Biography of Edwin B. Skewes
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Edwin B. Skewes, son of Samuel and Ruth Bottomley Skewes, was born January 30, 1858, at Grovean Farm, Racine County. Samuel Skewes, with his first wife, Catherine Lugg Skewes, came to this country from Cornwall, England, in 1842, and settled on what is now known as Grovean Farm. To them were born four children: Samuel, who throughout his life was engaged in farming; Sarah, who died when about twelve years old; Margret, who died in young womanhood; and George, who was widely known and highly honored throughout Racine and the County as an educator and banker. Some years after the death of his first wife, Samuel Skewes married Ruth Bottomley or English Settlement, who came from England with her parents in 1842. To them were born four children, Edwin Bottomley: Emma, who is now Mrs. A. E. Hoyt, of Chicago; Eleanor Jessop, deceased; and Thomas Henry, who has a part of the original homestead.
Edwin B. Skewes received his early education in the Ives Grove district school and Racine high school. After studying for two years at Beloit College he transferred to Lawrence University, now Lawrence College, from which institution he was graduated with honors in 1887. After doing some commercial traveling he returned to Grovean. where he spent the remainder of his life, save for two years when he was employed in university work at Madison, ‘Wisconsin.
In 1890 he married Alice Collier, daughter of Joshua and Alice Hurst Collier. To them were born three children: Arthur Edwin, Alice Ruth and George Jessop, all of whom are living.
Mr. Skewes served for two years as clerk of the town of Yorkville. He was a leader in educational and agricultural interests in his community. In 1909 he was instrumental in organizing the Racine County Order of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Association. and served as its secretary-treasurer until the fall of 1913. His death occurred November 8, 1913, as a result of the injuries sustained in an accident two months before.
Mr. Skewes was a progressive and public-spirited citizen. His demise, occurring when he was in the prime of life, was a loss not only to his family, but to his community. Politically he was a. loyal supporter of the Prohibition Party. He was recognized as a leader in movements and projects having as their purpose the advancement of public welfare, being actively interested in the causes of better rural education, the advancement of scientific agriculture, co-operation among farmers, good roads and community upbuilding. He kept in close touch with the findings of investigators in the field of agriculture, and was always one of the first to adopt new methods which promised to be of greater value than the old.
During his entire life he worked untiringly to conserve the best moral forces of the community in which he lived. He was a loyal supporter of the Ives Grove Methodist church, a faithful leader in the work of the Sunday school, a promoter of musical activities in the community and a man of high personal standards and principles. Mr. Skewes was well known throughout the County, and his many friends still honor his memory.