REMINISCENCES

EMORY FISKE SKINNER, 1908: VESTAL PRINTING COMPANY, CHICAGO
 
(Pages from the Skinner book, courtesy of The Penton Collection, Anne Penton Pinckard and Joyce Penton Schnoor)
 
The Table of Contents provides an outline of Skinner's life.

I DEDICATE THESE REMINISCENCES TO
MY WIFE
WHO HAS BEEN MY AFFECTIONATE COMPANION FOR
NEARLY FIFTY YEARS
 
I HAVE DICTATED THESE PAGES TO HER, AND SHE HAS PUT
THEM IN WRITING, WITHOUT COMMENT. WITHOUT
HER ASSISTANCE I WOULD NOT HAVE
UNDERTAKEN TO WRITE THEM

PREFACE

The thought of writing these memoirs was suggested to me by a gentleman, who was a newspaper writer, whom I met in Pensacola several years ago. I was having a pleasant conversation with him in which I related some of the incidents of my life, when he said: "Mr. Skinner, you ought to write a book giving the events of your life; I am sure it would be very interesting." I gave the suggestion no thought until after I was paralyzed. In that condition I could do little but read and talk; often I found the time hang heavily upon me. After some experimenting I found that the dictating of these reminiscences made the time pass pleasanter to me, as it busied my mind.

Another reason for writing this book is that I might avoid the utter oblivion which is the condition of humanity in general, a short time after this life is ended, and from which man shrinks in his normal condition.

My life has been more stirring and exciting than the plain narrative herein related will convey to the reader.

My conduct has been governed by my own judgment, as I have not had an older and wiser head to give me the benefit of advice when such might have been beneficial; when it would have been received and followed if the proper course had been suggested to me, as events in my life have occurred.

I have sometimes regretted that I did not continue in the profession of the law, but circumstances seemed to force me into a business life, against my will. Whether my success at law would have been more satisfactory to me than my business life has been, will always remain unknown.

I trust this book will be a source of interest and satisfaction to my descendants as it shows how and where I spent my life and my statements regarding these events.

Emory Fiske Skinner.

 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER I.
THE CHENANGO VALLEY OF EARLY DAYS.
As things were in my father's day-When I was ten years
old- Grandfather's purchase- Milking the cows
 
CHAPTER II.
YOUTHFUL EXPERIENCES.
Threshing the boy-Edgar is bunged--The slave girl's retort-
Boys I knew--Sherburne Academy--A boy's
flight--Early gallantry- Leaving home
 
CHAPTER III.
FROM WASHINGTON TO OSHKOSH.
Inauguration of President Pierce- Out of employment-A
poor employer-The Regulator- Becoming a mill-
wright-Working for Mr. Comstock; for Mr. Ransom--
Chicago in 1855

 

CHAPTER IV.
EARLY DAYS IN OSHKOSH.
Description of the place and the conditions -Burnham
Foster & Knapp-A donation party-Teaching school
-Two friends- Studying law-A railroad accident
 
CHAPTER V.
COLLEGE AT MT. PLEASANT.
Our moot court and the literary society-Henry Clay
Dean-Admission to the bar-A lively debate-In
Iowa wilds with the deputy sheriff
 
 
CHAPTER VI.
VARIED OCCUPATIONS.
With Wheeler & Coolbaugh--A valiant fire company--Towing logs on Lake Poygam--The girl with the handsome chin-Our own home-Sawmill burned--Repairing a railroad- Mortgaging farms to help railroads
 
CHAPTER VII
WESTWARD HO!
Senator - Douglas- Military aspirations - War- To California by the way of Panama-San Francisco--Reese River project- Chasing the stage- Strawberry Valley--Lake Tahoe-Virginia City-Dr. Mathewson
 
CHAPTER VIII.
LIFE IN NEVADA.
General Rosecranz--The Hunter mine-Road agents--Early days in this State-By way of Nicaraugua, to New York
 
CHAPTER IX.
WIND AND WATER.
In New York City- Fenians -Logging at Pentwater--A storm on Bass Lake--Wintering in the woods-A night in a crib house
 
