James Arthur Skipper


The Final Years

1932

England Post Office Employees Jimís 50th birthday was June 19, 1932. Jo was almost 42, Thelma was 24, Irving was almost 21, Pauline was 13, James Jr. was almost 11, and Joe Noland was 1. Thelma had been married for three years, Irving for two years.

In this photo, Jim is shown (on the viewer's left) in the England Post Office with his employees. His younger brother, Carl Toby, and a nephew, Herbert Krisell, are in the photo.

Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt soundly defeated Hoover with the promise to end prohibition and with the theme song "Happy Days Are Here Again". Of course the days were not so happy for Jim, since the election of a Democrat meant his loss of the job as postmaster.

Jo went to Cisco, Texas, with Joe Noland for health reasons. A letter from Jim to Jo tells that he misses her and that he expects to lose his postmaster position when Roosevelt takes office.

1933

England Post Office Employees Roosevelt took office and Jim was replaced as postmaster and continued the resale clothing business with Jo. The federal government still operated on the Ďspoilsí system then and many government jobs, including local post office jobs, were filled with supporters of the political party in power. This photo shows Jo in the new store. She had several workers in the store, including a shoe repair man.

1936

In the collection of old family items are Delegate and Alternate Delegate ribbons for the Republican State Convention held in Little Rock on Saturday, May 2nd. I donít know whether women were allowed to be delegates, but they did have the vote. Iím confident that Jim was a delegate, at least, and Jo may have been an alternate. Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for his second term. He was six months older than Jim. Of course, Jim was supporting FDRís Republican opponent, Alfred (Alf) Landon.

1937

Grown Thelma Jim and Jo celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on January 6th. Thelma had written a letter to them and Jo wrote the following letter in return. Jim added a note:
England, Ark., Jan 6 Ė 1937: Dear Daughter, I never thought I would be writing my eldest child a letter on my 30th (wedding) anniversary, but here I be. Through all the joy and sorrow s and weary at 30 years still happy and Dad is still the dearest man of my heart. We have fought the battles of life side by side true to each other and love each other as much as we did when we took one another for better or worse thirty years ago this afternoon. June 6 - 1907 donít seem so long ago. We have been happy rearing the dearest children on earth to us and we are proud of every one of you for not one of you have give us much trouble and we think God that he has been good to us in keeping you all. We donít have so much, and yet we have one of the richest treasures - one another and our children and you all have been good to us so we think you from the bottom of our heart for all that you have done for us. I was surprised to get the ring. I think it is beautiful and thank you for all for the cards. I think they are great. The Dr has condemned me to the bed surrounded by hot water bottles and too kinds of medicine. I am rather expensive for twenty capsules cost me $2.50 and fourteen tablets - $1.50. My temperature is to low so he is trying to keep it up to par, but I am still happy and try to look on the bright side for every cloud has a silver lining. I have shed a few tears writing this letter but I donít know why - just happy I guess thinking over the years past. I hope you and Coleman will be as happy on your 30th Anniversary. Well, I will change the subject. I am feeling very well this a.m. I set here and knit and read. I have 15 inches on my dress ready to narrow the 3rd time. I have a Negro woman staying with me. She is fine. She milks and does everything and she sure is good to wait on me. She donít (4) have to be told to don everything - very good housekeeper. Well, I am tired to guess I had better close. The children are all at school and Dad at the store. So come down to see me as often as you can. Hoping to see you soon. So lots of love Mother and Dad

Hello How are all. Well I think you for your card. Well Iím still here as happy as I was 30 years ago today. Got more to be happy for - 5 greatest kids on earth. Some older; tho donít feel so much older tho. Your Dad.

