Itinerary—Wadena, 2012

Day 1 (Friday, Nov. 9, 2012)

We’ll be flying into the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport (MSP) on an overnight flight from San Francisco (SFO) using frequent flier miles my father donated to us for the trip (thanks, dad!). We should arrive and have our bags in hand by 7:30 am, just in time for an airport breakfast. We got a great deal on a rental car for the week (thanks to my ingenious wife and We’ll then be heading out of the airport around 8:30, driving north to central Minnesota and the Wadena area.

But since we’re in Minneapolis anyhow, I thought we might stop by my great-grandfather C.A. Prettyman’s old city home and business, as described in this earlier post. It’s only about 15 minutes to C.A.’s old house, and then another 15 minutes to his old apartment business, both roughly in the direction we’re travelling, so if we have the time, we’ll stop by one or both of those places.

From there, we’ll drive about two and a half to three hours northwest, to Parkers Prairie, MN, arriving around 12:30 pm.  C.A. Prettyman was born in Parkers Prairie on August 18, 1889. His grandfather, Alfred Wharton Prettyman (my great-great-great-grandfather), died in this same town less than three years later, on June 14, 1892. I don’t know where he was living, what his cause of death was, or what any of the circumstances of his life or death were between 1880 and his death.

We’ll have passed the small towns of Carlos and Spruce Hill (where both Alfred Wharton Prettyman and Alfred Minos Prettyman lived in the later 1800s, and where G.I. Prettyman was born in 1887) in the half-hour before arriving in Parkers Prairie, but I don’t (not yet, at least) have enough information to know where I should go or what I should see, so we’ll just soak in a sense of the place as we drive through those two areas.

On the way out of town, I’ll want to stop by the cemetery in Parkers Prairie to see the graves of Alfred W. Prettyman and his son Alfred Minos Prettyman and daughter-in-law, Mary Ann (Horan) Prettyman (my great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother, respectively), as well as the graves of other relatives buried there.

From Parkers Prairie, we’ll head north for about 30 minutes to Deer Creek. Deer Creek was a hotbed of activity for my ancestors, so I’ll give only high points here. My great-grandmother Gertrude Scott was born in Deer Creek on July 9, 1897. Her mother, Margret “Maggie” McAllister was buried in Deer Creek’s Fairview Cemetery in 1910 after her premature death on June 13, 1910. Her father, George McAllister died there on January 13, 1910, and I presume he’s buried there as well. Horace L. Scott’s wife, Carolyn A. (Woodruff) Scott (my great-great-great-grandmother) and both of her parents, John W. Woodruff and Eliza (Horton) Woodruff are quite possibly buried in Fairview Cemetery as well. By the time we leave Deer Creek, it’ll be at least 3:00 pm.

Heading northeast out of Deer Creek, Wadena is only 15 minutes away. We’ve got reservations for the first two nights of our trip at the Wadena Inn & Grill, on the northwest edge of town.

I hope that we’ll be able to meet Gordy and Geri Askew to say hello and maybe even have our first face-to-face discussion about family history. In any case, I’ll leave the rest of the day open for meeting and talking with Gordy, Geri, and other family members.

Day 2–Day 8 (Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 to Friday, Nov. 16, 2012)

My primary reason for making this trip is to have a chance to speak with Gordy and Geri Askew and any other relatives or local historians I may learn about who have an interest in or knowledge of family history. As Gordy is not in great shape (he was in the hospital the last time I spoke with Geri), I’m going to have to keep my schedule very flexible. That way, whenever he’s able to talk, I’ll be able to be there, and whenever he doesn’t feel like he can talk, I’ll have other things I can do.

My wife won’t be able to stay for the full week with me, as she has to get back to her job of overseeing a major collections move at our museum. She’ll be catching an “Executive Express” shuttle from Wadena at 10:45 am on Monday to go back to Minneapolis to make her evening flight.


We’ll be staying at the Wadena Inn & Grill for one more night (two nights total), and then we’ll relocate to an amazing place called The treehouse, where I’ll remain until the end of my trip.

