I wrote my first post on this mystery photo two and a half years ago. Thanks to my grandmother’s memories, as well as a great find made by my second cousin once removed Ruth Rogers in a set of family photos now in her possession, I can now declare the case closed on this mystery.
This mystery photo was actually identified last Fall, but the preparations, anticipation and excitement of becoming a new dad led to me setting this blog aside for several months until just a couple of weeks ago.
As a reminder, this was an unidentified photo of a boy and girl and a doll that I found at my grandmother’s house while helping my family get her old home ready for sale:
On one of my visits to see my grandmother, who is now suffering from serious memory loss, she said that she was nearly certain that the boy was her father, Clyde Lawson Askew. But as Clyde was the eldest sibling in his family, the girl couldn’t be an older sister. Maybe it was a cousin, she said. It turns out she was right on the first count and close on the second count (go, grandma!).
The real turning point came this past summer, when my industrious cousin Ruth Rogers decided to start scanning the boxes of family photos that she received from her mother, Ruth Naomi Askew Edwards. One of the photos that she scanned and shared with family was the following version of the same photo. Her version was in better condition and was labeled with the identities of the children:
So the mystery children are Clyde Lawson Askew (1896–1967) and Beulah Lydia Eddy (1890–1984).
In my first post, I noted that the photography studio was only open for one year (1902), and I estimated the childrens’ ages as 3–5 years old for the boy and 8–12 years old for the girl. From this, I had concluded that the boy was born between 1897 and 1899, and the girl was born between 1890 and 1894. To further limit the list of candidates, I also made the assumption that the boy, at least, was born in Minnesota, and that the boy and girl were siblings or cousins. This led to a list of 8 possible boys and 2 possible girls. Clyde and Beulah were not among the lists of possible children I offered.
Where did I go wrong with my best guesses as to the childrens’ identities? I missed the ID on Clyde because I estimated the age of the boy at 3–5 years old (Clyde was 6 years old in this photo). In the future, I should make my age estimates a bit more liberal.
|Boy (Clyde Askew)
|3–5 years old
|6 years old
|Girl (Beulah Eddy)
|8–12 years old
|12 years old
I missed the ID on Beulah because I was focusing on children who were siblings, although I was also open to children who were cousins. It turns out that although they’re only 6 years apart in age, Beulah Lydia Eddy was Clyde’s aunt! Beulah was the youngest sister of Clyde’s mother Hattie Eddy.