For today’s post, I’d like to share an item from a period newspaper that reports on Col. Joseph Askew’s 60th birthday celebration, held at the Menahga town hall. I haven’t had the opportunity to see the original of this article yet, but am instead relying on a transcription made by the late Bob Zosel, a local historian for the Wadena area.
April 19, 1900 (from the Tribute)
from a transcription by Robert Zosel in the Wadena County Historical Society
Last Wednesday Evening was Col. Joseph Askew’s 60th birthday, and his friends and neighbors celebrated the anniversary with a big celebration at the Menahga town hall. There was singing and speaking, eating and dancing, and notwithstanding the weight of 60 years, Mr. Askew is said to have shook the kinks out of his legs and enjoyed the dancing feature like a young lad of twenty. Co. Askew was presented with a gold headed cane as a memento of the occasion and when he comes down to the county seat we want him to bring the gift along and tell us about last week’s jollification with his own lips.
The photo below (and the detail to the right) probably dates to around 1905–1910 (the boy on the left is Manfred Askew, who was born on March 4, 1900). In the photo, which appears to have been taken on a Menahga boardwalk, an older Joseph Askew is holding what appears to be a gold-headed cane. Was this the gold-headed cane given to him as a memento of the celebration of his 60th birthday in Menahga?