Skinner, Alonzo A

From Lane Co Oregon

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Alonzo A. Skinner
Personal Identity
Occupationclerk of Lane County
BirthplaceHuron County, Ohio
DeathApril 30, 1877
Place of BurialSanta Barbara, California
FamilyElizabeth Hopkins Lincoln (wife)
Personality & Physical nature
Hobbies & Interests
Physical Characteristics
Social information


[edit] History

Born in Huron County, Ohio; studied law and was admitted to the bar. Came to Oregon in company with Orville Risley and others, in 1845. In the year after his arrival he was made Circuit Judge of Oregon under the Provisional Government. The salary of this office was originally fixed at $200, but it is said that it was raised to $800 to induce Judge Skinner to accept the place. Peter H. Burnett, afterward Governor of California, was Supreme Judge of Oregon, but resigned because Judge Skinner received the largest salary. Skinner was a Whig originally, but became a Republican on the formation of that party. From 1851 to 1853 he was Indian Agent, and was located in the Rogue River Valley, where he took up the first donation land claim recorded in that section. In 1853 he was candidate for Delegate to Congress, against Joseph Lane, by whom he was badly beaten. From 1862 to 1864 he was clerk of Lane County. He was esteemed a well-read lawyer, modest and unassuming, and of good morals and fine feelings.

Lang, H. O., ed. "The History of the Willamette Valley, Being A Description of the Valley and its Resources, with an account of its Discovery and Settlement by White Men, and its Subsequent History; Together with Personal Reminiscences of its Early Pioneers." Portland, OR, Geo. H. Himes, Book and Job Printer, 1885. p. 647.

Alonzo A. Skinner (1814-1877) was the 16th Associate Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court in the United States. He also served as a circuit court judge for the state of Oregon, was a customs collector, a judge in the Provisional Government of Oregon, and a commissioner on a Native American treaty commission.

[edit] Early life

Skinner was born in Portage County, Ohio in 1814. Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956. There in the community of Revenna he read law and passed the bar in 1840.Judicial History He then settled in Putnam County, Ohio in 1842 and served as a part-time prosecutor in the county before losing the election for county judge. Bancroft, H. H., & Victor, M. F. A. F. B. (1886). History of Oregon. San Francisco: History Co., p. 309-10. Then in 1845 Skinner set out over the Oregon Trail on a seven month journey to immigrate to Oregon Country. He arrived later in 1845 in Oregon City, Oregon. Alonzo then set up farming in the Tuality District while still practicing law.

[edit] Political career

Beginning in December of 1846 Skinner served as a circuit judge for the Provisional Government of Oregon. In that position he would travel from March through November to the county courts as a circuit rider. He was paid a salary of $800 per year for the job and served until 1849 when the Territorial Government arrived and judge Orville C. Pratt took over for Skinner. Later in 1849 Native Americans attacked and killed an American settler at Fort Steilacoom in Lewis County, after which chief justice William P. Bryant traveled to the fort for a trial of six defendants. Bryant brought along Skinner to serve as the prosecutor, and two of the six defendants were convicted and executed.

After this in June of 1850 he became a member of an Indian Commission set up by the United States government to negotiate treaties with the tribes west of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon.[1] SuAnn M. Reddick and Cary C. Collins. Medicine Creek to Fox Island: Cadastral Scams and Contested Domains. Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 106, No. 3] This commission was created because of the Donation Land Act in 1850 allowed citizens to settle up to 640 acres and the government wanted the lands west of the Cascades for settlement and to move the Native Americans to Eastern Oregon. However, Skinner and his fellow commissioners John P. Gaines and Beverly S. Allen were only able to get treaties signed that allowed the tribes to remain on the west side and in the foothills of the Willamette Valley. The commission ratified 19 treaties and was then disbanded in February of 1851.

Then in 1852 Alonzo Skinner was appointed as an Indian gent by the government for Southern Oregon. The next year he ran against former governor Joseph Lane for the position of territorial delegate to Congress for the Oregon Territory. As a Whig party candidate Skinner lost to Lane the Democrat while calling for a transcontinental railroad in his campaign. Next in 1856 after moving to Pacific City, Washington he married Elizabeth Hopkins Lincoln on May 22. Hopkins was a teacher in Vermont sent by Governor William Slade to Oregon City. The two would then teach in Astoria, Oregon. Two years later the couple had moved to Willamina, Oregon in the Yamhill Valley where Alonzo had set up a land claim in 1850. The Skinners then moved to Eugene where Alonzo returned to law practice. While in Eugene he served as the city recorder and as a clerk for the county, elected to the later as a Republican in 1862. Alonzo Skinner During the American Civil War Skinner was an assistant provost marshal for the Army as a civilian.

Then in 1866, he was appointed by Oregon Governor George Lemuel Woods to the Oregon Supreme Court to replace Riley E. Stratton who had died in office.Oregon Blue Book: Oregon Governors [2] [Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon] Skinner served on the state's highest court until 1867 when he was replaced by John Kelsay who had won the election.

[edit] Later life

After serving on the Supreme Court he then served as a circuit court judge for the state from 1867 to 1870. Skinner was then appointed as a customs collector for the United States at Empire City, Oregon. However, he suffered from bad health and moved to California in 1877 to attempt to improve his health, but died that year on April 30 in Santa Barbara, California.

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