James Arthur Skipper

Life in England, Arkansas


The Skippers This photo of Jim and Jo and their children, Thelma and Irving, was labeled '1918' in Thelma's old photo album. Thelma and Irving look the way I think they would have looked at 10 and 7 respectively, but Jim looks too young and tousle-haired for 36 and Jo looks too old for 28. The landscape has the look of the flat area around England, Arkansas. There is a group of people sitting around a barrel near the tree on the right, but the photo is not clear enough to allow the identification any of them. This photo was on the same page and just below the 1908 photo.

Jimís older sister, Harriett Loyd, died January 28th at the age of 45 and was buried at Lone Grove Cemetery.

Thelma and Irving were vaccinated for small pox on August 24th according to a hand written note on the back of a prescription form from G. Ayres, pharmacist. He had two stores in England. The phone number for one was EAST Side 1, for the other, WEST SIDE 28.

Kids in the Car The photo of the kids in the car was also taken in 1918, perhaps at the same time. Apparently John Quincy Skipper and his family and some of the others met in England for a family gathering. Along the back row Delma Skipper seems to be standing on the floorboards, Jo Skipper and Noland Roe may be on the running board. Naomi Skipper and Thelma are in the front seat. Thelma is holding Florence Krisell. Wilbourn Krisell is standing in the white suit. Bertha Skipper is in the back seat. Irving is in the middle, and Quincy Skipper is on this side of the seat wearing a hat. Perhaps the little one behind Irving is Bradley Skipper. These are John and Maggie Skipper's kids, James and Jo Skipper's kids, and Dave and Willie Krisell's kids. John and James were brothers and Jo and Willie were sisters. The kids ranged in age from Florence who was one to Bertha who was 11.


Jim and Joís third child, Mildred Pauline, was born January 25, 1919. Jim was almost 37 and Jo almost 29. Pauline may have been named for her Aunt Ethel Pauline, the youngest aunt who had married James Turner and later moved to Oklahoma. It was unusual for such a long period of time between children back then. Itís possible that this was caused by Joís physical problems.

The KitchenAid electric food mixer was introduced. During the 20's and 30's American homes began to have more of the things that we have now all become accustomed to.


Thelma was 12 in July of 1920. I recently found a company newsletter in the frame behind a portrait of her with an article in which she said she had been working with the public since she was twelve and working in her motherís store. Pictures of the business seem to show a flea market type of setup earlier and a nicer place later on.

The first radio station in Arkansas, WOK in Pine Bluff, started broadcasting.

Ida Skipper, John Quincyís oldest child and Jim and Jo's niece, took the train from Morrilton to England to visit the Skippers and Krisells. She walked from the depot to Carl Toby Skipperís house. She wrote in a letter to her boy friend and future husband, Don Bostian, on Monday, June 7th. She said Ida (Carlís first wife) and all the kids ran out to meet her and hugged and kissed her, even Carl. However, Hobart (Krisell?) didnít. They also wanted her to stay through Sunday for a fishing trip so there was no need for Don to come to see the movie on Saturday. Mrs. Jackson and her kids, [and] Clyde, Nolan, and Fred Roe & some other kids came for a visit. She said she was so happy to see them that she didn't even bother to get back out of bed. Clyde tried to pull her out of bed thinking she was Carl,Jr., but soon discovered his mistake. She was going to help Carl and Hobart hoe cotton, but it was too wet. She reported that Uncle Jim (Skipper) had "a case of mumps." Hobert Krisell and Noland Roe are names familiar to me.


Thelma completed Grammer School in May. She was almost 13.

Jim and Joís fourth child, James Jr., my father, was born November 7, 1921. Jim was 39 and Jo was 31. Thelma was 13, Irving was 10, and Pauline was almost 2. Their house was a typical country frame house up on blocks. It had wood siding and probably a wood shingle roof. The yard was bare dirt according to Virginia Nix.

Legislation creating the U. S. Highway System was enacted that year.


Jim, at the age of 40, received an appointment as postmaster of England, Arkansas. The certificate is dated July 1st and signed by Warren G. Harding who had taken office in March of 1921. Jo was 32, Thelma 14, Irving 10, and James Jr. was 7 months old. A farmer, C. F. Skipper, saw the appointment notice in the Gazette and wrote to compare family histories. C. F.ís father, William F. Skipper, had come from Alabama in 1855 and died in 1896. C. F. commented on the scarcity of Skippers.


Thelma's High School memory book says she started high school in September of 1923. But her junior high diploma was dated in 1924. She graduated high school May 27, 1927. She was just two months short of her 19th birthday.


Thelmaís Junior High Diploma was dated May 9th. Her High School Memory Book said she started high school in 1923.

Republican Calvin Coolidge was elected president. He had replaced Harding in 1923 after Harding died. This was the year of the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast.