The family group apparently posed for a moving picture while celebrating the wedding anniversary. The image of Jo, Thelma, and Jim and the one of the entire family at the beginning of the story are copies from frames of the 16mm movie. Assuming that the movie was made on their wedding anniversary, Jim would have been 54, Jo 46, Thelma 28, Irving 25, Pauline 18, James 15, and Joe Noland 6. A 16mm home movie made at the time they were posing for this photo has been transferred to VHS videotape and copies can be made available. The video has other scenes from about 1933 to 1996 mostly of James Jr. and Joe Nolandís families.

1939

Portrait of Jo Jo (or Joe) wrote this letter to one of her Skipper nieces. I'm not sure which one. I have done my best to duplicate the structure, spelling, and punctuation of the original which was written on two small sheets of lined note paper.
England Ark
Feb 22-1939
Miss Skipper
Dear neice I will write you a few lines. We are all up but not well they want me to go to Hospital for an operation. I am going to tell you about it and I want you to write Mr Truly just what you think. it seems I have one of them tumors with little bumps or knots on it just in side of the uterus and it is growing of course you know what happens that I might have hermorages because the mouth of the womb cant close
(2) is there no way to do anything but operate does your Drs up there cure that kind of tumor with out the knife you see I have a cough when I menstruate back hips legs in fact I hurt all over was in bed last time had to have the Dr I just wanted to know if you thought the Drs there could remove the tumor and would it stay cured and be safer than the knife but I guess there prices would be to high for me any way tell me what you think right away please ans soon
lots of love to you
Your Aunt Joe

Jo died Wednesday, March 29th, at 2:00 p.m. She had suffered from 'female problems' for several years with an almost constant loss of blood. She had consulted doctors for some time about cures and was a little hesitant about surgery. The letters to Thelma and to the doctor about this situation are sad to read. As Thelmaís calendar tells, Jo had surgery, but soon began to get worse. Virginia said that a blood clot resulting from the surgery was actually what killed her.

Nylon stockings were introduced that year. Perhaps she never had a pair. She might have had a special pair of silk stockings, of course. There is a pair of fancy sheer stockings in the old family collection, but I donít know whether they were hers or even whether they are nylon or silk. The movie Gone with the Wind was released that year.

Open Casket Funeral Her obituary was in the Arkansas Gazette:
England, March 29 - Mrs. Mayola Josephine Skipper, 48, wife of J. A. Skipper England business man and former postmaster, died in Little Rock hospital today. She is survived also by two daughters, Mrs. R. E. Edgeworth of Little Rock and Miss Pauline Skipper of Conway; three sons, Irvin of Little Rock, James of Conway and Joe Nolan Skipper of England and three sisters, Mrs. L. C. Rowen of England, Mrs. D. L. Krisell of Humphrey and Mrs. Sid Kissire of Morrilton. She was a member of First Baptist church and had lived here 21 years. Funeral will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Wilson funeral parlor by the Rev. James A. Overton of North Little Rock. (I have attempted to type this with its original spelling errors. Also not that the length of time given indicates a move to England in 1918.)