CHAPTER X.
FROM NORTH TO SOUTH.
Business ventures in Chicago--Gratiet flour mill-Chicago fire--Cole Bros. fire engine-Fight with Silsby agent-Mr. Hubbard's project- Escambia- Squatters - Carbolized hose
 
CHAPTER XI.
A BEAUTIFUL FOREST.
Beginning life in Florida--Southern lumber business--Crackers--The telephone- Calomel pills-Malarial fever
 
 
CHAPTER XII
POLITICAL VENTURES.
Knowles incident- Running for Congress- Quarantine business-Negro Conventions -Witherspoon -Yellowfever- Steams' victory
 
 
CHAPTER XIII
M'DAVID BROTHERS AS PARTNERS.
Capt. Leonard's picturesque profanity- Buying Escambia, interest from Mr. Hubbard-A railroad for log hauling--Brother LaFayette
 
 
CHAPTER XIV.
OUR TRIP TO GERMANY.
 
Mr. Schreyer- Hildesheim- Nuremburg- Munich- Heidelberg- Delft- Calais- The Grossvenor
 
 
CHAPTER XV.
ENGLISH BROTHERS AND ENGLAND.
Captain Ingraham- Soul-carting lumber-Business and pleasure-
Mill burned--"Such a good time"
 
 
CHAPTER XVI
GOVERNMENT DEALINGS IN LOGS AND POLITICS.
Constructing new mill-Building logging railroad-Poor health and diet-Trespass on Government lands
Delegate to Chicago convention- Eagan
 
 
CHAPTER XVII
MR. SCHREYER AND OTHER TRIBULATIONS.
Running for state senatorship--Candidate for judgeship--Mr. Schreyer's rascality
 
 
CHAPTER XVIII.
A BUSINESS TRIP TO EUROPE.
Mr. Pratt -Edinburg- Abbotsford- Castle Warwick--
Heart of England-The tubular car- Bogies- Houses
of parliament
 
 
CHAPTER XIX.
FROM MEXICO To CALIFORNIA.
Concluding with Mr. Schreyer--Stevedores of Pensacola--
Southern Lumbermen's Association--Pleasure trip
to Mexico--Baron Ketteler--Pres. Diaz--Bull fight--
Mexico to California--Royal Gorge
 
 
CHAPTER XX.
AVENO MINE.
Mr. Godfrey -- Ayer-- Payne--
Patent Medicine--Columbian Exposition

 

 
CHAPTER XXI.
OUR NEW CORPORATION.
Buying out McDavids--Running a sawmill
 
 
CHAPTER XXXII
SECURING GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS FOR FRIENDS.
Mr. Collier and others-Escambia convention -President
McKinley-- Tallahassee Convention--St. Louis. Convention
 
 
CHAPTER XXIII.
THE NEGRO QUESTION.
 
Col. Tarble's real estate story--Florida climate--Leisure
life--The Negro in politics
 
 
CHAPTER XXIV.
THE SUCCESSION OF ROOSEVELT
McGourin--Cost of being a Republican
 
 
CHAPTER XXV.
MT. MORGAN MINE
Another trip toMexico--Guadalajara--Godfrey's rascality--
A. C. Payne--Mine worthless--Suits to recover
 
 
CHAPTER XXVI
CHANGE OF BASE
Paralysis --Nephew at Chumuckla also paralyzed--
Closing Florida affairs-Trip to East Florida- -
To California--Grand Canyon--Phoenix
 
 
CHAPTER XXVII
THE REAL ESTATE AGENT AND HIS SCHEMES.
Douville-Battle Creek-Another fire-Sale to Mr. Saunders
 
 
CHAPTER XXVIII.
WESTERN WONDERLANDS.
A tour of the Pacific Coast--Portland Exposition--
Yellowstone Park-Los Angeles home

 

 
CHAPTER XXIX.
MINING ROMANCES.
Mr. French's story--Lost Mines--Austin --
Nevada--A happy life
 
 
CHAPTER XXX.
RECAPITULATION.
My rules for business conduct--Influence of childhood
training-Father- Mother- Grandfather- Golfe
 
 
CHAPTER XXXI.
IN CONCLUSION.
My religious convictions--Definition of Faith--Prayer--
The Clergyman's responsibility--Deity--Martyrdom
of Man

 

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