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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
George J. Skinner

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 312-315 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Portrait of George J. Skinner

Portrait: George J. Skinner

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George J. Skinner, well known in Camden, Oneida county, and the surrounding community as a lawyer, merchant and prominent republican, comes from old families of the Mohawk valley. His father, Franklin, and his grandfather, Abram, in the paternal line were both born in Camden and were descended from a long line of Camden residents, while his mother, who bore the maiden name of Sarah A. Quance, was a native of Annsville, New York. The mother passed away in 1919 and was survived by her husband until 1923. Until a few years prior to his death Franklin Skinner was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. Their son, the subject of this review, was born in the town of Vienna, Oneida county, February 16, 1869, the eldest of a family of ten children. His education was acquired in the public and high schools of Camden, following which he taught school for a time and read law in the office of Davis & Johnson of Camden. In October of 1894 he was admitted to practice before the bar of New York state and has been actively engaged in his profession ever since. As side issues he conducts a coal business and fire insurance agency in Camden.

Mr. Skinner's legal training and interest in public affairs quite naturally drew him into the arena of local politics many years ago. As a member of the republican party he is very active in this district, being regarded as one of the leaders, and is now serving as member of the state assembly from the third assembly district of Oneida county. In years gone by he has held many local offices of importance, among which should be mentioned the office of town clerk, which he filled for five years and that of police justice, held for twenty years. Mr. Skinner was also supervisor of the town for eleven years, postmaster for a term of four years, trustee and president of the village of Camden for three years and a member of the local board of education. Indeed, there are few men in the community who have served it so well and so long, as has this busy lawyer, and it is greatly to his credit that it may honestly be said that he has turned a deaf ear to no call to public service, no matter how uninteresting the position or how great the personal sacrifice involved. During the World war he sat on the questionnaire board and participated in the Red Cross and Liberty Loan drives.

In Syracuse, New York, on the 1st of January, 1895, Mr. Skinner was united in marriage to Miss Lottie M. Shorey of Osceola, New York. Mrs. Skinner has since died and is survived by three of her four children: Ruth E., the wife of Dr. Charles A. Prudlon of Skaneateles, New York; Roscoe B., a graduate of Syracuse University, who was admitted to the bar in September, 1923; and Mabel Q., a teacher in the Freeport, New York, high school. A fourth child, Beatrice, died at the age of ten. Some time after the death of his first wife Mr. Skinner was married to Miss Mary J. Orr of Florence, New York.

Mr. Skinner attends the Methodist Episcopal church of Camden and fraternally is identified with the Masonic order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Royal Arcanum. As a Mason he is affiliated with Philanthropic Lodge, No. 164, A. F. & A. M. He is one of the local disciples of the immortal Izaak Walton and seizes every opportunity during the fishing season to try his skill at angling the more illusive members of the finny tribe.

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