Biography of Fred B. Skinner

Fred B. Skinner has been in the lumber business for thirty years, a period constituting practically his entire adult life. Most of that time has been spent at Coffeyville and he is now sales manager of the National Sash and Door Company.

As to his ancestral record, he represents a colonial branch of the Skinner family that came from England to New York. His grandfather Joseph Skinner was born in New York State June 28, 1814, was reared there, afterwards went to Michigan as a pioneer, and was married in that state January 19, 1837, to Juliatte Bugbee, who was born July 5, 1811, in New York State. Joseph Skinner, who was a farmer, moved from Michigan into the western wilds of Nebraska, and finally retired from his farm and spent his last years in Kansas with his son James in Johnson County, where he died in 1875. His wife died in Nebraska April 4, 1864. A brief record of their children should be given. F. B., born January 15, 1838, served as a soldier in the Civil war, and is now a retired merchant at North Bend, Nebraska. Ellen J., born August 29, 1840, was married September 9, 1857, to William B. Gilson, a farmer at Salem, Oregon. Joseph A., born September 25, 1842, enlisted in the Union army from Nebraska, followed farming as his vocation and died in Southern California; January 18, 1868, he married Maggie McAlester, who is now living at Omaha, Nebraska. The fourth of the children was James L. Skinner, mentoned below. Charlotte A., born March 19, 1846, was married April 30, 1865, to George Lawrence, a farmer in Missouri, and she died in Nebraska.

James L. Skinner, father of the Coffeyville business man, was born in Cattaragus County, New York, April 3, 1844. When he was fourteen years of age his parents went out to Nebraska in 1858. Nebraska was then a territory and almost unoccupied by white men west of the Missouri River. He grew up in the vicinity of Omaha, became a farmer, and homesteaded a claim of 160 acres. In 1871 he came from Nebraska to Kansas, and was one of the early settlers and farmers of Johnson County. From there in 1874 he moved to Coffeyville, and was likewise identified with the pioneer activities of that then frontier town. Fully forty years ago he engaged in the transfer business at Coffeyville and has conducted it ever since, having the old and reliable establishment of that kind in the city. Although a very young man at the time he enlisted from Nebraska for service in the Union army, and spent nine months in the closing scenes of the war, his service being on the Northwestern frontier against the Indians. He is a republican in politics. James L. Skinner owns his residence at 416 East Ninth Street and also has a small farm east of the city limits. On August 30, 1867, he married Elizabeth Newell, who was born at Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1847. Their children are: Fred B.; Julia, wife of W. H. Francis, superintendent of the Coffeyville Vitrified Brick Company, their home being at Cherryvale; Frank N., who is connected with the Coffeyville Furniture Company; Lela, who resides at Coffeyville, widow of Byron Ritter, who was for a number of years in the employ of the Union Pacific Railway at Omaha, Nebraska; Mrs. Addie Campbell, of Delaware, Oklshoma, her husband being an operator in the oil fields.

Mr. Fred B. Skinner was born at the home of his parents in Blair, Nebraska, October 8, 1868. He was too young to remember when the family came to Kansas and some of his first recollections are of the home at Coffeyville, where his father located when the son was about six years of age. He received his education in the public schools of Coffeyville, leaving school at the age of eighteen and soon after beginning his career as a lumberman. He has been connected with the lumber trade ever since, and since 1909 has been sales manager for local shipments with the National Sash and Door Company.

Many citizens of Coffeyville know Mr. Skinner best through his forceful administration of city affairs a few years ago in the office of mayor. He served as mayor in in 1908-09, and in that office left a very comprehensive program of civic improvement and betterment. He was a member of the city council several times, and for two terms was president of the Chamber of Commerce. During his administration $100,000 fund was raised by the Chamber of Commerce to provide for the location of substantial factories and other industries in the city. Mr. Skinner is a republican, is affiliated with Star Lodge No. 17 Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 775 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, both at Coffeyville.

In 1901 Mr. Skinner built his attractive home at 410 East Ninth Street. In 1893 he was married at Coffeyville to Miss Effle Peterson, who died in February, 1902. She was a daughter of A. F. and Jennis (St. John) Peterson and her parents live on a farm northeast of Coffeyville. Mr. and Mrs. Skinner had one son, Jease Leroy, who was born November 17, 1894, was graduated from the Coffeyville High School in 1913, and is now demonstrator for the Studebaker cars, his home being at 412 East Ninth Street in Coffeyville. Mr. Skinner married in 1904 M. Josephine Keister of Hoopeston, Illinois.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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