Thelma was 31. Her desk calendar had these entries: Saturday, March 11th, Coleman and I went to Hot Springs (rather on the Lake) with Mr. & Mrs. Bradberry - spent the night. March 12th, Just fished & fiddled around all day - Got home about 8:30 pm. Monday, March 13th, Washed. Mother came in town - took her to the Hospital at 5 p.m. She is to be operated on at 8 in the morning. Theresa & I went after Joe & Dad. Irving went after Pauline and James. They got here about 12: p.m. March 14th, Mother was operated on at 8 AM - was in operating room 2 hours & 10 minutes. Brought Nell Rose out & had Dr. She has flu. March 15th, Mother about same - Dad, Joe, Pauline, & James went home. Had nurse come in at 11 to 7. March 16th, Mother about same - Had nurse again to-nite. March 17th, Mother about same - had Ethel Joe to come in at 3 to 11 - one to come in 11 to 7. March 18th, Mother about same - Had both day & night nurse. Sunday, March 19th, Spent most of Day at Hospital. Stayed until 11 - Ethel Joe came on then. March 20th, Went to Hospital at 8 AM. Stayed until 11 pm. Was worn out - Ethel Joe came on then. March 21st, Mother some better. Went down at 8 A.M. - left at 11. Ethel Joe came on. March 22nd, Mother lots better this a.m. was at Hospital most of day. Louise P ate dinner with us. P.M. Mother not feeling so well. March 23rd, Mother not so well. Ruth got her divorce from Clinton Crumpton - Miss Ruth Turner. Friday, March 24th, Mother not any better - went to show that nite - Irene Dunn "Love Affair". March 25th, Bought Gro. - Coleman played tennis. Mother not better. Theresa, Coleman & Virginia & I went to preview. Sunday, March 26th, Dad came up. Dr. said might have to operate again. Coleman worked. Dad stayed all night. Had Ethel Joe. March 27th, Dad went home. Olin brought he & the kids back. Dr said he would operate at 8 in the morning. We all had blood tests as follows: Coleman - 1, Theresa - 1, James - 4, Jimmy Lewis - 2, Me - 2, Howard - 3, & mother test 2 also. Tuesday March 28th, Mother was operated on again this a.m. at 8 oíclock. Jimmie Lewis gave blood. Seemed pretty good until 11 p.m.

Open Casket Funeral Wednesday, March 29, 1939 - Hospital called us at 1 A.M. said mother couldnít live. She lived from 1 AM to 5 until 2 p.m. then passed on to eternal rest. Went to England & selected casket, cemetery plot, etc. (The obituary was pinned to this page with a straight pin.)
This photo was printed on Post Card stock. Jo's daughter, Pauline, had written on the back that her mother had made the beautiful blue knit dress that she was buried in. Jo's son, Irving, probably took the picture. About 60 years later, he photographed Pauline in her casket. (I did not photograph him.)

Thursday, March 30th, Went to England about 11 A.M. Aunt Ethel & Elmer & Uncle Jim from Okla. Had come. John Loyd from Morrillton. We to see mother - she looked beautiful in her blue knit dress - her hair was waved. Had pink carnation corsage on her shoulder. Funeral services were at 3 P.M. Rev. James A Overton preached. Mrs J. H. Coleman sang. Pallbearers: Bradley Skipper, Wilburn Krisell, Olin Krisell, Carter Johnson, Noland Roe, Roy Skipper - All nephews. So many pretty flowers. Theresa, Mother Edgeworth, Mrs. Chapple, Mrs Stephens, Mrs. Sanders, Coffey, Mrs. Elliott, Mrs. Brown came down. I spent the night. It was so lonesome without mother there. But God knows best I guess. (Uncle Carl, Aunt Sid, Willie, Nolar, Zoes all came. Aunt Ethel, Elmer & Uncle Jim stayed.)

Friday, March 31st, Tried to straighten the house some. Brought Dad to L.R. Bought some shoes, etc. Went out to the zoo to kill time - came by & got him some groceries then Nila and Irving went home with him. I took hot bath & went to bed.

Jim and Joe NolandJames A. Jr Jim wrote this will in May:
England Ark
May 16th 1939
To whom it may concern
This is my will. Should I die before Joe Noland Skipper. is grown. I want him to have all my insurance to Educate him & care for him. I also want Thelma Edgeworth to be the Executor if she is still survive me. If not want James A. Skipper Jr. as Executor.
(Signed) J. A. Skipper

I think that these photos must have been taken after Jo died; otherwise she would have been in the set. These two photos were scanned from the original negatives which were in 35mm movie format. This format is called half-frame 35mm now. In the early days, some photographers started using the single frame feature of 35mm movie cameras to take still photos on movie film. Then manufacturers started making 35mm cameras specifically for still photography and that eventually displaced nearly all other still camera formats except for large format professional cameras. I think Irving must have taken these photos, but I don't know what sort of camera he used except that it used 35mm film. There is a whole series of photos of James.

