One of the leading citizens of Liberty
township, was born in Seneca County, Ohio. His English ancestors
were early settlers of New England and lived in Conneticut.
Jason SKEELS, was a captain during the Revolutionary War. His
father, Silas SKEELS, was born in New Haven, Conn. and in 1806
the family moved to Cayuga County, New York, and settled near what
is now the city of Auburn, the whole country at the time being
wild and uncultivated. Silas SKEELS was a soldier in the War of
1812 under Scott and Brown, was in the Canada expeditions, and
participated in the battles of Lundy's Lane, Fort George, and
Fort Erie. His second wife was Nicy BEARDSLEY of Cayuga County, N.Y.
She was a native of the state of Conn. and the mother of George
In 1832, Silas SKEELS moved the family from New York to Ohio and settled
in Scipio township of Seneca County where he lived until his death
in January 1863 at the age of 84.
George P. SKEELS was born in 1833
and obtained most of his education at the Seneca County Academy at
Republic, Ohio. At age 17 he began teaching school in the winters
and working on his father's farm in the summers. In the spring
of 1856, he re-located in Franklin County, Kansas, about 22 miles
south of Lawrence.
While living in Kansas he could not avoid entanglement
in the Kansas Border War, 1856-57. He was in numerous skirmishes
and engagements; was at Lawrence at the time Atchison and Stringfellow
attempted to cross the river; was at the battle, with Titus, on
Bull Creek; was near Osawatamie when the place was burned; and
at Hickory Point received a bullet through one of his legs while
attempting to dislodge the enemy from the log house which figured
prominently in the conflict. During the summer of 1857, Judge
SKEELS was in the land office at Lecompton, Kansas.
He came to Holt County, Oct. 26, 1857 and taught school the following
winter. He engaged in teaching until Jan. 1, 1860 when he married
Serelda A. CATON, daughter of C.P. CATON, an old resident of Holt
County Because his father was in failing health, he returned to Seneca
County, Ohio and remained until his father's death. He came back
to Holt County in April 1864 and began farming in Township 62, Range
39 (about 3 miles northwest of Mound City).
In 1866, he was elected
to the Holt County court and was re-elected in 1868 and served until
1874. He was 6 children. He has always supported the Republican
party and assisted with giving the large vote to Fremont in 1856.
Source: "An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Holt County, MO.
Published by Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia, 1877
Provided by Dave Roberts of Lyon County, Kentucky,
a former Holt County resident.