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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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Askew Among 675,000 Dead from Flu

Between the start of “flu season” and the middle of October, nearly 7000 people in Camden, New Jersey fell ill with the flu. By October 19th, 615 of them were dead. Across the river in Philadelphia, the death toll climbed quickly past 700. No epidemic of this magnitude has been encountered before or since. One unfortunate victim, Albert Emerson Askew, succumbed to the flu on October 23rd, during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. He was 27 years old.

According to his obituary, published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger on October 25, 1918, he was survived by his wife, Florence Patterson Askew; his father, Thomas Askew; and his mother, Sadie Askew. A funeral service was held at the home of family friend William E. Comley, 418 N. 2nd Street, Camden. Interment took place at Riverview Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware.

In 1918, the Spanish flu caused an estimated 675,000 deaths in the United States alone. The worldwide death toll may have been as high as 50 million people. It killed rapidly, often overnight, as infected people suffocated when their lungs filled with fluid. Some reports indicate a bloody froth spilled from their mouths. Secondary bacterial pneumonia infections were common. Those in the age range of 20 to 50 had the highest mortality rate, which is somewhat unusual for the flu. At the time, Philadelphia’s population numbered approximately 1.7 million. By October 25th, 150,000 cases of the Spanish flu had been reported there. The city morgue, designed for 36 bodies, overflowed with more than 500 dead stacked in the halls. Burials couldn’t keep pace. In Philadelphia, as well as in Newark, New Jersey, and other cities, the dead were sometimes buried in mass graves.

Some of the first reported case of the Spanish flu in the US occurred among a group of sailors in Boston at the end of August, 1918. By October 1st, the number of reported cases in Massachusetts exceeded 75,000. In New Jersey, more than 150,000 cases were reported, and by the end of October more than 4,400 people were dead. By contrast, this year Boston’s mayor declared a state of emergency when the number of confirmed cases of the flu reached 700 and 4 people had died.

Public response to the Spanish flu epidemic seems to have been mixed. In some cities, public gathering places such as schools, theaters, and churches were closed, and people were encouraged to don gauze masks. Not everyone agreed with this policy, however. One Philadelphia newspaper accused authorities of trying to “scare everyone to death,” and relegated news about the flu to its back pages, despite the mounting death toll. Ultimately, Philadelphia had the highest number of deaths of any US city with over 12,000 reported. Most of these occurred within four weeks during the peak of the flu season.

Still, many more people lived through the pandemic than died. Unfortunately, Albert E. Askew wasn’t one of the lucky ones. The odds may have been stacked against him, though, because he would very likely have come into contact with many sick people. He was a druggist. In those days, the fledgling medical profession had neither the knowledge nor the resources to mount an effective battle against this virulent strain of flu. Also, many doctors and nurses were overseas taking care of the soldiers fighting in World War I, leaving fewer “trained” medical personnel to care for the sick. The pharmaceutical industry was in its infancy, with druggists creating and dispensing “cures” for many ailments. They were often sought out by the sick for medical advice and treatment. There was no cure for the flu, however whisky was often proscribed. Druggists were a source of supply even when public places, such as saloons, had been temporarily closed during the height of the pandemic.

Where does Albert Emerson Askew reside on my family tree? I will tell you in my next post. Hint: we are 1st cousins, 3 times removed. If you don’t remember what that means, read this post again.

Here are a few of the sources I used for information about the Spanish Flu:

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic; http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/

Pandemic Flu History; http://www.flu.gov/pandemic/history/1918/

University of Pennsylvania article; http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/1198/lynch.html

Boston flu deaths for 2012-13 season total 6 before Jan 11th according to this article. Five were over 65 years old.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Askew, Uncategorized

 

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What I Learned From Bertie Askew’s UDC Application

When I sent for a copy of Bertie Askew’s United Daughters of the Confederacy membership application, I didn’t know what to expect in return. Yesterday, I received copies of three forms. One is her original membership application, for the Baltimore Chapter of the UDC. The other two forms are titled “Demit” and show her moving from the Baltimore chapter to the Robert E. Lee Chapter in East Orange, New Jersey and then to the Stonewall Jackson Chapter in Glenridge, New Jersey. Do they contain useful information? Yes!