First trip to Menahga (Friday afternoon, Saturday, or Sunday)

In reality, I could visit Menahga at any point during my trip, but as my wife leaves on Monday, we’ll want to make at least a first trip to Menahga (about 25 minutes north) on the weekend. You see, my wife is nuts about pickles, and because Menahga was the location of Frank Scott’s pickle factory (and maybe Fred Peck’s as well), seeing Menahga and finding the site of Frank’s pickle factory has become something of a holy pilgrimage.

Some of the things to do in Menahga:

  • Frank Scott and his pickle factory. Where was it? Does anything remain of it? What records, photos, histories or the like might they have that would reveal something of Frank (and Maggie’s) time in Menahga?
  • I’d like to see the Menahga Area Historical Society and Museum and to have a chance to talk with a local historian there. The Museum is only open Memorial Day through Labor Day, so I’ll have to make special arrangements to visit. Their website states “if you happen to be in Menahga when the Museum isn’t open, just call…, and we will be happy to give you a special tour.” The people to contact are Sandy Kilbo (218-849-1630 or 218-564-4163) or Sharon Tate (218-472-3134). I wrote them an email, but the email address given on their webpage bounced. Thankfully, the kind folks at the Wadena County Historical Society were able to provide updated addresses, so I’ve resent and am eagerly awaiting their response!
  • The Arlington Hotel. My great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Askew, built and ran the Menahga House (later the Arlington Hotel), which is still standing in Menahga, although currently serving as a healthy foods cafe and grocery called A Clean Plate.
  • Visit the Menahga Cemetery. I don’t have a record of any family members being buried here, but I’d be astonished if this were really the case.
Second trip to Menahga (Monday to Friday)

My first trip to Menahga will probably be more of an introduction to the town, and I don’t expect to be able to see and do everything on that first (probably pickle-centric) visit. On a second visit, I could do any of the following:

  • See the interior of The Arlington Hotel close-up and in detail. I wrote to the proprietors of A Clean Plate, Wayne and Julie Isaacson, asking for their permission to look around the building and take photos of the inside of the old hotel, and Wayne wrote back saying that anytime other than Saturday evening or Sunday would work for him.
  • My great-grandfather, Clyde Lawson Askew, was born in Menahga on May 7, 1896. Where would he have been born? Clyde married my great-grandmother Gertrude Scott on Clyde’s 20th birthday (May 7, 1916—pretty clever, Clyde; you’ll never forget the date) in Menahga, but where?
Wadena County Historical Society Museum (Tuesday–Friday)

The Wadena County Historical Society Museum is located at 603 North Jefferson, Wadena, and is open from 10:00 to 4:00 Tuesday through Friday. From their website: “Staff are also very helpful in genealogy research and records with over 23,000 obituaries, 3,600 photos and much more.”

Family names in the Wadena County Historical Society’s family name database include the following (italics indicate no match found, square brackets indicate possibly relevant match):

  • Askew [Askew Kraemer]
  • Bristol [Bristol Eddy]
  • [Cheney]
  • Comstock
  • Eddy
  • Eilbeck
  • Everts, [Evert], [Ewertz]
  • Gores
  • Harkcom
  • Horan, [Horn]
  • Kinne [Kinn], [Kinneberg], [Kinney]
  • McAllister
  • McLaughlin
  • Peck
  • Prettyman
  • Scott
  • Snyder [Snider], [Snider Schnider], [Snider Snyder]
  • Von Wolf [Wolff]
  • Woodruff

They also have the Wadena County Tombstone Inscriptions, including a transcription of Catholic cemetery records, including the relocation of bodies from the Compton Township Catholic Cemetery in Otter Tail County, perhaps in 1886.

Wadena Cemeteries

There are at least two cemeteries I’ll want to visit while in Wadena (conveniently located adjacent to one another):

  • Wadena Cemetery (aka Wadena City Cemetery)
  • Calvary Cemetery (aka St Ann’s Catholic Cemetery, Saint Ann’s Cemetery, Wadena Catholic Cemetery, Compton Cemetery)109 10th Street, Staples

I would ideally visit these only after I’ve reviewed the Wadena County Tombstone Inscriptions at the Wadena County Historical Society.

