## Sunday, August 26, 2007

### Alexander Skinner's Estate

Alexander Skinner, sometimes called the patriarch of Orlando, died in 1891 at the age of 83. His wife Phebe had died just five years earlier. His daughter Ann cared for him in his final years.

Alexander made out a short will in 1887, the year after his wife Phoebe died. After he died in 1891, as he requested his estate was liquidated in a public auction. Below is Alexander Skinner's will followed by the results of his estate sale.

An important piece of Alexander Skinner's wealth that is not included in these two documents is the large tracts of land he gave to each of his children. For a little more about this, see the Jan '07 entry Aunt Ann Skinner - Orlando's Real Estate Baroness

Daughter Ann is pictured to the left, Alexander is pictured to the right.

The Will of Alexander Skinner
I Alexander of the County of Lewis and State of West Virginia do make this my last will and testament.

1st I will and bequeath to my Daughter Ann R. [sic] Skinner one clock one spinning wheel and all the kitchen furinture and all the grain and meal that may be on the farm at the time of my death

2nd I will to my grand daughter Allie [Olive, aka Ollie] one bed and bedding.

3rd All the other property that I may have at my death both real and personal I will to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between my children.1
. . . . Calvin S.,

. . . . Granville B.,
. . . . Perry F.,
. . . . Jackson M.
. . . . William O.
. . . . Lucy A.
. . . . Luther M.
. . . . Eliza A. and
. . . . Mary J except that Mary J is to have eighty dollars less than each of the others.

I hereby appoint Benjamin Posey and Francis Skinner my executors to carry out this will.
Alex'r Skinner
signed and acknowledged in our presence this 11th day of October 1887[?]
M. Byrne
J. F. Skinner
=====================================
The State of West Virginia Clerk's Office
County Clerk Lewis County
January 4, 1892
The probate of the foregoing will of Alexander Skinner deceased by the undersigned clerk of the County Court was this day confirmed by said court. The order relative to said probate appear of record in Order Book No. 4, pages 198, 210 and 295.
Attest: E. A. Bennett Clerk

The Estate of Alex Skinner, October 10, 1891
from Inventory Book, page 9, Lewis County, transcribed and edited.

1. Land
Track land @ \$11/Acre, said to be 95 acres = \$1045.00

2. Notes & Bonds Due
from Fleming & Posey . . . . . . .24.54
from H. D. Mitchell . . . . . . . .237.00
from J. B. Kenedy . . . . . . . . . 30.00
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _____
Total notes & bonds . . . . . . . .291.54

3. Items for Auction
. . . . . . . item . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . est. value . . . . . rec’d . . . . . purchaser(s)

farm related items
1 . . . . . Bay Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.00 . . . .79.75 . . . J. P. Kennedy
2 . . . . . 3 year old colt . . . . . . . . . 40.00 . . . .57.00 . . . Will Skinner
3 . . . . . Spotted cow . . . . . . . . . . .18.00 . . . .23.00 . . . Ollie Skinner
4 . . . . . 2 horse wagon . . . . . . . . . 60.00 . . . .12.50 . . . Gid Skinner
5 . . . . . Yoke Oxen . . . . . . . . . . . .60.00 . . . .71.00 . . . ?? Fox
6 . . . . . Cane mill . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.00 . . . . .0.66 . . . Rob Skinner
7 . . . . . Shovel plough . . . . . . . . . . 0.75 . . . . . 0.36 . . . A. K. Skinner
8 . . . . . Grindstone . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.00 . . . . . 0.75 . . . T. A. Riffle
9 . . . . . 2 horse (hillside) plough . . . .5.00 . . . . 4.55 . . . J. P. Kennedy
10 . . . . Harrow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.00 . . . . 1.50 . . . Perry Posey
11 . . . . Britching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.25 . . . . 0.05 . . . A. Barnett
12 . . . . Horse collar . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.50 . . . . 0.65 . . . A. K. Skinner
13 . . . . Saddle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00 . . . . 0.10 . . . A. M. Skinner
14 . . . . Gun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7.00 . . . . 8.10 . . . Perry Posey
15 . . . . Corn in field . . . . . . . . ./ bu: .40 . . . . . 0.77 . . . Joe Skinner
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22.00 . . . Joe Skinner
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.88 . . . Gid Skinner
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32.20 . . . T. A. Riffle

