John N. Skinner, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .

John N. Skinner

An Old Citizen and Public Officer Passed Beyond the Vale.
A Large Concourse of Citizens of Valparaiso and Porter County, Followed Their Deceased Friend and Fellow Citizen to His Last Resting Place.
Resolutions of Respect by the Organizations of Which Mr. Skinner was Chief.

Not before in the history of Valparaiso has it been the lot of her citizens to lose from their midst one so prominently connected with all the vital interests of the city, and whose death called out such general expressions of sympathy as did that of Hon. John N. Skinner, mayor of Valparaiso, whose sudden and unexpected demise occurred at six o'clock last Friday morning, April 28, at his residence in this city.

Mr. Skinner was in his usualy health on Friday evening preceding his death, and presided at the council meeting, and though on Saturday and Sunday he complained of feeling bad, yet he was able to be out on the streets until Monday, when he visited the barber shop and was shaved, but soon after retired to his bed from which he was not again to rise. He continually grew worse, being in a semi-conscious condition to the hour of his death. His family physician pronounced his disease lung fever and his death was probably the immediate result of congestion.

It was the wish of many of his friends that the body of Mr. Skinner should be at his residence until Sunday but on close examination by Undertaker Lepell, who had charge of the burial, it was decided best that the remains of the dead mayor should be buried on Saturday, and in accordance with this, preparations were made. All through the day on Friday and Saturday, the corpse was visited by citizens who wished to pay their respects to and take a last look at the face of their deceased friend.

His long residence in Porter county, the prominent part he always taken in public affairs, his genial, kindly nature all tended to secure him a large circle of friends each of whom was eager to give evidence of his goodness and attest his worth.

Mr. Skinner was born in Wayne county, N. Y., Feb. 5, 1823. When about 15 years of age he removed with his parents to Indiana and settled in Porter county. He labored several years as a farm hand, and in 1840 he rented a small farm, and by industry and economy, he cleared about $200 the first year. He then entered the law office of Hon. Harlow Orton, under whom he read law twelve months, when he turned his attention to merchantile pursuits, in which he continued several years. In 1851 he was united in marriage to Miss Joanna Marshall, who survives him.

Their union was blessed by the birth of eleven children of whom all but one are living. He was elected mayor of Valparaiso in 1872 which office he held at the time of his death, and was made the unanimous nominee of his party for election to the same position at the election which occurred last Tuesday.

The funeral was held on Saturday at 3 p. m. at the family residence on Mechanic street. The services were conducted by Rev. G. M. Boyd, and the M. E. church. At the close of Mr. Boyd's remarks, the bier was placed upon the sidewalk that all might have an opportunity to look at the remains.

Arrangements had been made with Artist McLellan to photograph the scene at this point which was done while the vast assembly were held waiting in silence. The funeral procession then formed in the following order:

Officiating minister, hearse, pall bearers, family, relatives, council officers, school board, members of the press, citizens in carriages, citizens on foot, Normal school in charge of faculty, fire department in charge of G. A. Marquart, chief, as guard of honor arranged on each side of the procession. On the left was Hose Company No. 1, and Engine Company No. 2; on the right, Hook and Ladder Company, and Engine Company No. 2. W. E. Brown, marshall of the day, was assisted by Messrs. W. P. Wilcox, W. A. Bryant, Jerome Carter, Col. I. C. B. Suman, and James McGill.

The route to the cemetery was; west on Mechanic street to Washington street, north to Main street, east to Michigan street, south to Monroe street, east to Locust street, south to Union street and west to cemetery.

He is gone from among us. John N. Skinner's familiar form and pleasant countenance will no more be seen on our streets. His friendly greeting may not more be heard by earthly ears. His place in the council chamber is vacant. But he will long hold a place in the hearts of the people, and his wise counsels will be treasured for generations to come and their impress will be seen in the conduct of affairs. His family whom he loved and who cherish his memory, are cast down in grief at his sudden departure; 'tis sad to lose a husband and father. For the bereaved ones we have none but words of sympathy and cheer.

Resolutions of condolence and respect were adopted by the common council and the fire department as follows:


At a meeting of the common council and citizens, called on the occasion of the death of the late Mayor, Hon. John N. Skinner, Councilman Letherman was elected to preside.

On motion Councilmen Heineman and Daly, Rev. M. O'Reilly and Patrick Sullivan were appointed committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the council and citizens, and present to the meeting. The committee prepared and presented the following:

WHEREAS, It has pleased Almighty God, the dispenser of life, to remove our esteemed fellow officer and kind friend, Hon. J. N. Skinner from our midst; and,

WHEREAS, An affectionate wife and a large family of children mourn the great loss of him who was a most devoted husband and tender father; and,

WHEREAS, The officers of the city of Valparaiso, have always found our late mayor a man zealous for the public good, while at the same time indulgent as a kind father in the administration of his public duties; be it

Resolved, that we consider the death of the Hon. John N. Skinner a public calamity, to which, however in the order of Providence, we must be resigned, but while we lament his loss we can point to his record in public life as that of a faithful officer and magistrate, and a good citizen.

Resolved, That we tender his afflicted wife and family our heartfelt sympathy.

Resolved, That the public buildings be draped at public expense for 30 days, and that the fire department and city officers attend his funeral in their respective capacities.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be published in the city papers and also a copy presented to his family.


WHEREAS, It has pleased Almighty God, in his exercise of His inscrutable wisdom, to claim from the kingdom of the living our beloved friend and fellow-citizen and esteemed city official, Hon. John N. Skinner, and viewing the demise of so good a man as a great loss to our community and a calamity to our city, and being desirous of pyaing a tribute of sacred respect to his memory, we the fire department of the city of Valparaiso,

Resolved, That we extend our profound sympathy to his heartwrung family and relatives.

Resolved, That we will decorate the fire hall, uniforms, and apparatus with appropriate emblems of mourning in the same manner as if we had lost one of our brothers.

Resolved, That we will attend his mortal remains to their last resting place in our respective companies under directions of our worthy chief.

Resolved, That we commend his soul to a merciful God, asking for him that degree of charity which our deceased friend would extend to the most humble of his fellow-citizens.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the records of each company, presented to the afflicted family, and a copy furnished to each county paper for publication.

Newspaper: Porter County Vidette
Date of Publication: May 4, 1882
Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 18
Page: 1
Column(s): 3 and 4

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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