Membership in the UDC is limited to women with certain ties to the Confederacy and is by invitation. According to Article I of the By-laws of the UDC, printed on the application form:

Those women not less than 18 years of age entitled to membership are the women who are the widows, wives, mothers, sisters, grand nieces, and lineal descendants of such men as served honorably in the Confederate Army, Navy or Civil Service, or those men, unfit for active duty, who loyally gave aid to the Cause. Also Southern women who can give proof of personal service or loyal aid to the Southern Cause during the war, and the lineal descendants or nieces of such women wherever living. Northern women having no male relative who served the Confederate States of America in the War Between the States, 1861-1865, and having themselves performed no special service to same, but having married a Confederate soldier since 1865, and through this means becoming a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, shall have the words “by adoption” placed upon their certificates of membership and upon the Registrar’s books . . .

In her initial application for membership, Bertie gives information proving her relationship to a confederate soldier. She states that she is the granddaughter of Col. W. F. Askew of Raleigh, a colonel in the Commissary Department located at Raleigh, North Carolina. Furthermore, she is a great niece of W. H. Moore in the North Carolina Cavalry. Her birthdate and location are, unfortunately, left blank. She signs her name “Bertie Askew Henderson (Mrs. D. M. Jr.) and gives her address as 2113 Guilford Ave., Baltimore. To be admitted to the UDC, she must receive recommendations from three members. She lists S. A. Williamson, Rebecca Marshall and E. R. Beall She was admitted to the chapter on November 6th, 1906.

At first glance, the new information contained in this application may seem to be scant, but it does provide support for her placement in our family tree and introduces a new name, W. H. Moore. If he is her great uncle, then he is likely to be a brother-in-law to William F. Askew, her grandfather. Here is a clipping from the 1850 census of Wake County, North Carolina, showing Wm. F. Askew and his wife, Harriet Moore (More), living with her father, John C. Moore (More) and brother, William.

By 1860, William and Harriet have moved out of her father’s house, but William is still living there:

Putting together the information from these census pages and his Confederate service record might lead to new information about the Moore family.

The other bit of information worth pursuing is William F. Askew’s service in the Commissary Department during the war. What was his role in the department? How did he obtain the rank of colonel? Did he form relationships during this time that helped him after the war was over? It looks like I’ll be learning something about Confederate Service Records and making a trip to the North Carolina State Archives.

On May 8th, 1922, Bertie transfers her membership to the Robert E. Lee Chapter, East Orange, New Jersey. Her name is listed as Bertha Askew Henderson (Mrs. Daniel M.) This form lists her date of birth as December 29, 1883 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both Col. Wm. F. Askew and W. H. Moore are named, but next to Moore’s name is written “41st State Troops, CSA, Co. A, 3rd NC Cav.” As this was written by hand and most of the other information is typed, this must have been added later. A quick search online shows that the history of the 3rd Cavalry is widely known, but also turns up more than one W. H. Moore in their ranks. Further research will be necessary to determine whether or not the information given on the UDC form is correct.

Her transfer to the Stonewall Jackson Chapter in March of 1932 states that she was the founder of the Robert E. Lee Chapter of East Orange and is a charter member of the Stonewall Jackson Chapter. Her name is again written as Bertha Askew Henderson. Perhaps she used “Bertie” as a nickname when she was younger, but resorted to Bertha as she matured, as I have done with my name. People who have known me more than 25 years still call me Laurie, but I began using my given name, Laurel, when I wanted to be taken more seriously in business settings and continue to use it today.

Organizations like the UDC provided women with opportunities for accomplishments outside of their traditional roles as mothers and wives at a time when most women did not work outside the home, and for forming friendships with a common bond. The objectives of the UDC include preserving the history of the War Between the States, assisting descendants in obtaining an education by providing scholarships, and honoring those who served.

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Askew, Genealogy Lessons

 

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2 Wives – 2 Lives

Mounting evidence supports the theory that Charles Thompson Askew married twice. Although his obituary mentions a wife, Edith, and a son, Charles, I have found additional information proving an earlier marriage to Leila Dodson and the birth of a daughter, Bertie. Besides the marriage announcement mentioned in my first post about Charles, new information sheds light on his first wife and daughter.