Find my grandparents' and great-grandparents' homes

These are the addresses that I’ve been able to ascertain:

  • [GM] Harriet Eva Askew Prettyman
    • ___, Casselton, ND (1922) [no address listed on census]
    • 104 1st St. SE, Wadena (1930)
    • 715 Second St. SW, Wadena (1940)
  • [GGF] Clyde Lawson Askew
    • 109 10th St., Staples (1917)
    • ___, Casselton, ND (1920) [no address listed on census]
    • 104 1st St. SE, Wadena (1930)
    • 715 Second St. SW, Wadena (1940)
  • [GGGF] Wilfred Lawson Askew
    • Askew homestead, Wadena (1875)
    • Askew homestead, Wadena (1880)
    • Askew homestead, Wadena (1885)
    • ___ 3rd St., Wadena (1900) [no house number or quadrant given]
    • ___ , Washburn, ND (1918) [no address listed on draft card]
    • 220 Jefferson St., Wadena (1930)
    • 421 Third St., Wadena (1940) [no quadrant given on census]
  • [GGGM] Hattie S Eddy
    • ___, Aldrich (1880) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Aldrich (1885) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Verndale (1885) [no address listed on census]
  • [GGM] Gertrude Scott Askew
    • ___, Deer Creek (1897)
    • ___, Deer Creek (1900) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Deer Creek (1910) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Casselton, ND (1920) [no address listed on census]
    • 104 1st St. SE, Wadena (1930)
    • 715 Second St. SW, Wadena (1940)
  • [GGGF] Frank Scott
    • ___, Aurdal (1875) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Buse (1880) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Deer Creek (1895) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Deer Creek (1900) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Deer Creek (1910) [no address listed on census]
    • ___ 3rd Ave., Menahga (1930) [no house number or quadrant given, but enumerated between West Highway and 4th Ave.]
  • [GGGM] Maggie McAllister Scott
    • ___, Deer Creek (1895) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Deer Creek (1900) [no address listed on census]
    • ___, Deer Creek (1910) [no address listed on census]
  • [GF] William Eugene Prettyman
    • ___ 3rd St., Wadena (1920) [no house number or quadrant given]
    • 4__ 2nd St. SW, Wadena (1930) [house number between 411 and 515]
  • [GGF] Charles Austin Prettyman
    • ___ 3rd St., Wadena (1920) [no house number or quadrant given]
    • 4__ 2nd St. SW, Wadena (1930) [house number between 411 and 515]
    • 95 N. [Relan?] Ave., St. Paul (1940) [street name hard to decipher]
  • [GGGF] Alfred Minos Prettyman
    • ____, Spruce Hill (1880) [no address given]
    • ____, Woodside Dist. 28 (1895) [no address given]
    • ____, Hewitt (1920) [no address given]
    • ____, Hewitt (1930) [no address given]
  • [GGGF] Mary Ann Horan Prettyman
    • ____, Byron (1880) [no address given]
    • ____, Woodside Dist. 28 (1895) [no address given]
    • ____, Hewitt (1906)
  • [GGM] Rosa Cecilia Gores Prettyman
    • 32 Jordan St., Wadena (1900)
    • ___ 5th St., Wadena (1910) [no house number or quadrant given]
    • ___ 3rd St., Wadena (1920) [no house number or quadrant given]
    • 4__ 2nd St. SW, Wadena (1930) [house number between 411 and 515]
    • 95 N. [Relan?] Ave., St. Paul (1940) [street name hard to decipher]
  • [GGGF] F. E. Gores
    • ___ 5th St., Wadena (1910) [no house number or quadrant given]
    • 206 Bryant Ave. SW, Wadena (1930)
    • 95 N. [Relan?] Ave., St. Paul (1940) [street name hard to decipher]
  • [GGGM] Veronika Evertz Gores
    • 32 Jordan St., Wadena (1900)
    • ___ 5th St., Wadena (1910) [no house number or quadrant given]
Joseph Askew 1875 homestead (1–2 hours)

Joseph Askew’s 1875 homestead is about 15 minutes East of Wadena. His homestead was the subject of one of my posts, and from what I could tell, it may have been fairly recently destroyed. I’ll take a trip to see for myself and to get an idea of how his property and buildings were laid out.

