Research update: Washburn road-building project

In an earlier post about a road building project in Washburn, McLean County, North Dakota, I concluded that the photo was not of Clyde Askew, as my grandmother had stated, but of Frank Scott, as Frank is clearly pictured and one of the photos was found in a photo album that most likely had belonged to him.

While doing research for another post, I discovered that members of the Askew family also had connections to the tiny town of Washburn around 1916-1918, and may have participated in this same road building project.

Clyde’s brother, Manfred Eddy Askew, turns out to have been living in Washburn in 1918, as he registered for the World War I draft in Washburn on September 12, 1918.  He was 18 years old at the time, and his occupation is listed as “Laborer.”


Manfred lists his father, Wilfred Lawson Askew, as his nearest relative on the draft form, and states that Wilfred was also living in Washburn, ND.

In fact, Wilfred’s own draft card (issued the same day as Manfred’s) states that not only was he living in Washburn, so was his new wife Selma (and by implication, his first three children by Selma).  He was 45 years old at the time, and his occupation is listed as “Road Foreman.”

Wilfred and Selma’s fourth-born, their son William Leighton Askew, was born in Washburn on November 14, 1918.

By the time of the 1920 census, enumerated on January 2, 1920, Wilfred, Selma, and their children are all back in Minnesota, living next door to his brother Samuel Askew.

I searched all of the McLean County, ND, draft cards, but Clyde’s draft card wasn’t among them.  If Clyde were working on the road building project, I’d expect to see his draft card filed next to that of his brother and father.


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