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Who was Albert Emerson Askew?

Albert’s uncle, Charles Thompson Askew, the subject of my earliest posts on this blog, led me to find Albert and his family. The 1883 Woods’ Baltimore City Directory, which I referred to in an earlier post about him, lists Charles T. Askew, salesman, at the corner of Lafayette and Gilmor, along with Thomas S. Askew, clerk, and Isaac Emerson, apothecary. (There’s that Emerson name again, hmmm.) I also know that Charles and Thomas are brothers. How do I know that? In addition to wills and other evidence, which I won’t go into right now, here they are in the 1870 federal census for Wake County, North Carolina:

1870 NC Wake Askew William copy

I was unable to find Thomas in the 1880 census. However, I did find him in another Baltimore city directory in 1893. The listing reads:

ASKEW & CO (Thos S Askew, Albert W Young) druggists, 501 N. Carrollton

It seems he rose from being a clerk in a drug store to a druggist in his own business. This was the last evidence I could find for Thomas in Baltimore. An 1894 city directory for Wilmington, Delaware, listed “Askew TS, druggist.” At first, I wasn’t certain whether or not this was, in fact, the same person. Some evidence I discovered recently, however, proves it was. Where did Thomas go after that?

Legal documents pertaining to his father’s estate indicate that by 1888 he has a wife named Sadie. Using that as a clue, I found him in Pennsylvania. Here they are in the 1900 federal census for Philadelphia:

1900 PA askew t s copy

It shows that they have been married for 14 years and that he is a drug salesman. They have two sons who were born in Delaware: Albert E., born in May, 1891; and Frank L., born in May, 1897.

I haven’t had any luck finding a birth record for Albert, but I did find one for Frank. He was born in Wilmington, Delaware on May 1, 1897. It also shows his mother’s maiden name is Sadie Young. Could she be related to the Albert W. Young listed as a druggist at Askew & Co. in the 1893 Baltimore directory mentioned above? It seems likely, but I don’t know for certain.

Askew Frank L

Searching Delaware records, I also found that Thomas and Sadie had a daughter who died at age 2. According to the death certificate, her name was Edith Young Askew. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She died on June 17, 1890 of meningitis.

For some reason, I haven’t been able to find this family in either the 1910 or 1920 federal census. This meant turning to other sources for clues to their whereabouts. Once again, books available online in digital format provided answers. Just as I found clues about Charles Askew by searching in publications about his occupation as a paper salesman, I turned up valuable information about Thomas in pharmaceutical materials. A publication titled Practical Druggist and Pharmaceutical Review of Reviews, Vol. 21-24, pg. 585, which I found at http://www.books.google.com, in the section dated December, 1908, lists Thomas S. Askew as a registered pharmacist, having passed the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy exam in October.

Now that I knew where (and “when”) to look, it was easy to trace the family in city directories. A city directory for Vineland, New Jersey lists Thomas as a druggist and Albert as resident manager at 712 Grape Street. In 1910, the whole family appears in the Camden city directory. Their address is 835 N. 2nd. The 1915 Camden city directory shows that, by then, the family had moved to 419 State Street. Albert is listed as a drug clerk.

Albert seems to be following in his father’s footsteps in the pharmacy business. Perhaps seeking new opportunities apart from the family business, Albert takes over the management of a pharmacy in Trenton, New Jersey, according to this article published in the Trenton Evening Times on October 6, 1915:

Askew takes over Davidsons drug store copy

On June 5th of 1917, Albert registered for the draft. His registration card lists his age as 26 and date of birth as May 4, 1892. (This differs from the 1900 census, above, by one year.) His home address is 145 State Street, Camden, and he now works as a pharmacist for J. T. Kelly in Hammonton, New Jersey. He is married. He is tall, with blue eyes and black hair. The Camden city directory for 1917 shows that Thomas and Sadie continue to live at 419 State Street.

Exactly one year later, his brother, Frank, registered for the draft, too. His registration card lists his age as 21 and date of birth as May 1, 1897. His home address is 418 N. 2nd, Camden, and he works for the Electro Dental Company of Philadelphia. He is medium height, with light blue eyes and brown hair. Interestingly, he lists his mother as his nearest relative. Also, he reports his middle name as “Young,” although it is shown as “Laplace” on his birth record. Why the change, I wonder?

We know what happens to Albert later in 1918. In fact, the address where his funeral was held is the same as the address that Frank lists as his home address on his draft registration. Albert’s widow, Florence, moved to San Francisco after his death, and appears there in the 1925 city directory.

