Mystery Scott photo album, part 1

Today’s post is about a photo album that’s intrigued me since I first saw it about four years ago. I’ve shared a couple of the photos from the album in previous blog posts, referring to the album in which I found them as an album that probably belonged to my great-great-grandfather Frank Scott. The album itself is quite fascinating and is filled with photos from the 1920s of a well-to-do couple named “Roland and Flo” who apparently liked to travel quite a bit.

The photo album presents a comfortable but curious mix of people from two distinct socioeconomic strata. The first group includes my known Scott relations (my great-grandmother Gertrude Scott Askew, her sister Cassie Scott, her father Frank Scott, and his second wife Lois Lanudge Scott)—poorer folk working multiple jobs to make ends meet and living in rural Wadena county, Minnesota. The second group appears to center around the couple named Roland and Flo—an apparently well-heeled and well-traveled couple.

But who were Roland and Flo? Until last week, despite having records on over 13,000 people in my family history database, not a single one of those people was named Roland, and none of the women named Flo or Florence were possible candidates for Flo in the photo album. Continue reading

Mystery man—plea for help with identification

2011-11-22-017This post is about a man who was either part of our family or was close to our family, but I don’t know exactly who he is. I have at least eight photos of him (one additional photo is uncertain), and nothing is written on any of these to help identify him. I’m hoping that someone reading this recognizes this man or has additional photos of him, perhaps even some that may yield clues as to his identify.

Continue reading

Gert Askew and daughters in S.F. Chinatown

1945 Chinese Skyroom p1Whew. I like to write a post or two per week, but it’s been a busy several weeks since my last post. My time has been stretched really thin over these past weeks, primarily between travel, family, a bad cold, and writing a $500k NSF grant. I’ll do my best to get back on the family history blogging rails. Towards that end, I’ll see if I can get a few posts written this weekend to get some momentum built up again.

For my first post today, I present this charming souvenir photo I found recently while continuing to organize my grandmother’s photos.

Continue reading

Clyde Askew’s autograph book

Front coverAmong the items that document our family history is this autograph album that belonged—at least at one time—to Clyde L. Askew (1896–1967). The author(s)/owner(s) of the album are not easy to determine, as entries appear to have been made during at least three different time periods. The first period is probably around the turn of the century, perhaps 1897–1900. At this time, a young child drew in the album.

The second period of the album’s life is comes in 1907, when Clyde gives the book to his aunt Fanny, doing so with an inscription. A possible third period is in 1927, when Ed Young added his name to the album. The fourth period comes decades later (possibly in 1955), after the book had been stored away for some time and then was rediscovered. The (presumed) wife of the finder then writes a letter to Clyde across two of the pages of the book, and another letter across eight additional pages of the book.

In this post, I’ve tried to see what I could learn about the author(s) and the recipient(s) of the notes contained within this wonderful album, but several questions were left unanswered because I don’t have all the facts. I’m hoping that one/some of you will be able to help me with some of these unknowns, so at the end of this post I’ve posed a list of questions that I’m hoping you can help me answer. Continue reading

Clyde takes work home with him

Just a quick post to share a photo I recently found among old family photos. In this photo, Clyde Lawson Askew, my great-grandfather, is seen standing in front of a Caterpillar road grader that he apparently parked in front of his house. Among his many other jobs (drayer, teamster, laborer, machinist, fireman, railroad brakeman, railroad bouncer, oil station manager), Clyde was also a road builder. Among other projects, he worked on the Washburn project in McLean County, North Dakota, and in Wadena, he had the title of “Maintainer of City Streets.”
Continue reading

Two deaths at Deer Creek

For this post, I want to relay a newspaper article from 1910, and give it what context I can from other sources.  I have several second-, third-, and even fourth-generation photocopies of the article, but I have not yet found a physical or digital copy of the original article.

In the span of about a week, the lives of Frank Scott and his four daughters were turned upside down. Frank’s wife Margaret got sick and died suddenly and unexpectedly. Her funeral was immediately arranged, and when her funeral procession passed Frank’s house, where his infirm step-father Nathaniel was staying, Nathaniel died. His step-father’s funeral was arranged and held two days later, and then Frank was left alone with his four young girls, aged 3–12. Continue reading

Gertrude Scott through the years

Gertrude Scott Askew, my great grandmother, was a hard-working, unpretentious woman who was pressed into assuming adult responsibilities before her time, due to the premature death of her mother a few months before Gert’s thirteenth birthday.

Gert’s appearance has always been a little puzzling to me. Until this week, I hadn’t seen any photos of Gert before 1941, and in every photo I had seen of her (all dated 1941–1980), she appeared remarkably similar. Here’s a woman who took what life gave her, without complaint, and her portraits over the years hint at the silent toll that her selflessness took on her. Continue reading