James Arthur Skipper

Early Career and Marriage


Jim turned 21 this year - the year of the first heavier than air flight. The automobile industry was still in its infancy and probably no automobiles were in Conway County for several more years. His older sister, Mary, died and was buried in Lone Grove Cemetery. The Lone Grove School, Church and Cemetery were located about one mile due west of Round Mountain. The church and cemetery are still there in 2000.


A tax receipt shows that on April 3, 1905, Jim's father, Dave, paid $28.90 for the 1904 taxes on 220 acres valued at $710 and on personal property valued at $1125. The tax was for state, county, and schools. That would probably be equivalent to an estate of $100,000 to $200,000 in 2000 dollars. The land was in the middle of Section 26 of Township 8, Range 16 just southeast of Round Mountain and just a 'forty' east of present State Highway 287 where Uncle Clyde Halbrook's wife Pearl was born and raised. Pearl played with Jim's daughter Thelma.

We recently found the following notes with Jim and Jo's marriage license.
Jim at 23 Jo at 15 On 5 1/2" x 9" - 3/8" lined tablet paper with 1 5/8" margin at the top obviously from James A. Skipper, Sr. A couple of holes were torn from the middle. Arthur, Ark. was a few miles east of Round Mountain and north of Birdtown. Lanty is a couple of miles north of Round Mountain.

Arthur, Ark.
Oct. 3d 1905
Miss Jocie Noland
Lanty, Ark.
[Kin]d friend
You may be surprised to receive a letter from me but I thought i would write you a few lines and see if you would correspond with me and [if it] be agreeable with you [I] would like to have your company for the 3d Sunday in this month. If you have not got any objections to me coming write and let me know. Hoping to hear from you.
[no signature]

The reply was on 5 1/2" x 9" - 3/8" lined tablet paper with 2" margin at the top:

Lanty, Ark.
Oct 9th - 1905
Mr. James Skipper
Arthur. Ark.
Kind friend.
Your letter was veary much suprising indeed. I never thought of hearing from you but your company for the 3d Sunday will be exceptable with me if so you can write and tell me what time you will be heare and if you can not all right.
From a
Kind friend
Josie Noland
When the golden sun is setting and your mind from [home?] is free
When of others you are thanking will you sometimes thank of me.

She was 15 and he was 23 when they exchanged these notes. They were married a year and three months later when she was 16 1/2 and he was 24 1/2.

I have tried to duplicate the spelling and punctuation as well as I could. He spelled her nickname Jocie and I have seen it spelled that way in other places.


Jim joined the I.O.O.F. (See entry for 1915.)


Jim married Mayola Josephine Noland on January 6th. He was 24 and she was 16 ½. Although it was not uncommon for women her age to be married, perhaps the fact that she had been an orphan since the age of ten was a factor.


Jim was appointed postmaster of Solgohachia. Republican Teddy Roosevelt was president at the time. The appointment lasted until 1913, when Democrat Woodrow Wilson became president. The appointment certificate was signed by George v. L. Meyer, Postmaster General.

The certificate says: To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greetings:
Whereas, On the 6th day of January, 1908, James A. Skipper was appointed Postmaster at Solgohachia, in the County of Conway, State of Arkansas, and whereas he did on the 1st day of February, 1908, execute a Bond, and has taken the Oath of Office as required by law:

Now know ye, that confiding in the integrity, ability, and punctuality of the said James A. Skipper I do commission him a Postmaster, authorized to perform the duties of that Office at Solgohachia aforesaid, according to the laws of the United States and the Regulations of the Post Office Department: To hold the said Office of Postmaster, with all the powers, privileges, and emoluments thereunto belonging, during the pleasure of the Postmaster General of the United States.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the Post Office Department to be affixed, at Washington City, this eighth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eight, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-second.

Baby Thelma

Jim and Jo Skipper and
their first child, Thelma, born on July 27, 1908

1908 was the year Henry Ford produced the first Model T. GMC was also started that year. Congress passed a law making it mandatory to put the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ on all U.S. money.

Republican William Howard Taft was elected president.


Jim’s father, Dave or ‘Big Jim,’ died on December 24th at the age of 60 and was buried in the McLaren Cemetery in Lanty. A nice monument still marks his grave in 2000. The monument has the initials of the International Order of Odd Fellows. Jim was 27 and Jo was 19. Mary Katherine, Big Jim’s wife, was 60.


Jim and Jo’s second child, David William, was born on November 23, 1911. Jim was 29 and Jo was 21. Grandma Skipper was 62. At the time David was born, a man named Irving lived in the community and had a monkey. A visiting friend looked at baby David and said, “Why he’s as ugly as Irving’s monkey.” The nickname ‘Irving' stayed with him. It is possible that the middle name of Joseph W. Skipper, Irving’s great grandfather, was William. If so, Irving was probably named David for his grandfather and William for his great grandfather. He had his name changed to Irving and used W. Irving Skipper as his name.


Jim’s mother Mary died February 9th at the age of 65. Her casket was purchased from R. E. Echols, Dealer in Furniture, Carpets, Wall Paper, Shades, Etc. - Undertaking a Specialty. It cost $30. The order was made on the 9th for Mrs. D. J. Skipper. She was buried beside Dave in the McLaren Cemetery at Lanty. The bill was paid on the 18th to H. A. Brett, Manager.

