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 Marion Maude <I>Keene</I> Skinner

Marion Maude Keene Skinner

Cheshire Center, Allegan County, Michigan, USA
Death 15 May 1972 (aged 91)
Sault Sainte Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA
Burial Pickford, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 90578650 · View Source
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Marion Maude Keene Skinner was the daughter of James Buchanan Keene (1856-1927) and Phoeba Rebecca Pierce (1857-1949).

Bertha Blance Keene (1883-1943) m. Charles W. Thomas
Florence Ettie Keene (1885-1983) m. Sherba Henry Brown
Nettie Waive Keene (1887-1985), unmarried
Iva Louis Keene (1889-1929), unmarried
Ralph Cletus Keene (1892-1973) m. Hazel G. Harder
Harland Humphrey Keene (1896-1936) m. Edith Eva Searles.

SPOUSE: WILLIAM C. "WILLIE" SKINNER (1870-1917); m. 02 Sep 1897, Bloomingdale, Van Buren, MI USA. Marion was 17; Willie was nine years her senior and previously married with one child (Avis M. Skinner).

Willie & Marion had four children:
Harry James Skinner (1899-1928)
Amber Rosella Skinner (1902-1993)
Clark William Skinner (1907-1973)
Gypsie Bernice Skinner (1914-1996)

1883: Marion's family moved to farm on Duck Lake, Cheshire Twp., Allegan, MI USA

1897 MI Marriage: Bloomingdale, Van Buren, MI USA to Willie

1900 US Census: Cheshire Twp., Allegan, MI USA, age 20

1904, Sep. 28-Oct. 7: 1st family move to U.P. from Allegan Co. with children Amber & Harry, other relatives (Grandma Pierce, cousins from Huff & Loomis families to St. Ignace. Husband Willie & some male cousins went first by wagon with household goods; Marion and children traveled a week later by train. Settled in Brevort (20 m. NW of St. Ignace).

1906, Sep. 25: Family left Brevort; returned to Allegan Co. and bought farm near Fennville. Deal fell through so on Dec. 6th, they moved in with Grandma Pierce (Henrietta Rosella Loomis Pierce) in Cheshire Twp. Grandpa (George) Pierce had died in 1905. Clark was born there in 1907; and the family lived there until next move in 1908.

1908: Sep. 5-Oct. 5: 2nd family move to U.P. from Allegan Co. with parents, Harry, Clark, Grandma Pierce and Aunt Waive Keene (Marion's sister), this time entirely by covered wagon and horse team with all household goods; it took a month.

1909: April: Bought Edd Flood farm/Job Singer place, a log home S.E. of Pickford.

1910 US Census: Pickford, Chippewa, MI with Willie; age 29; children Harry, Amber & Clark; also father-in-law Andrew Skinner (age 69)

1914-1917: Last child Gypsie born (1914); Willie took sick (Jun. 1916) and died (Aug. 1917 at Mayo Clinic, MN) during surgery for colon cancer. The family moved back to Allegan during this time to help him seek medical attention.

c. 1917-18: Family's last move to house on Fairview Road, Pickford, after Willie's death.

1920 US Census: Pickford, Chippewa, MI; age 39; widow; with children Harry, Amber, Clark, and 3 Clegg children (Marie, Earl, Jane). Daughter Gypsie is living with Crawford family in Pickford.

1930 US Census: Pickford, Chippewa, MI USA; age 49; widow; with son Clark (head-of-household) and dau. Gypsie.

1940 US Census: Pickford, Chippewa, MI; age 59; widow; with son Clark; highest education 8th grade; Clark's highest education 7th grade.

Paraphrased/slightly edited from Keene-Pierce book, p. 16G:

"Marion Maude Keene was born 08-02-1880. About 2-1/2 years later, on 01-04-1883, her parents moved to the farm on Duck Lake, Cheshire Twp.

Marion attended Moon School {Cheshire Twp., Allegan, MI}, diagonally across corner from the farm. Baptised age 13, she was a member of West Trowbridge Church of Christ at Merson, Trowbridge Twp. She picked fruit and "all the girls worked out doing housework." Married 9-2-1897, age 17.

Marion and Willie [Skinner] farmed in Allegan County, living in a log home. Willie would get very ill before each electrical storm, walking the floor, holding his stomach with not a cloud in sight. Then it would storm. Lower Michigan prone to electrical storms, so decided to move north, destination Brevort, Mackinac Co. (another log home).

