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.”

From what I have been able to determine, the grader behind Clyde is a gasoline-powered Caterpillar No. 12 Motor Grader, which was produced between mid-1939 and early 1942. Based on this fact, and the fact that Clyde and Gert moved to California in 1944, this photo can be firmly dated to the early 1940s (1940–1944).

My mother and grandmother visited Wadena about 7 years ago (around 2005) and took a photo of the house my grandmother (Clyde’s daughter) grew up in (below).  The structural details of the house behind the road grader are fully consistent with those of the house pictured below:

Some of the details of the house and grounds have changed: the porch is now an enclosed room and some trees have been removed or have grown more mature.

The house number can be seen in the recent photo: 715. On the 1940 census, Clyde, Gertrude, their five children (Robert, Frank, Beulah, Marian, and Harriet), Gert’s niece and nephew (Dorothy “Sis”, and Charles), and Gert’s sister Eva Scott were all enumerated as living in this house (at 715 Second St. SW, Wadena, MN) in April, 1940.

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