There is some uncertainty about the year of her death. In 1916 Jim filled out an insurance application and listed her year of death as 1912. The family Bible had 1912 listed, but a 4 has been written over the 2. Legal records and her tombstone may show 1914 as the year of her death. I'll verify the year and make the necessary corrections.

Jim was almost 32 and Jo almost 24 when his mother died. Thelma was six and Irving was two. Jim and Jo had been married for seven years.

Jim’s oldest sister, Mary Krisell, had died. She had been married to John Krisell and left eight children, Ernest, Frances, Lora, Cora, Ellen, Hobert, Olin, and Arthur. I’ve known Ellen and her children since I was a child and Hobert appears later in England in 1920 when Ida Skipper visited.

Jim’s next sister, Harriet Lyod, lived near Lanty. Her children were William David, John, and Louisa.

The third sister, Louisa (Aunt Lou Treece), was married and may have already moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Jim’s older brother, John Quincy, lived in the area and eventually settled in Morrilton. John Q. was a traveling Singer Sewing Machine salesman and then later was appointed postmaster at Morrilton. His daughter Ida was 14, Annie was 13, ‘Son’ was 11, Gordon was 8, Bertha was 7, Naomi was 5 ½, Delma was 4, and ‘Bill’ Quincy was 1 ½. He later had Everett and Winnie, then John Quincy Jr.

The fourth sister, Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Cowan, (36), lived at Lanty. Her husband’s name was Sonnetia (Nett for short). I haven’t found anyone who knows for sure how his name was pronounced, but my guess is sohn-eh-t’-ah. Does it mean ‘little sonnet’? Her children were Leon, William, Jackson, Sturl, Stella, Katie, and Arba. I remember references to Sturl and Stella as I grew up in Conway County.

The fifth sister, Rosie Elmer (27), was married to John Edwards and soon moved to Oklahoma. Her children were Millard, Mildred, Othel, Mary Opal, Leonard, Sybil, and Carl. Of course most of these were born after 1914. I remember references to a Carl Edward, but it may be someone else.

Younger brother, Carl Toby (24), married Ida Octavia Treadwell and was living nearby. His children were Rita and Reba, Roy, Ruth, Raymond and Carl Toby Jr. Roy Skipper worked at the Sterling Variety Store’s warehouse where I worked for one summer.

The sixth sister, Ethel Pauline (19), probably was still at home, but she married Jim Turner and they moved to Oklahoma. They eventually had Paul, Genevieve, Ione, Adeline, and Fredis.

It is possible that at least three of Jim’s uncles and four of his aunts were still living in the area. There were also Nolands, relatives of Jo, who lived in the Lanty area and were buried at Lone Grove.

I think that Jo’s sister, Willie, had already married Dave Krisell and lived in the Lanty area.

When Kate died there was a dispute of the inheritance of the family property. Based on what I was told by Florence Skipper Krisell's grandson and Ethel Skipper Turner's son, the younger sister wanted the brothers, John, James, and Carl, to receive all the land. The husbands of the older sisters did not agree. John threatened to hit Florence's husband with a chair while they were in the county courthouse trying to settle matters.

A few years later, Ethel's family was visiting where several family members and friends had assembled. Ethel introduced her son Paul to several of the women, but conspicuosly passed one by. After they had left the group, Paul asked his mother who the woman was, and she answered, "My sister."


Democrat Warren G. Harding took office as president and Jim either resigned or was replaced as postmaster. Model T’s were being mass produced and the national income tax was instated.


There is a bill of sale for a red cow and calf representing security for a loan to J. A. Garrett due November 15th. The bill of sale is not dated. We have Jim’s Certificate of Membership in the I.O.O.F (Independent Order of Odd Fellows). Jim signed it as Recording Secretary and L. E. Sutton signed as Noble Grand. Jim had been a member of Lanty Lodge 401 since 1906. His physical statistics at the age of 33: Weight – 140 lbs; Hair – Dark Brown; Eyes – Blue; Height – 5 ft. 9 ½ in. This was the Identification Card on the back of the Certificate. Josie Skipper of Lanty was to be notified in case of accident.

According to her High School Commencement Memories book, Thelma started school at Round Mountain in the summer of 1915. The teacher was Ira Skipper, one of her dad's cousins. She was 7 years old that July 27th, but was 6 when she started school.


Piggly-Wiggly, the first self-service grocery store opened up north somewhere. I remember when the Kroger chain opened the first real self-service store in Morrilton in the early 1950’s.


With both his parents dead, the family land in dispute and worn out from over 50 years of farming, and no chance for a postmaster job with a Democrat president in office, Jim probably decided to make a new start elsewhere. The swamp land around England, Arkansas, had been cleared and drained and had very rich soil. Jim may have been told or may have realized that there would be an opportunity to get the appointment to the job of postmaster at England.

So Jim and his family and perhaps Carl Toby and his family moved to England early in 1917. It could have taken up to a week to reach England from Round Mountain. They camped out in their wagons along the way. Even if they had had cars and trucks, the journey would have been difficult because of the poor roads. Average speed by auto was about 20 mph. Thelma remembered that it was cold. She was almost nine years old and Irving was five.

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