Charles Skipper is my great grand uncle, son of my great grandparents George Newton Skipper and Sarah Catherine Bishop, born 2 April 1885 in Effingham, Illinois. When Charles was about 8 years old George and Sarah made the move to Oklahoma and George ran in the 1893 Cherokee Strip Land Run, where he staked a claim of land.
On 8 July 1907 Charles married Kitty Fitzpatrick in Payne County Oklahoma.
Charles and Kitty son, Alvin Ervin Skipper was born on 27 April 1908 in Oklahoma. Alvin passed away just one year later on 20 September 1909 and is buried in the Olivet Cemetery, Perkins, Oklahoma.
I know that by 1919 Charles was in the Army and returning home from France as a infantry cook in CO. G 130th Infantry . He lists his father George N Skipper as emergency contact. I was under the impression that Charles and Kitty had divorced but am not finding any proof that they divorced. I do not see them living together in any of the census’s I find for Charles. Stories that I have heard was that Charles was an alcoholic and Kitty left him after the death of their son. I do have records where Kitty marries again and has a family.
I find Charles on both the 1920 and 1930 US Census as a boarder and I know that at this time he worked for the Mitchell family in Effingham Illinois and that is also were he boarded. This is where the story gets interesting.
In May of 1934 Charles is still working for and living with the Mitchell family when in an apparent drunken rage he enters the room of Elizabeth Mitchell and attacks her daughter D.W. Crowther, who was visiting from California, with the blunt end of a hatchet. According to the newspaper article Charles struck her three times and she suffered a concussion and possible skull fracture. It also says that he tried to attack Mrs. Mitchell but even thought she had been ill was able to dodge his blows. Mrs. Mitchell’s son, who also lived at the home, was able to come to the aid of his mother and sister.
Charles after the attack went back to his own room where he locked the door took his own life. My dad has always told me that my great grandfather, Harry Ward Skipper, Charles brother never believed that Charles took his own life, Harry always stated that that the Mitchell Family took his life. While the story tells a different story.
My parents visited Effingham and the Blue Point Cemetery and Church. My parents went inside the church and spoke with the pastor about his family buried in the cemetery. My dad explained that his great great grandparents(John Westley Skipper and Mary Ann Chadwell) were buried in the cemetery there. The pastor invited them to church for the next day. At church the pastor mentioned that my parents were visiting and that my dad’s great great grandfather, John Westley Skipper, was buried in the cemetery. They then had a meet and greet and a gentleman came up to him and asked if he knew a Charles Skipper, my dad told me the hair on his arm stood up but the time had ended and they had to go back to and sit down. During the service all my dad could think about was how did he knew Charles Skipper. After the service was my dad was able to ask how he knew Charles and the man responded that he was a great grandson of the Mitchell family and wanted to know if my dad knew the story of Charles Skipper.
We do know the story of Charles and his life that he lead. We may never know for sure what happened to Charles in that bedroom that night but we know what he did and how his actions affected those around him. I do not know if the daughter and her mother recovered. This is some thing that I need to look into and find out what ever happened after this terrible day for them.
Here is an update on this post about Charles Skipper https://ellajaneanne.home.blog/2019/08/09/updatethe-life-of-charles-skipper/