tools
16 . . . . Pair Steel yards. . . . . . . . . . 0.50 . . . . . 0.41 . . . A. K. Skinner
17 . . . . Shovel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.30 . . . . . 0.40 . . . Thomas Skinner
18 . . . . Post Auger 2 Bands . . . . . . . 0.25 . . . . . 0.06 . . . . J. W. Sands
19 . . . . Rake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.25 . . . . . 0.25 . . . James Griffin
20 . . . . Broad Hoe. . . . . . , . . . . . . 0.25 . . . . . 0.20 . . . J. P. Kennedy
21 . . . . Chisel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.15 . . . . . 0.15 . . . Perry Posey
22 . . . . Auger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.25 . . . . . 0.25 . . . Phelix Smith
23 . . . . Post auger . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.75 . . . . . 0.90 . . . Charles Ocheltree
24 . . . . Pitch fork . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.25 . . . . . 0.21 . . . J. S. Riffle
25 . . . . Tool chest . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.40 . . . . . 1.21(w/tools) T.W. Brinkley
26 . . . . Hackle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.25 . . . . . .0.36 . . . A. K. Skinner
27. . . . drawing Knife . . . . . . . . . . 0.25 . . . . . 0.30 . . . Benj. Posey
28. . . . .Set of planes . . . . . . . . . 10.00 . . . . . 1.00 . . . .James Griffin
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .2.25 . . . Calvin Skinner
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .1.80 . . . Pat Cogar
The following tools were sold in different groupings than the inventory list, so the estimated value & the sale price can't be compared.
29 . . . . Scythe stick . . . . . . . . . . .0.10
30 . . . . Finish Saw . . . . . . . . . . . .0.75
31 . . . . Finish saw . . . . . . . . . . . .0.30
32 . . . . File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.20
33 . . . . Lot of files .. . . . . . . . . . .0.15
34 . . . . Glass cutter & puncher . . . .0.25
35 . . . . Brace & 2 bits . . . . . . . . . 0.30
36 . . . . Saw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.40
37. . . . .Square . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.20
38 . . . . Sickle & small ax . . . . . . . 0.15
39 . . . . Cut saw . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.50

household items
40 . . . . Loom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.25 . . . A. K. Skinner
41 . . . . Bench . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.25 . . . James Griffin
42 . . . . Walnut stand . . . . . . . . . .1.00 . . . . . . .0.51 . . . A. K. Skinner
43 . . . . Writing desk . . . . . . . . . . 1.00
44 . . . . Clock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.00 . . . . . . 0.65 . . . N. B. Foster
45. . . . 11 Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.00 . . . . . . 3.25 . . . John Posey
46 . . . .16 Blankets & quilts. . . . . . 20.00. . . . . . 1.65 . . . N. B. Foster
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.80 . . . William Barnett
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.78 . . . Perry Posey
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .2.55 . . . Perry Posey
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00 . . . James Griffin
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.80 . . . J. P. Kennedy
47. . . . Bed Covers . . . . . . . . . . 24.00 . . . . . . .0.16 . . . James Griffin
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.50 . . . Perry Posey
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.40 . . . John Moran
48 . . . . . 4 beds . . . . . . . . 5.00 for 1 . . . . . . . . 8.00 . . . Perry Posey
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.31 . . . William Skinner
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.35 . . . William ?Posey?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.50 . . . Joseph Skinner
49. . . . 2 Feather ticks. . . . . . 5.00 . . . . . . . . . 1.50 . . . Perry Posey
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .41 . . . A. K. Skinner

Alex's brother Benjamin Posey and daughter Ann Skinner were there and made purchases. Benjamin just purchased his brother's drawing knife (see example of a drawing knife above, right). From the nature of the items purchased by A. K. Skinner, it's a good guess that this was Alex's daughter Ann Catherine.

