The Immigrants
Woodstock, Connecticut
The Move to Royalton
Skinners Multiply
Calvin & Sally's Family
Lewis Skinner Family
John Calvin Skinner
Lewis & Olive Ann
Other Skinner Towns
Cheat Sheet

An Important Family
  The family of Calvin and wife Sally Billings Skinner is of great importance for several reasons: They are the direct ancestors of Lewis Bailey Skinner, they established a family farm and buildings which still stand today, and the children of Calvin and Sally instilled values of hard work, excellent education and continued contribution to the development and welfare of the community. Those values continued through many generations of their descendents.

This is the Calvin and Sally Skinner homestead. The land was deeded to Calvin in 1809 by his step-father, Zebulon Lyon. It sits along Vermont State Highway 14. Off to the right of the picture is the White River. Across the White River is what became known as South Royalton. The property is now owned by the Welch's, who operate the True Value Hardware store built on the same property. The Royalton School District administrative offices are now located in the house. Lewis Bailey Skinner's great grandfather, Lewis Skinner, grew up in this house.

This foundation for the old Skinner family farm barn is behind the house. In the background is the parking lot of the current True Value Hardware store. In 1792, there was a smallpox outbreak in Royalton. Calvin's sister, Sally Skinner Washburn, had been vaccinated so she cared for those who fell ill with the desease. That same year, a log 'pest house' (infirmary) was built on this property to house those suffering from smallpox.

Above are the children who grew up on the Skinner farm. Son Richard died at the age of 19 and not much is known about him. Son Lewis, the great grandfather of Lewis Bailey Skinner is covered in the next web page link at the top left. The profiles of each of the remaining children appear below.

Eliza Skinner
Eliza Skinner married Joseph A. Denison, MD, both at the right. Dr. Denison followed in his father's footsteps and became one of the town doctors. He was six feet two inches tall and apparently a well respected person in Royalton. He and Eliza lived on the property known as the "Old Denison Place", the house where Dr. Denison grew up. Eliza was very active in the Congregational Church and was well known for her excellent voice in church choir. Dr. Denison died in a carriage accident in Royalton at the age of 43. Eight of their ten children were under the age of 10 at the time of Dr. Denison's death and Eliza raised them alone. She was known for her cheerful, hopeful disposition and was deeply religious. All of the children were college educated and included two lawyers, (one a graduate of Harvard), a teacher and a daughter, Susan, who married Edward Miner Gallaudet, the founder of Gallaudet University for the deaf.

Dr. Calvin Skinner
Calvin prepared for college at Royalton Academy and graduated from Dartmouth Medical College in 1842. He practiced medicine in the Adirondac town of Malone, NY. He helped organize the Republican Party in his county and was an alternate to the convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln. The Republican Party in the 1800s was very different than the Republican Party today--it was founded as an anti-slavery party. He was a close friend of Vice President William Wheeler, who had grown up in Malone, NY. Dr. Skinner served in the Army as a surgeon with the 106th New York Regiment 1861-62. During that service he contracted a disease that disabled him, forced him to resign from the Army and also retire from his medical practice. He spent the last 10 years of his life confined to his home. Dr. Skinner gave one of the most precious gifts to his children and all Skinner descendents--he wrote a 224 page memoir of his childhood in Royalton that now rests at the Vermont Historical Society.

William Skinner William Skinner

At the age of 19, William trained as a merchant in the General Store in Royalton owned by George Lyman. To advance his career as a merchant, he moved to different positions in the towns of Barnard, Rochester and Bethel. In Bethel, a short distance from Royalton, he owned a general store in partnership with another person. At some point, he sold his interest in the store in Bethel and returned to Royalton and bought an interest in the store of George Lyman, where he first trained as a clerk. At one point, William owned 5 farms and dealt in a range of farm commodities. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the bank in nearby Woodstock, VT. In 1853, William was the prime mover in obtaining a charter for the first bank in Royalton and became its first president. He served in that role until 1858. William donated the land on which the South Royalton freight and passenger railroad depots were built. He was active in the Republican party and a delegate to the first national convention of the party. Was was named Deputy Collector for the Internal Revenue Service in the 2nd Congressional District two weeks before his death. His son, William Jr., followed in his father's footsteps. He had extensive business interests and held practically every town office. He was Royalton Town Clerk for 17 years. William Sr. is on the left, William Jr. is on the right.

The William Skinner house in South Royalton is noted on this photo from the late 1800s/early 1900s. It faces the village common (village green) and at the end of the block closest to the viewer is the Royalton Hotel. At the bottom left of the photo is the South Royalton train depot. William Sr. donated the land on which the depot was built. It still stands today and houses a real estate office and a museum covering granite production in Vermont. Across the village common from the hotel and William Sr.'s house is a row of commercial buildings. This 'block' burned in 1878 and was rebuilt with the brick buildings that now stand. A later Skinner, Anson P. Skinner had a butcher shop in the block for most of his life.

Rail Depot Today
This is the South Royalton rail depot today. It's the same one that was established by a donation of land by William Skinner Sr.

At the left is Maria B. Smith, the wife of William Skinner, Sr. At the right is the William Skinner home in South Royalton today.

Two bank notes from the Bank of Royalton. William Skinner Sr. was instrumental in starting the bank and served as it's first president.

Martin Tullar Skinner
Martin Tullar Skinner never married and worked the family farm for most of his life. He was a favorite among Royalton residents due to his "most amiable disposition" and good business ability. He played bass viol at the Congregrational Church, was town selectman for two terms of two years each and he was a town representative to the Vermont General Assembly in 1865-66 and 1878-79. A very interesting and odd coincidence: The local minister that Martin Tullar Skinner was named after had a daughter, Betsey, who married a farmer in Shelburne, VT named Nash. The two of them had a beautiful farm with a home on Lake Champlain. The farm was later bought by Walter William Webb and wife Eliza Vanderbilt (grand daughter of Cornelius). Walter William Webb is a relative on the Webb side of the family and is profiled on the Webb portion of this web site. The farm eventually became known as Shelburne Farm and is now open to the public.

This map of a portion of Royalton dated 1869 shows three Skinner farms: The M.T. (Martin Tullar) Skinner farm, which would have been the farm of Calvin and Sally Skinner shown at the top of this page, the C. Skinner and L. Skinner farms. "L. Skinner" is the Lewis Skinner farm (plot 17, Large Allotment on the original town map) and would be the place that Lewis Bailey Skinner's father, John Calvin Skinner, grew up. The "C. Skinner" farm on the map is Calvin Skinner, son of Capt. Isaac Skinner (not to be confused with the Calvin Skinner family on this page). This was the homestead plot of his father, Capt. Isaac Skinner and mother Lucy Shaw.

Susannah & Maria Lucretia Skinner
  Not much is known about sisters Susannah and Maria other than they had a common husband, Forrest Adams. Susannah married Forrest on January 19, 1832 and she died 15 years later. Upon Susannah's death, Forrest married her sister Maria the following December. Forrest was active in town affairs, serving as town selectman for one term and was town treasurer for 22 years. He was a mechanic and owned quite a bit of real estate in Royalton. Susannah and Forrest had a son named after her brother, Martin Skinner Adams who became a prominent Royalton businessman and was active in the local church and community, serving in several town positions.

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(c) Jerry Gottsacker, 2008