Something happens to Thomas between 1917 and 1920, but I’m not sure what it is. He may also have died of the Spanish flu, but I have been unable to find a death record for him. The 1920 Camden city directory lists Sadie, but not Thomas. She is living with Frank. One day I may be able to solve this mystery in the New Jersey archives.

Are there any living Askews from this line? Albert and Florence had no children. I have no record of Frank after 1923. So, for now, it seems the story of my great-great-great uncle Thomas and his family has come to an end.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Askew, Uncategorized

 

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Charles T. Askew – Looking Ahead and Looking Back

Bringing the Charles Thompson Askew family into the present day requires more research than I am prepared to do. Because of privacy concerns, the information available online for people presumed to be still living is somewhat limited. And rightly so! Here is what I know of the rest of this story.

We know from her obituary, that Charles’ daughter Bertie (from his first marriage to Leila Skinner) and her husband Daniel Henderson had a daughter named Ruth, who was attending Swarthmore College at the time of Bertie’s death in 1935. Ruth’s engagement to H. Woodward McDowell, two years after her mother’s death, was announced in the New York Times:

New York Times; published May 2, 1937.

 

Although I have some clues about Ruth and H. Woodward McDowell from news articles which suggest they had two daughters named Nancy and Ann, I cannot prove it at this time.

We know from Charles’ obituary that he married a woman whose first name was Edith and that they had a son named Charles. The 1920 federal census record for Sierra Madre, Los Angeles county, California, shows Charles T. Askew, head-of-household, age 61, born in North Carolina; Edith M. Askew, his wife, age 48, born in England; Charles E. Askew, his son, age 19, born in New York. Given all the evidence I have already presented about Charles T. Askew, I have concluded that this record must pertain to him and his family. The last record I have for Charles Thompson Askew is the obituary, published just 3 years after this census was taken. His wife’s maiden name may have been Matthews. The California Death Index lists Edith Matthews Askew, born November 12, 1870 in “other country” and died February 19, 1957 in Los Angeles.

His son, Charles E. Askew, can be found in numerous records. The 1930 federal census record for Sierra Madre, Los Angeles county, California shows Charles E. Askew, head-of-household, age 30, born in New York, father born in North Carolina, mother born in England; Freeda I. Askew, his wife, age 24, born in California; Helen E. Askew, his daughter, age 4, born in California; Betty J. Askew, his daughter, age 6 months, born in California. This census also asked for “age at first marriage.” In this case, it gives us some very important information. For Charles, his age at first marriage is reported to be 21 – approximately 9 years earlier. For Freeda, however, her age at first marriage is reported to be 23 – just one year earlier, and too soon to be the mother of Helen who is 4 years old. I suspect that Freeda is his second wife. Can I prove it?

The California Birth Index, which I found on Ancestry.com, lists Helen Edith Askew, born in Los Angeles county on July 25, 1925. Her mother’s maiden name is recorded as Vanblack. The California Death Index, also found on Ancestry.com, lists Helen Edith, born July 25, 1925 in California and died May 7, 1996 in Los Angeles county. It records her mother’s maiden name as Vanvleck, her father’s surname as Askew, and her full name as Helen Edith Pennington. Despite the different spellings of her mother’s maiden name, which could easily be due to a transcription error, these records appear to match each other and are consistent with the 1930 census record. Could Vanblack (or Vanvleck) be the maiden name of Charles E. Askew’s first wife?

After much searching, I hit pay dirt! In a family history published on Ancestry.com (the complete source for this record is listed at the end of this post) here is what I found:

Child of Frank Abram and Eliza B. (Stanbery) Van Vleck: Helen Janette Van Vleck (adopted), born Feb 2, 1904; died at the birth of her only daughter; married in Sierra Madre CA April, 1922, Charles Askew. Child Helen.

It appears that Charles E. was married first to Helen Van Vleck and second to Freeda (last name unknown.) Helen apparently died in childbirth. So sad . . .

In census records I found Frank Abram, Eliza and Helen. That information together with the Van Vleck family history led me to the book The History of Cerro Gordo County, IA, 1910, which has quite a bit of information about the Stanbery/Stanbury family. It reports that Frank Van Vleck and Eliza Belle Stanbury are living in Minot, ND and that she is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William C. Stanbery. The Iowa connection led me to an article published in the Mason City Globe Gazette on October 17, 1957 about a lawsuit that the local power company was bringing against many people who had an interest in land located in the Stanbury Addition, Mason City, Cerro Gordo county. The defendants included Charles E. Askew and Irene Askew, husband and wife, and Helen Edith Askew Pennington!