Most of the purchases were by Alexander's grandsons and nephews. Gid, Thomas, A. M., Joseph, Robert, William and Calvin Skinner were grandsons. Perry Posey was a nephew and Russ (T. A.) Riffle was married to a granddaughter.

The neighbors who facilitated the liquidation of the estate also made purchases. William Barnett, Nimrod Brandon Foster and Jas. P. Kennedy had been appraisers of the estate and James Griffin was the executor. Some of the others making purchases are easily tied to those who facilitated. Andrew Barnett was William Barnett's brother. John Moran was James Griffin's brother-in law (and, by the way, Mike Moran's dad). The Griffins and Morans have Kennedys related to them as well, so although Jas. P. Kennedy is unidentified, he his likely distantly related to the executor.

Other purchasers were Charles Ocheltree, ?Fox, John Sands, T. W. Brinkley, Pat Cogar and just a couple others.

We have photos of two of the purchasers. The first is a much later photo of Alexander's 18 year old grand daughter Ollie (Olive) Skinner who had lived with her grandfather and her Aunt Ann. She bought the spotted cow for \$23.00. Ollie's parents Luther and Miriam (Walton) Skinner, died when Ollie was young, so her Aunt Ann (pictured at the top of the page) took Ollie and became a mother to her. When she bought the cow Ollie was going to marry Nathan Parmer a couple weeks, on October 26, 1891.

The other is Alex's 20 year old grandson, Gideon C. Skinner. Young Gid purchased for a low price corn that was still in the field. He also went home with a two horse wagon that was an extremely good deal. Gideon is pictured here, maybe 15 years later, with his wife Sarah Bennett and six of their children.

. . . . .

All along the right side are generic pictures of tools like the ones Alexander owned.
From the top:
~
britching: The straps from a packsaddle that go around a pack animal's rump to keep the pack saddle from sliding forward.

~ a draw knife: A knife blade with handles on both ends so that the knife can be pulled by both hands toward the user

~ a grindstone: a revolving stone shaped like a disk; used to grind or sharpen or polish edge tools

~ a steelyard: A balance consisting of a scaled arm suspended off center, a hook at the shorter end on which to hang the object being weighed, and a counterbalance at the longer end that can be moved to find the weight.

~ a heckle also called a hatchel: A comb for separating flax fibers.

~ a scythe stick is the wooden handle to which the metal blade is attached.

Footnotes
1. The children Alexander listed in his will differs from his and Phoebe's children. Here are the discrepancies:
~ Francis Marion is not listed, but was probably the Francis Alex appointed as executor, with Francis’ father-in-law, Benjamin Posey.
~ Semantha Elizabeth, married to Beham Henline, was still living, but not listed among his children who were recipients in the will.
~ Luther was listed although he and his wife had died in 1874. (Olive, who lived with Ann & Alex, was Luther’s daughter.)

Following is the list of their children.
1. Calvin S. Skinner b: Oct 1830 m. Nancy Heater
2. Granville B. Skinner b: 1832 m. Martha Walton
3. Luther M. Skinner b: 1833 d Oct 1875 m. Miriam Walton
4. Mary Jane Skinner b: Jun 1837 m. John Knight, m. David Newton Godfrey
5. Perry Scott Skinner b: Mar 1839 m. Flora Thompson
6. Ann Catherine Skinner b: Jan 1841 never married
7. Lucy Almira Skinner b: Feb 1842 m. Perry Scott Posey, m. John Mc Pherson
8. Jackson McWhorter Skinner b: Sep 1843 m. Patience Duvall
9. Francis Marion Skinner b: Jan 1846 m. Lucy Posey, dtr/o Benj. & Cynthia (Robinson) Posey
10. Alexander Newton Skinner b: 1848 d. 1857
11. William Otto Skinner b: 1850 m. Belle Fertig
12. Samantha Elizabeth Skinner b: Jul 1853 m. Beham Henline
13. Elizabeth Ann Skinner b: Dec 1855 m. Samuel Godfrey