Otter Tail County Historical Society (plan for an entire day)

The Otter Tail County Historical Society, located at 1110 W. Lincoln Ave. in Fergus Falls, is about 70 minutes to the West of Wadena.

Some of the resources available at the Otter Tail County Historical Society are:

  • Biography Files: These files contain obituaries, newspaper clippings and various other materials. A good place place to start your research.
  • Obituary Card File Index: Card index of obituaries found in area newspapers. If we haven’t clipped it and put it in the biography files this is the next place to check.
  • Marriage Card File Index: Card index of marriages both those that have a marriage license recorded at the county or those we have indexed in newspapers.
  • Cemetery Master Index: We work closely with our cemeteries to keep a record of all burials. This is a major task for a county with over 258 cemeteries from the largest to the private/individual burial sites.
  • History of Otter Tail County by John Mason Index: A two volume history of the county published in 1916. This index is to the names found in both volumes.
  • Plat Maps and Index: The three earliest platted maps of Otter Tail County are 1884, 1902 and 1912. An index to the names that appear on these maps is available. More maps are available and we are working on an index to some of them. Others were indexed at the time they were created. We have plat books for: 1921, 1925, 1933, 1946, 1953, 1960, 1968, 1974, 1978, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2004.
  • Book Collection: Over 2,500 books covering various topics related to Otter Tail County and Minnesota’s history. Family History Books: Many genealogists have donated a copy of their family histories to our library. A list is available in our library.
  • Oral Histories: A listing of the more than 760 oral history recordings in our collection.
  • Photograph Collection: over 45,000 images.
  • Photography Studio Negative Files available for reprinting: Vernon – Flanigan Photography, Fergus Falls, 1970-1998; Farrar Photography, Fergus Falls, 1966-1984; MJP Studio, Battle Lake, 1997-2000.
  • Tax Lists: Otter Tail County’s tax lists from 1871. These lists are organized by year and township and/or village and record the description of the property owned and the taxes assessed.
Take a trip to Verndale

Verndale is about 10 minutes to the Southeast of Wadena. The village of Verndale is where the Eddy side of my family settled in the late 19th century, after migrating west from New York and spending at least a decade in Iowa. My great-great-great-great-grandparents died here, and are buried here.

Some of the things I could do in Verndale:

  • Visit the Verndale Museum, located at 202 North Farwell Street, Verndale. The Museum is only open by appointment, so I’ll need to contact them once my schedule is clearer.
  • Find the burial place of Harriet May (Bristol) Eddy (1820-1896). Can I learn where, specifically, she died?
  • Find the burial place of Abel Eddy (1810-1897).  Can I learn where, specifically, he died?
  • Where did Abel and Harriet Eddy live in Verndale?
Find and browse local antique stores

I’d love to have time every now and then to browse local antique stores, in the hope of finding photos of family members, objects that may have belonged to family members, or other objects evocative of the times and places in which my ancestors lived.

Day 9 (Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012)

I fly out of MSP at 5:35 pm, so I’ll have to be at the airport to return the rental car by about 3:30. Because of the time zone difference, I’ll be back in California at 7:50 pm.

One thought on “Itinerary—Wadena, 2012

  1. Working on the Arthur Horan (my grandfather) side of the ancestry. Apparently, Mary Ann Horan Prettyman was his sister. Could you scan and send me any pertinent information. I believe their father was William and their Mother Anora. However, if Mary Ann was born in 1861 there would have been a twenty year span in their births. I only know of three other sisters to Arthur. Thank you.lorraine

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