Watch keeps track of family’s role in Yukon

Don Eskew’s roots in Yukon run deep.
According to family research, Eskew’s family has called the community home since 1900, when James and Lucinda Eskew arrived by train with two of their eight children.
“William (Eskew) rode in the baggage car with their animals and equipment, and the rest of the family rode in the passenger train,” Eskew said.

Don Eskew shows the pocketwatch that has been handed down through five generations of his family and counting. With the help of his granddaughter, Eskew has traced his family’s journey to Yukon. Photo / Larissa Copeland

One of eight children born to Henley L. Eskew and Mary-Polly Wadkins, James Eskew and his three younger brothers were born in Virginia. The family went on to move to West Virginia, and eventually settled in Illinois.
During the Civil War, James Eskew served for six months in the 4th Regiment of the West Virginia Cavalry.
After being discharged, James returned to his family.
But once the family settled in Yukon, they were there to stay.
“They purchased adjoining plots to the southeast of town and began to farm,” Don said. “The Eskews have resided in Yukon ever since.”
And the family has kept a little piece of Oklahoma history with them.
In 1901, James Eskew bought a pocket watch from Oklahoma watchmaker E.G. Barrett.
The watch has made its way to William Eskew upon James Eskew’s death, and went on to be handed down, father to son, for five generations.
Now, it’s in Don Eskew’s care.
Eskew, whose son passed away in 2017, said he plans for the watch to go to his nephew, Carl Eskew, when Don passes away.
Recently, Don Eskew took up the challenge of chronicling his family history. With the help of his granddaughter, Hayley Goodger, he compiled photographs of James and Lucinda Eskew, and all the family’s subsequent generations.
“It’s awesome to have,” Don Eskew said.

Leave a Comment