Biography of George Skinner
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George Skinner is one of the prosperous farm owners and well known citizens of Champaign County, now living retired at Urbana, and for his success the credit is due almost entirely to his individual efforts and his steadfast honesty and integrity.
Mr. Skinner was born in Somersetshire, England, January 29, 1850, and was about four years of age when he accompanied his parents, Robert and Anna (Rich) Skinner, to America. The family first located near Elk Grove, northwest of Chicago, and in 1873 they moved to the vicinity of Homer in Champaign County, where Robert Skinner spent his last years and died in 1883. Robert Skinner and wife had four children: Amelia, who died in 1888; Rhoda, who died in 1913; George; and Henry, now a resident of Los Angeles, California.
When George Skinner was fourteen years of age the family removed to Shelby County, Illinois, renting a farm there three years and after another year at Arcola they went to a rented farm south of Homer, where George Skinner remained five years. In the meantime his father had suffered a severe accident by a fall on the ice and he and his brother assumed many of the responsibilities connected with the management of the farm and the domestic upkeep. Mr. George Skinner eventually acquired land of his own and by systematic improvement and development continued his land holding interests until he is now owner of 204 acres, constituting one of the best farms in Champaign County. Mr. Skinner has made his success by raising corn and oats, cattle and hogs. In 1893 he bought a fine home at 921 West Green Street in Urbana, where he is now living retired. In 1900 he bought another farm of 124 acres in St. Joseph Township.
Mr. Skinner was married December 29, 1887, to Mary Havard, a native of Illinois, whose parents came from Wales. Mr. and Mrs. Skinner have one son, John E. Skinner, who is now attending the Camp Ground School at Biloxi, Mississippi. Mr. Skinner is a Republican, has served on the Board of Supervisors of Ayres Township, and has filled other minor township offices. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.