Askew, Joseph R., M.D., (deceased), formerly a well known and prominent physician of Jacksonville, Illinois, was born on a farm near Winton, Hertford County, N. C., May 25, 1819. He was a son of Jere Dergan Askew, born in 1777, on the same place, and a planter and slave holder of some means. His grandfather came from Scotland to Virginia before the Revolutionary War.
In boyhood Dr. Askew attended various private academies, and in October, 1838, when nineteen years old, entered Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1841. In 1843 he went to St. Louis by boat, and then located at Milton, Pike County, Illinois, where he commenced the practice of medicine. Soon after his arrival at Milton, he had all his clothes stolen, twenty-five cents being left for breakfast. He practiced at Milton and Bethel, Illinois, for some time, when he located at Jacksonville, where he continued in professional work until 1894. His death occurred February 11, 1904. At intervals during his professional career, he turned his attention to farming, and in both pursuits met with notable success.
In September, 1845, Dr. Askew was united in marriage with Nancy L. Evans, who is now in her eighty-third year. She was born January 15, 1823, at Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and her parents were early settlers in the vicinity of Milton, Illinois Dr. and Mrs. Askew became the parents of six children, namely: Alice, wife of John Chambers; Joseph R., who lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is engaged in the real estate business; Anna; Edward, an attorney-at-law; Nell and Edith.
In politics Dr. Askew was a Democrat. Religiously, he was a member of the Christian Church. He was a man of excellent traits of character and exceptional skill in his profession, and commanded the respect and esteem of all who knew him.