FREDERICK H. SKINNER was born in Eddyville, Ky., where he still resides, June 22, 1815. He descends from and is connected by marriage with distinguished Kentucky families, and some of her most renowned historic characters. His father, Henry Skinner, was a native of Baltimore, Md., and was there educated for the medical profession. He was appointed surgeon in the regular army, and about 1810 was stationed at Fort Massac, Ill. At Eddyville, Ky., he married Aurelia Lyon, a daughter of Matthew Lyon (whose sketch is published in connection with that of Gen. Hylan B. Lyon elsewhere), having made her acquaintance at Washington City, whilst her father was a member of congress, and became a resident of Eddyville, Ky. He retained his army position up to the time of his death, which occurred June 22, 1819. His widow survived him but two years. This union had given two children—Beulah L. and F. H., the subject of this sketch. The father of Henry Skinner was Frederick, a native of England, born in 1750. He came to America in his youth and married a Miss Stuart, of Virginia, and afterward located in Baltimore, Md., in the vicinity of which he engaged in agricultural pursuits and was also connected with business enterprises in the city. His family consisted of six children, three daughters and three sons; one of the latter, John S. Skinner, rose to positions of eminent trust and distinction; he edited various agricultural and stock journals at different times, in Baltimore, and for many years was postmaster of that city. In 1856 he was appointed first assistant postmaster general, which position he occupied until his death, two years later. F. H. Skinner, the subject of this sketch, was four years old at his father's death; he was taken charge of and reared by his uncle, Matthew Lyon, who sent him to the country schools, and afterward to Princeton, where the youth obtained a competent business education, and thereafter, until becoming of age, filled the position of book-keeper and salesman for the firm of Lyon & Cobb. At twenty-one he went East and purchased a stock of goods for the new firm of Lyon & Skinner—the senior member being Chittenden Lyon. The firm continued a successful business until the death of Mr. Lyon, when Mr. Skinner assumed control of the entire business, together with its heavy mail contracts. Mr. Skinner gave the people a daily instead of a tri-weekly mail, as called for in the contract, running very successfully a line of four-horse coaches on the route between Smithland and Nashville, Tenn., and controlled this route, besides many other mail contracts throughout the First Congressional District, until selling out at the completion of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, in 1860. In 1854 Mr. Skinner began the study of law, and was admitted to the bar the following year; and the same year was elected county judge, a position he held for sixteen years. Upon his retirement from the judgeship he gave his attention to business enterprises, doing a general brokerage business and dealing in agricultural implements. He has served the people as town trustee, and was a justice of the peace when the county was first organized. He is a member in high standing of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the Royal Arch Chapter. His influence is actively given in behalf of prohibition, and enterprises calculated for the good of the general masses received his willing and material support. He possesses fine farm property in the county to the extent of 1,200 acres, and owns a large amount of town property. June 16, 1842, he married Helen Catlett, a daughter of Thomas and Isabella (Helm) Catlett. Her father was a farmer but interested himself also in mercantile business. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Skinner has been blessed with four children, of whom three are living: Thomas C. (in business at Kuttawa, whose sketch is published), Aurelia wife of W. T. Bartley, of St. Louis, Mo. and Hylan. Their daughter, Isabella Skinner deceased wife of G. V. Bryan, died a year after her marriage.


Source:  J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin, & G. C. Kniffin. Kentucky. A History of the State. Louisville, KY, Chicago, IL: Battey, 1885. Pages 864-865.