One detail that I have yet to prove is the maiden name of Charles E. Askew’s second wife. The census records list her name as Freeda or Freida I. Askew. Given that the name listed in the news article is “Irene,” I think that may be her middle name.

Old high school and college yearbooks are increasingly available online. Here is a photo I found in the 1945 Pasadena Jr. College Yearbook for Helen Edith Askew.

What else do I know? From his military registration card, I know that Charles E. Askew’s middle name is Emerson (keep that in mind, it is a name you will see again) and that he had blue eyes and brown hair, and that his birthday was August 18, 1900. He may have served in the US Air Force as a pilot and may have been a volunteer fireman in Sierra Madre, according to various records I have found but that I can’t prove pertain to him. I have not found a death record for him. The California Death Index lists Freida I. Askew, born October 17, 1905 in California, died September 10, 1975 in Los Angeles. I haven’t been able to find any records for their daughter, Betty.

Next, we will return to the east coast at the end of the 19th century and follow one of Charles T. Askew’s brothers.

There is always “more to the story!”

 

Source:

Ancestry.com. Ancestry and descendants of Tielman Van Vleeck of Niew Amsterdam : with some descendants of Benjamin Van Vleck and Marinus Roel [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. (Original data: Van Vleck, Jane,. Ancestry and descendants of Tielman Van Vleeck of Niew Amsterdam : with some descendants of Benjamin Van Vleck and Marinus Roelofse van Vleckeren or Van Vlack. New York: unknown, 1955.)

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Askew, Family Photos, Uncategorized

 

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Charles T. Askew – A Chronology

In an earlier post, I promised more details would be forthcoming about Charles T. Askew and his career in the paper industry. Here is the information I have gathered so far:

The Alumni History of the University of North Carolina: Electronic Edition lists Charles Thompson Askew from Raleigh; born November 30, 1858; died Sierra Madre, California, December 31, 1923; resided in New York; student 1875-1878; paper manufacturer 1878-1880; merchant 1880-1923.

We know from his obituary that Charles left the University of North Carolina to help his father run the paper mill at the Falls of Neuse near Raleigh. If the alumni directory is correct, he left his father’s business in 1880. Where did he go?

The marriage notice for Charles T. Askew and Leila Dodson said their wedding took place in Baltimore. We are not certain, yet, if this is “our” Charles T. Askew but it makes sense to look for him there to see if we can find any clues. The University of Maryland Digital Collections has Baltimore city directories available to view online for various years from 1816 to 1920. City directories are great sources of information, and are especially useful for filling in the years between censuses. The first directory listing for Charles T. Askew is in the Woods’ Baltimore City Directory for 1883 on page 71. He is listed as a salesman, Lafayette and Gilmor. At this same location is Thomas S. Askew, clerk. Because I know that Charles had a brother named Thomas S. Askew, this must be the “right” Charles T. Askew. Furthermore, at this same address is listed Isaac Emerson, apothecary, who is known to be the brother-in-law of Charles and Thomas.

Charles is not listed in the 1884 or 1885 Woods’ directory. He is listed in 1886 on page 80 as a salesman, 406 Druid Hill Ave. The 1887 directory is not online. He does not appear in the 1888 R. L. Polk city directory. He is listed in the 1889 R. L. Polk directory on page 75. It lists him as a manager at 16 Hanover, and his home address is 336 Presstman. This is the last time I find him in Baltimore. Where did he go from there? His obituary says he joined the sales department of A. G. Elliot and Co. of Philadelphia, then J. Q. Preble & Co. and J. B. Sheffield & Co.

According to The American Stationer, Vol. 27, January 30, 1890, page 231:

Charles T. Askew will continue with J B Sheffield & Son and the Saugerties Blank Book Company, successors to J. Q. Preble & Co. as their Southern representative and will soon call on his friends and customers throughout his territory.

Unfortunately for Charles, Sheffield & Son and the Saugerties Blank Book Company were in the process of reorganizing debts that resulted from the partnership with J. Q. Preble, as reported in the New York Times on December 22, 1889. Charles soon left the company and started his own business.

From The American Stationer, Vol. 27, April 3, 1890, page 796:

Charles T. Askew well-known throughout the South, has resigned his position as a representative of J. B. Sheffield & Son and Saugerties Blank Book Company. He will start at once in the business of manufacturing tablets, locating his factory at 39 Vesey Street, New York, under the style the Manhattan Tablet Company. He will have associated with him W. R. Crump who has been at the head of the tablet department at Saugerties for six or more years. In addition to this business, Mr. Askew will sell paper and blank books on commission.

