This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of George Skinner

SOURCE: "A Standard History of Champaign County, Illinois," J. R. Stewart, Supervising Editor, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, Vols. I & II, 1918


GEORGE SKINNER, retired farmer, was born in Somersetshire, England, January 29, 1850, the son of Robert and Anna (RICH) SKINNER. The family came to the United States in 1854 and first established their home at Elk Grove, near Chicago. In 1864 they removed to Shelby County, and five years later to a farm near Homer, Champaign County, where the parents died in 1883.

Mr. Skinner received a public school education and was trained in his youth to agricultural pursuits. His father being crippled and unable to engage in manual labor, George and his brother, Henry became farm managers while mere boys. They worked together until 1893, when they divided their holdings and George became the owner of a large farm which had been a portion of their joint estate. This farm, under their management, had been made one of the most productive and highly improved places in this portion of the country. Mr. Skinner was also engaged actively in stock raising until 1893, when he removed to Urbana, which has since been his home. For ten years and more he has been identified with the best interests of the city as a property owner and man of affairs, at the same time giving a general supervision to the operation of his farm in Ayers, Homer and St. Joseph Townships.

As a member of the Republican party Mr. Skinner took an active interest in politics for several years, and for three years prior to his removal to Urbana was a member of the Board of Supervisors of Champaign County, representing Ayers Township, in which his residence was located, his farm lying partly in that township and partly in Homer. He also served as School trustee, a position which he filled for fifteen years, and for many years was Road Commissioner. He is a Methodist in religious belief, and a member of the official board of the First Methodist Church of Urbana. Previous to this he was identified with Ames Chapel near his country home, from the time he became a member of the church in 1884 until he removed to Urbana. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the University branch of the Young Men's Christian Association.

In 1887 Mr. Skinner married Miss Mary E. HAVARD, a daughter of William R. and Rachel (JONES) HAVARD, both of whom were born in Wales. They came to the United States in the later '50's and for many years lived in Homer Township, Champaign County. Mr. Havard died in Urbana in 1899. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Skinner is an adopted son, John E. Naturally a progressive man, he has always sought to advance the best interests of the community in which he lived, and, while in the country, was a leader in bringing about the improvement of lands through drainage and otherwise, and the erection of public buildings.

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