History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, and Dent Counties 1889- By Goodspeed Publishing Co.
Capt. Robert Mortimer Askins, hardware and furniture dealer in Salem, Mo., was born April 10, 1838, in the city of Dublin, Ireland, being the son of John and Sarah S. (Shea) Askin, and grandson of John Askin, who was a native of England and a plumber by trade. He died in Ireland. John Askins Jr., was born in Ireland in 1808, but was of English descent. He was also a plumber by trade, and died in his native country in 1873. His wife, Sarah S., was born in Ireland in 1807, and died in 1880. She was the mother of seven children, three now living, but ony two came to America: William A., and Robert M. The last named and his brother came to Canada with their uncle, William Shea, on a visit in 1852. William Shea located in Upper Canada, and at the end of twelve months Robert M. and William A. did not wish to return to Ireland. They lived in Canada four years, and while there worked at the tinners trade. In 1856 Robert M., came to the United States, and located in Jefferson County, New York, at Belleville, and here Robert M. worked at his trade until 1859, when he returned to Canada. In 1860 he returned to the States, and stopped in Missouri, locating in St. Louis in August 1862. He enlisted in Company E, Thirty-second Missouri Regiment Infantry Volunteers for three years or during the war at Steelville, Mo. He was in the fights at Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and was all through the Atlantic campaign, with Sherman to the sea, through the Carolina's by way of Richmond, and was at Washington D.C., during the grand parade. He then went back to Louisville, Kentucky, where he was discharged July 18, 1865. His regiment was in fifty two battles and skirmishes, and he never recieved a scratch or wound, was not absent but once, from December 9, 1863, to Febuary 8, 1864, on recruiting service. He was not sick during the entire service. He entered the service as a private and October 20, 1862, he was commissioned second lieutnant. April 4, 1864, he recieved commission of captain of his company. After the war he located at Steelville, Crawford County, and established a hardware and tin store. In 1870 he moved to Cuba, and there engaged in his old trade, but nine years later he came to Salem, where he has since been engaged in the hardware and furniture business. Febuary 22, 1866, he married Miss Clara Alice Jamison, daughter of Homer Jamison, and a native of Washington County, Mo., born in 1849, died January 22, 1873, leaving two children, William Clarence and John Herbert. April 12, 1876, he married Frances Amelia Watros, a native of New York, born in 1850. They have four children: Arthur W., Adney E., Myrvin L., and Matie Amelia. Mr. Askins is ine of Salem's best business men and is the only furniture dealer in the town. He carries a first class stock of goods, and is a man well respected by all who know him. He is a stanch Republican in his political views; is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the A.O.U.W., and the G.A.R. He was member of the school board for a time, and he and wife are members of the Episcopal Church.