James Jr., in the photo at upper right, married Eva Louise Maxwell, my mother, November 19, 1939. He was 18 and she was 19.

1940

James Arthur Skipper died February 9th at the age of 57. His obituary was in the Arkansas Gazette on February 11th (A year to the day before I was born to James Jr. and Louise.) Pauline told me the events surrounding these deaths and I made an audio recording of what I remembered. Iíll review the recording later and add or correct details as needed. Jim suffered from headaches and nosebleed probably from high blood pressure. He and Joe Noland often slept together since they were the only ones left at home. Jim came home not feeling well and in the night (I think it was) had a massive stroke, which left him mostly paralyzed and unconscious I think. I believe Pauline said that Joe was pinned to the bed. They got Jim to the hospital of course. Iíll check the details and add them later. Jimís obituary follows:

Merchant, Former Postmaster, Dies
James A. Skipper England - James A. Skipper Sr., aged 57, of England, died in a Little Rock hospital Friday night. Mr. Skipper came to England from Conway County in 1917. Prior to that time he served as postmaster at Solgohachia from 1908 to 1912. After coming here he served as postmaster for England 13 years.

At the time of his death he was a merchant, He was financial secretary of the Woodmen of the World and member of the First Baptist Church.

Mr. Skipper is survived by three sons, Irving and James A. Skipper Jr., of Little Rock, and Joe N. Skipper of England; two daughters, Mrs. R. C. Edgeworth of Little Rock and Miss Pauline Skipper of England; one brother, C. T. Skipper of Hot Springs; three sisters, Mrs. Fate Treece of Jonesboro, Mrs. J. P. Turner of Webbers Falls, Okla., and Mrs. John Edwards, Webbers Falls.

Funeral services will be held Sunday at the First Baptist church at 2:30, conducted by Rev. Cecil Meadows. Interment will be in Mulberry cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Ed Carllee, Carroll Leonard, W. G. Cunning. Ed Swain, Ed Weintraub, Shelby Kennedy, Guy Fisher and A. H. Magie.

A hand written will was saved with the old letters and photographs. It made provisions for Joe Nolandís education. The three married couples each took turns keeping Joe and they all worked together to buy him the things he needed. They eventually decided that a Catholic boarding school was the answer, but he didnít like it and ran away to England several times to stay with Uncle Dave and Aunt Willie and their families.

The three sisters mentioned in the obituary were Louisa "Lou" Rebecca Treece aged 66, Ethel Pauline Turner aged 46, and Rosie Elmer Edwards aged 53. The brother, Carl Toby, was 51. The oldest sister, Mary Florence Krisell had died in 1903 and the second sister, Harriet Lucretia Lloyd, had died in 1918, and the fourth sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Casandra Cowan had died in 1931. She and Harriet were buried at Lone Grove where John Quincy taught school. John Quincy was buried near his father in the McLaren Cemetery in Lanty, so apparently they had all stayed in the Round Mountain area.

Lou Treece died in 1954 at the age of 80. She was buried at Jonesboro, AR. Ethel Turner, the youngest child, died in 1957 at the age of 63 and was buried at Gore, OK. Rosie Elmer Edwards died in 1975 at the age of 87 and was buried at Gore, OK. Carl Toby Skipper, Jimís baby brother, died in 1957 at the age of 61 and was buried at England, AR.

PAGE ONE
YOUTH
1882-1900
PAGE TWO
MARRIAGE and FAMILY
1900-1917
PAGE THREE
POST OFFICE CAREER
1917-1932
PAGE FOUR
FINAL YEARS
1932-1940
Table of Descendants
The NOLAND Family LIFE in the 1880s

Joseph W. Skipper (1814-1875)
David James Skipper (1949-1909)
James Arthur Skipper (1882-1940)
James Arthur Skipper, Jr. (1921-1945)
James Maxwell Skipper (1941-        )

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Re-posted: 1/15/03
Searchable File of Names of Many of the Descendents of Joseph and Louisa Skipper