Jo's Resale Store The little boy was identified on the photo mount as Jo's second son, James, my father. He looks like he's younger than in the Oklahoma Reunion picture that follows. Even when enlarged, the image doesn't look quite like him, but I'll go with the inscription on the photo mount. Jo must have been an independent woman; I think she insisted on having a business of her own. This looks like a resale shop not much more than an indoor rummage sale, but later she had a more impressive place with some hired help.


Skipper Clan 1925 Jimís older brother, John Quincy, and his new wife, Martha, had John Quincy, Jr. in July. Johnís first wife had died in the 1918 flu epidemic. This was Johnís thirteenth child. Martha had two of her own. Johnís oldest child, Ida, was 25.

John and Jim, their wives, and the children who were still at home made a trip to Oklahoma to visit the two younger Skipper sisters and their families. I assume that they traveled by auto, but they might have gone by train. The distance was over 200 miles and it would have taken all day by auto. This photo shows all four families, but because of an error in using the viewfinder, does not include Jim and John Skipper and perhaps Thelma. John Quincy Jr. was only a month or two old; that must have been an interesting summer trip. A larger version of the photo is on the J A Skipper Album page.

THE ADULTS ON THE BACK ROW: Martha, John Q. Skipper's wife, holding John, Jr.; Rosie Elmer and her husband, John Edwards, holding Sybil and Leonard; Ethel Pauline and her husband, Jim Turner; and Josie Skipper. I assume Jim Skipper is standing to Jo's left and John Skipper is standing to Martha's right, but were cut out by an error in use of the viewfinder.
THE FIVE BOYS IN THE MIDDLE: Bradley Skipper, Millard Edwards, Quincy Skipper, Paul Turner, and Irving.
FIVE GIRLS IN FRONT: Ione Turner, Winnie Skipper, Adeline Turner, Genevieve Turner (who died in 1928), and Opal Edwards.
The little ones in front on the right are W.M."Dub" Bice Skipper, Martha's son; my Aunt Pauline; and my father, James. Behind Dub is Glenn Bice Skipper and behind Pauline and in front of Irving is Othel Lee Edwards. John Q. adopted Martha's sons.


Another postmaster appointment certificate dated August 6th was signed by Calvin Coolidge. Joe Noland Skipperís family has it.

The paving of Route 66, part of the U.S. Highway system was finally completed from Chicago to L.A. People started getting their kicks on Route 66 although the song was not written until the late 1940ís. (Not the Route 66 TV theme song.)


1927 Flood There was a flood in the England area sometime in 1927. Thelma and her dad are out looking over the area. Josephine Skipper

Thelma got her High School Diploma dated May 27,1927. She was 19 years old in July.

This photo of Jo is from Thelma's photo album. She was only 37 years old in this photo.


Jim and Joe with Car Jim and Jo may have bought a new Chevrolet in 1928. The license plate is Arkansas 1928. Several photos from 1928 show family members with the car. In the other photos, the tire tread looks new.

Their oldest daughter, Thelma, married Otto Coleman October 18, 1928. She was 20 and he was 23. Some of the remaining descendents may know something about this marriage. I have heard a story which can't be written here until some other time.

Auto Trip Apparently Jim and Jo made a motor trip with the two younger children and another child. This is one of the two photos from Thelma's album. Perhaps Thelma took the photo. She would have been 20 that year.


Thelma married Coleman Edgeworth on May 4, 1929. She was 21 and he was 32. He had two daughters by a previous marriage - Virginia aged 5 and Elizabeth aged 3.

Hebert Hoover took office in March. Note that Jimís next postmaster certificate wasnít signed until 1930. This was the year that ĎTiptoe through the Tulipsí was made popular by Maurice Chevalier long before the time of Tiny Tim.


The oldest son, Irving, married Nila Livingston on February 16, 1930. He was 18 but listed his age as 21. She listed her true age of 19. But they always maintained the fiction that she was two years younger than her true age; even going so far as to change the dates recorded in her family Bible. An Easter Greeting postcard addressed to her and postmarked April 1911 is pretty good evidence that she was born in 1910. Apparently another daughter was born in 1912; one I have never heard of. Nila's parents were E. E. 'Blue' Livingston and Tabitha Bilderback. Blue and Tabitha were married in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, in 1900.

Jimís next postmaster appointment was signed June 17th by Herbert Hoover.


Jo with new baby Jimís older sister, Bettie Cowan, died February 12, 1931 at the age of 50 and was buried in the Lone Grove Cemetery near Round Mountain.

Their baby boy, Joe Noland Skipper, was born on February 19, 1931. Jim was 48 and Jo was 40.

Jimís brother, John Quincy, died April 17th at the age of 54.

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