Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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1883 History of
Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa


Among the early physicians was Dr. M. M. SKINNER, who was born in Onondaga Co., N. Y., April 11, 1825. His father, Peter SKINNER, though a man of energy and intelligence, was unable to give his son a liberal education, and he was thrown upon his own resources. After receiving a common school education, he continued his studies without a tutor for several years, teaching school winters to pay his way. He studied medicine in Fulton Medical College at Oswego, N. Y., graduating at the Medical College of Woodstock, Vt., in May, 1850. He began the practice of his profession in Washingtonville, Oswego Co., N. Y.

Dr. SKINNER was married to a sister of Hon. H. G. PARKER, of Mason City.

From Oswego county he moved to Litchfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y., where he secured quite an extensive practice. In November, 1856, he moved to Anamosa, Jones Co., Iowa, where his older brother, Pratt R. SKINNER, had settled. Early in the spring of 1857 he removed to Clear Lake, where his brother-in-law, H. G. PARKER, resided. At that time Clear Lake City was only a small cluster of log houses at the east end of the lake.

Although it was not his intention to practice medicine in this county, it was soon known that he was a physician and he was almost compelled to attend the sick. Early in life he had worked at the carpenters trade some, and from his acquaintance with tools, he constructed the first revolving horse hay rake ever used in Cerro Gordo county. He delivered the oration at the first 4th of July celebration in the county, at Clear Lake, in 1857. He was appointed county school superintendent, in 1858, to fill a vacancy. He also taught school at Clear Lake City, in a log cabin, during the winter of 1857-8. In 1858 he removed to Anamosa, Iowa, where he was living in 1883.

During his residence at Clear Lake, he found the skull of a human being, near the house of James SIRRINE; and upon examination it was found to have the mark of a knife, clearly indicating that the victim had been scalped by the Indians. It was supposed by some to be the head of a white man, and by some that of Pacheukar, the young Indian, who had been shot, beheaded and scalped by the Sioux, several years before, near R. O. SIRRINE'S house.

SOURCE: History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa. p. 802. Union Publishing Co. Springfield IL. 1883.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



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