Married in December of 1882, Charles and Leila were no longer living together by the time the 1900 census was taken. The 1890 census would be helpful, but it was almost completely destroyed by fire and by bureaucratic ineptitude. Fortunately, more and more newspapers are being digitized and made available online, either through subscription services or through library websites for free.

A newspaper article from the Baltimore Sun, February 27, 1895 lists Charles T. Askew, Mrs. Charles T. Askew and Miss Askew, of Brooklyn, New York, attending the Drew-Hodson wedding in Baltimore. This is consistent with what we know of his employment history, which places him in New York around this time. It means Charles, Leila and daughter moved to New York together. We can only speculate about why their lives soon changed.

Here is a clipping from the 1900 census for Baltimore, Maryland. It shows (reading the columns from left to right) Leila Askew, head of household, White, Female, born October 1858, age 41, Widowed, mother of one child, one child still living, born in Maryland, her father born in Maryland, her mother born in Maryland. On the next line is Bertie Askew, daughter, born July 1883.

That Leila is listed as widowed could mean several things: she could be widowed, she could be divorced, or she could be abandoned. First, we don’t know who gave this information to the census taker. Second, divorced women often preferred to be known as widows in an era when divorce carried such a stigma. Third, a divorce was difficult to obtain.

I cannot find Charles in the 1900 census. It’s possible he wasn’t counted because he was traveling as a paper salesman at that time.

The 1910 census shows Leila Askew, mother-in-law, living with Daniel M. Henderson and Bertie C. Henderson. It also shows that Bertie and Daniel have been married for 5 years, and that Daniel’s parents were born in Scotland. Interestingly, Leila is listed as having been married 2 times, with the present marriage of 27 years duration, and as having had 2 children, with one still living (Bertie, of course.) Census data can never be presumed to be fact without further proof, however it raises the possibility that she may have been abandoned and never divorced. She may have been married to someone else before Charles. Perhaps Bertie had a brother or sister who did not survive.

In 1920 Leila is again listed in the census as a widow, and Daniel and Bertie have a 5-year-old daughter named Ruth. They are living in Orange, New Jersey. I have no further information about Leila. More proof is needed to confirm the link between Daniel and Bertie Henderson, Leila Askew and Charles T. Askew (son of William F. Askew of Raleigh.) What we have so far relies on census data and needs to be corroborated with additional evidence.

I believe I have found the evidence that proves this relationship, and this is what led me to it-

Here is an obituary for Bertie, published in the New York Times on December 29, 1935:

To become a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, you have to prove that an ancestor fought in the War Between the States (AKA Civil War) or supported the Confederate war effort. You can obtain a copy of a member’s application by contacting the UDC library. I am awaiting the copy of Bertie’s application that I requested last week, but here is the reply I received to my email inquiry:

Dear Ms. Sanders,

Bertie Corinne Askew Henderson joined the Baltimore Chapter #8 in Baltimore, MD on November 6, 1906.  She transferred to the Robert E. Lee #1773 in East Orange, NJ in 1922, and then transferred to the Stonewall Jackson #2058 in Glenridge, NJ in 1931.  The transfers state that she was the Founder of the Robert E. Lee Chapter and a Charter Member of the Stonewall Jackson Chapter.  I’ll be happy to make a copy of the application for you; our charge for a copy of an application is $16.00. Her Confederate Ancestor was Col. William F. Askew, her Grandfather.

Thank you,

Betty Luck

Research Librarian

United Daughters of the Confederacy

328 North Boulevard

Richmond, Virginia 23220

Is this enough proof to consider the case closed? I could pursue additional records, but I am satisfied that the question of whether or not Charles T. Askew was married to Leila Dodson has been answered. New York, New Jersey and California are locations that appear frequently in our family history. Coincidence, or something more?

Here is a question for YOU to answer: In Bertie’s obituary, Daniel M. Henderson is mentioned as an author and New York magazine official. What did he write and how famous (or infamous) was he? When you find out, leave your answer in a comment on this post!

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Askew, Genealogy Lessons, Uncategorized

 

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