck “Jen” Askew
    • Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison

Or for those of you more graphically inclined:

Name Child 1 Child 2 Child 3 Child 4 Child 5
Stella E. Askew ¾–1
Charles Butler “Chuck” Barker Harrison
Charles Bernard “Charlie” Askew
Marguerite A. “Margret” Askew
Bessie M. Askew 10¼

In the spring and summer of 1911, Joseph and Jane were probably up on their farm in Cass County, North Dakota, although I’ve also got records of him traveling to Minnesota (at least Bemidji, but probably also Wadena and Menahga) during this time period. Joseph was recorded on the 1910 census as living with (or at least staying with) his daughter Isabelle in the family’s old Commercial Hotel.

The 1910 U.S. census shows that Sam and Annie Askew were also living in Cass County, North Dakota, so a trip over to his parents’ farm would have been an easy day trip, or perhaps even just a short walk. Given the close distance, perhaps it’s less unusual that one of their children (Harold Thomas Askew) chose to (or had to) stay home that day (or was perhaps there, but out of the picture doing something else).

Albert Barker and Jen Askew were also recorded on the 1910 census as living with (or at least staying with) her sister Isabelle in the family’s old Commercial Hotel. If this photo were taken in North Dakota, perhaps she took her family up for a few days to visit her elderly parents.

Let me know if you can shed any more light on this photo, where it was taken, when it was taken, or the identities of the children, please let me know in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “A new photo of Joseph and Jane Askew

    • Hi Spencer,

      So sorry for the months-long delay in responding to your note; I’m still adjusting to life with a 1-year-old daughter, and I’ve had to set my blogging aside for longer than I expected. I’ll email you momentarily to ask which of Perry Commodore Black’s daughters you are descended from so that I can try to get you added into my family tree. I have only one photo of Perry, but I’ll send that to you as well in case you haven’t seen it yet.

      Michael

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