G.I. Prettyman (1887–1977)

George Irvin PrettymanGeorge Irvin Prettyman (or G.I. Prettyman, as my grandfather told me he liked to be called) was my grandfather’s uncle. I recently learned that a cousin was looking for some information on G.I. and his wife Frances, and I discovered that while I had some new information for him, a lot of what I had was contradictory and could use some dedicated research. For instance, my grandfather William Prettyman once told me that his uncle G. I. Prettyman didn’t make it past the fourth grade, as he was needed to help out at home on the farm. However, according to a contemporaneous biography (Minnesota and Its People, 1924, by Joseph Alfred Arner Burnquist),

[G.I.] “was reared and educated in Hewitt, attended the grade and high schools of the town, and then took a course in a commercial college at Little Falls, Minnesota. He was then sixteen years old and after completing his education entered the banking business and continued in it until 1911…”

I’m hoping that relatives reading this summary of what I’ve learned about G.I. Prettyman may be able to contribute considerably more than I’ve presented here. Please leave a comment below if you have additional information or stories about G.I. Prettyman or his family.

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Joseph Askew on Menahga’s progress

Joseph Askew, ca. 1909.jpgA couple of years before he died, Col. Joseph Askew commented on the town he helped found—Menahga. Joseph built the first frame building in Menahga (which was also the town’s first hotel), and one of the first (if not the first) sawmill in town. He was also the town’s first mayor. In short, Menahga was a town in which he had invested so much of his time, money, and effort as a younger man. Despite his investment in the development of the town, Joseph moved to Wadena shortly after 1900. In the summer of 1908, a couple of years before he died, Joseph was asked to discuss how the village had changed over the years.

I haven’t had the opportunity to see the original of this article yet, but am instead relying on a transcription made by Rebecca Komppa, a local history journalist in the Menahga area.
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