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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Harry W. Skinner

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 118-119 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Harry W. Skinner, who has been successfully engaged in the automobile business in Utica during the past eleven years, is the president of the H. W. Skinner Motor Car Company, Incorporated. He belongs to a family that has been represented in Oneida county for about one and one-third centuries and is therefore one of the oldest in this section. He was born in Vernon Center, Oneida county, New York, on the 5th of October, 1882, his parents being Charles A. and Kitty (Balmer) Skinner of that place, which was founded by the family. The great-grandfather of Harry W. Skinner, Levi Skinner, assisted by his brother Gideon, cut down the first tree in the town of Vernon in 1790. C. E. Skinner, brother of Mr. Skinner of this review, now resides on the old homestead in Vernon Center.

Harry W. Skinner began his education in a district school of his native town, continued his studies in the Vernon high school, next entered the Clinton Preparatory School and then matriculated in the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts at Ames, being thus well qualified by liberal educational advantages for the practical and responsible duties of life. He had attained his majority when in 1903 he came to Utica and turned his attention to the sanitary milk business and to the breeding of cattle, importing pure stock from Scotland for this purpose. These activities claimed his time and energies until 1907 and during the succeeding two years he was engaged in various other business enterprises. In 1909 he embarked in the automobile business, first handling Chandler, Chalmers and Packard cars, and became Dodge Brothers representative in 1914. But since 1918 he has dealt in Dodge cars exclusively and in this connection has developed an enterprise of large and profitable proportions. His high standing in motor trade circles of the city is indicated in the fact that he has been chosen to the presidency of the Utica Motor Dealers Association.

On the 14th of April, 1903, Mr. Skinner was united in marriage to Miss Mabel A. Burke, daughter of John and Margaret (Esenger) Burke of Whitesboro, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Skinner have two children: Edward A., who was born on November 9, 1904, and died on the 13th of March, 1921; and Mildred Catherine, born on May 29, 1909. Fraternally Mr. Skinner is identified with the Masons and the Elks and his name is likewise on the membership rolls of the Rome Club and the Utica City Club. He is at the head of the Utica Fish and Game Association as its president and is highly regarded in both business and social circles of the city. Mr. Skinner may well be proud of the fact that he represents a family which since the latter part of the eighteenth century has contributed to the upbuilding of Oneida county along material, intellectual, political, social and moral lines.

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