In 1892, again according to his obituary, he formed a partnership with Henry W. Dewey under the name Dewey and Askew, wholesale paper dealers, which he operated until 1898. Then, in 1899, Charles joins the newly formed Ulster Paper Mills Company in Saugerties, New York, according to an article in The Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer, Vol. 10, August 1, 1899, page 486. Charles is listed as manager of sales and Benjamin F. Crump is listed as manager.

At some point after this, Charles tries his hand at another new business which he calls The Askew Company. The New England Stationer and Printer, Vol. 16, April 1902, page 36, reports that he has joined this company with the Edward J. Merriam Company and will once again be calling on customers in the South. In 1905, Charles heads west.

The F. M Husted’s Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley city directory, Volume 1907, lists both C. T. Askew and the Merriam Paper Company at 1003 Broadway. Some time later, he goes to work for the Zellerbach Paper Company, founded in San Francisco, where he works until his death in 1923 according to his obituary.

Charles left quite a “paper trail!”

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Askew, Genealogy Lessons

 

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Finding My Charles T. Askew, Part 2

It was one of those EUREKA moments that happens every now and then, when poking around leads to finding that missing piece of the puzzle that makes everything fall into place. It makes the hair on your arms stand up, as anyone who has ever done genealogy research will attest.

I had left my search for Charles Thompson Askew and moved on. The questions remained unanswered until one day, with some time on my hands and my laptop at the ready, I tried a Google search using “Charles T Askew” and paper mill. The first result was a free Google ebook, called The Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News, Vol. 22. It listed Charles T. Askew or the Ulster Paper Mills of Saugerties, NY. Farther down the list of search results was Husted’s Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley Directory, 1907 listing Charles T. Askew at Merriam Paper Company. Several additional results, which I will detail in a future post, traced his work history from Baltimore, to New York, to California. This was all news to me.

Apparently I had never put his name together with the words ‘paper’ and ‘mill’ in a Google search before. There are two lessons here:

  1. Don’t restrict a search to just the person’s name. Include terms that describe things that you know about the person, like their occupation or hobby.
  2. Repeat searches from time to time. As more information comes online, new results will appear.

All of this information was interesting, but none of it was definitive until I saw this:

Image

This article was published in The Atlanta Constitution on January 14, 1923. It has been digitized and can be found on the website www.fold3.com

The key piece of information is in paragraph 4. Colonel William F. Askew of Raleigh, manufacturer of paper at the Falls of Neuse, is my great-great-great-grandfather. I have found Charles.

Now, what about Leila Dodson, the widow?

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Askew

 

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Finding My Charles T. Askew, Part 1

Charles Thompson Askew was born in 1859, married Leila Dodson in Baltimore, Maryland on December 19, 1882, and died before 1900, or so I thought.

His birth year was calculated using census data. His marriage to Leila was suggested by a notation in legal documents pertaining to his father’s estate and confirmed by a notice on page 4 of the Raleigh News and Observer, published on December 24, 1882. The notice states that Charles T. Askew was married “last Tuesday evening” in Baltimore to Leila Dodson by the Reverend AC Dixon. Furthermore, the R. L. Polk & Company Baltimore City Directory for 1899 lists a Charles T. Askew in the paper business at 1804 Bolton Street. I know he learned the paper business from his father, who owned a paper mill in Wake County, North Carolina. In the 1900 census for the 2nd Precinct of Baltimore, Maryland, Leila Askew is listed as a widow with her daughter, Bertie, born in July of 1883. So, Charles must have died some time before the 1900 census.

It all made sense, until I found this listing in the Alumni History of the University of North Carolina:

*ASKEW, CHARLES THOMPSON

From Raleigh; New York, N. Y.; b. Nov. 30, 1858; d. Sierra Madre, Cal., Dec. 31, 1923; s. 1875-78; paper manufacturer 1878-80; merchant 1880-1923.

Was this the same person? The 1910 census for Los Angeles, California lists a Chas. T. Askew of approximately the correct age, but from South Carolina, living with Edith, his wife of 13 years, and son Charles E. His place of business is a paper house. His name, age and occupation suggest he is the same man who lived in Baltimore. The state where he was born doesn’t fit, though. Who is Edith, and what about Leila and Bertie??

Could there be two different men of the same age, both named Charles T. Askew, and both in the paper business? If so, which one belongs in my family tree?

After more than four years of searching, I believe I have the answer!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Askew

 

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