Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

William Skinner (b. circa 1840 - d. circa 1905)
MSA SC 5496-51880
Founding Officer of Freedom's Friend Lodge No. 1024, Laborer, Talbot County


William Skinner was born around 1840 in Maryland.1 He lived in Saint Michaels after the end of the Civil War.2 He and his wife, Emma, had six children: Ellen, Fanny, Joseph, Wlliam,3 Emma, and Ann4. In addition to his work as a general laborer, Mr. Skinner spent much of the remainder of his time as an Odd Fellow. By 1867 he was elected the Secretary of the organization.5 And on February 6, 1867, William Skinner was among the founding officers--including Robert Brown, Joseph Leeds Johnson, and Daniel E. Chaney--who purchased land for the organization.6 

There is little evidence to suggest that Mr. Skinner continued to hold office for the lodge after 1867. However, he and his wife seem to have been active members of the Union Methodist Episcopal Church, whose membership was also shared by that of Freedom's Friend. For instance, Emma gave more than 25 cents to missionary work for the church in 1904.7 

William Skinner likely passed away sometime between 1900 and 1910 since his most recent appearance in any census is 1900.8


1. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU (Census Record, Talbot County MD, 1870), MSA SCM 7260, 203.U.S. CENSUS BUREAU (Census Record, Talbot County MD, 1870), MSA SCM 7260, 203. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid. 

4. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU (Census Record, Talbot County MD, 1880), MSA SCM 4751-3, 739

5. TALBOT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, (Land Record), 6 February 1867, William Green to Freedom’s Friend Lodge No. 1024, MSA CE 90-10, Book STH 73, page 278. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Methodist Episcopal Church, Delaware Conference, Official Minutes of the Forty-First Session 1904 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Order of the Conference, 1904), 116.

8. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU (Census Record, Talbot County, MD, 1900), Saint Michaels District, Sheet 3,

Researched and Written by Tierra Langley, 2013

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