On Sept. 28, 1904, Willie Skinner and George Huff with 2 teams and household goods took leased boxcar from Plainwell to St. Ignace. Willie Stearns hid in boxcar as so many could not ride on one lease. Oct. 7, 1904, May Pierce (Huff), ch. John and Archie, Marion Keene (Skinner), ch. Harry and Amber, and John Huff took train from Allegan to St. Ignace. "The boys" met them. Later Willie Loomis joined them and all worked in the woods--Willie Skinner, Willie Stearns, Willie Loomis, George Huff, and John Huff.

On September 25, 1906 the Skinners left Brevort and travelled back south to the lower peninsula, to Allegan Co., where they bought farm near Fennville from Mrs. Hattie Raymond. When the deal fell through, they moved to Grandma [Henrietta Rosella Loomis} Pierce's house on 12-06-1906. Son Clark was born there on 04-24-1907 in Cheshire Twp. The family remained in Grandma Pierce's house until second trip north [1908].

Willie had a team of horses and a wagon he wanted to keep so he stretched a canvas over wagon, packed in household goods and family (Marion, Willie, Harry, Amber, Clark, plus Grandma Pierce and Marion's sister Waive Keene. On Sept. 5, 1908 the caravan left Allegan, stayed 2 nights with Willie Stearns (now married to Anna Green) and the 7th of September headed back toward the U.P.

Their road followed the railroad track many miles, and many days. The train crew recognized them and would wave. In a small town, Grandma Pierce tied a red scarf over her head, took out her teeth, and asked the local children if they wanted their fortune told.

Wave helped drive the horses on this quite possibly the last family trek by covered wagon. All enjoyed the trip in spite of wind, rain, and cold. Marion liked it better than the 1904 train trip, and Grandma Pierce really appreciated it. She had moved to Michigan by [horse] team 55 years earlier. The wagon ‘train' reached Florence {Keene, Marion's sister} and Sherb Brown's in Stalwart on Oct. 5, 1908.

April 1909, the Skinners purchased the Edd Flood farm (later known as the Job Singer place--the Job Singer from Cheshire), S.E. of Pickford; this, too, was a log home. Daughter Gypsie born there 11-02-1914 and in June 1916, Willie took sick. He went back to Cheshire, stayed with his sisters {he had six, so not sure which ones} while seeking help. He was restless and distraught. Marion made arrangements at the farm and with her family returned to Cheshire. Willie was in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and finally at Mayo's in Rochester, MN, where he died in surgery for colon cancer and diabetes.

Gypsie has some trouble with electrical storms. Marion would say, "Oh no, not you too!"

From Mrs. Campbell, Marion bought the farm Willie had chosen and moved her family into its log house on Fairview Road, Pickford Twp. Chippewa Co. She said that all her married life she had lived in a log home; she would not know how to act in any other kind.

Marion was 3 years younger than her Aunt May Pierce (Huff). The girls were inseparable throughout their childhood, in Cheshire Twp. Allegan Co., Lower Michigan. They lived on farms on opposite sides of the road, attended the Moon School and were members of the same church. Eventually both girls and their families lived in Chippewa Co., Upper Mich. Their children attended Fairview School, in Pickford Twp.

When May died 02-22-1914 in Chippewa Co., she left 4 children ages 1-1/2 to 15. The youngest, Marion--named for Marion Keene--was the only girl. May's mother, Grandma Pierce, 74 years old and a widow at the time of her daughter's death, took care of the children. Three years later (1917), Willie Skinner died, leaving 4 children, ages 2 to 18, the youngest, a daughter Gypsie. Widower George Huff would buy cloth for school dresses; widow Marian Skinner sewed them. Gypsie said, "Marion Huff and I went to school looking like twins."

Marion Skinner helped Mrs. Edgerly cook for the Edgerly Logging Camp, 6 miles E. of Pickford. Later Lyle Rix--George Huff's nephew--was chief cook and Marion helped him. Marion kept a few cattle so that they would have some cream to sell. Sons Harry, and later Clark, farmed a little. They had ample venison in season, and hunters boarded at Marion's during hunting season each fall.

Anyone who had a baby sent for Marion. She sat up with the sick. She "laid out" the deceased--dressed, arranged their hair--and decorated the casket as needed. She taught Sunday School class.

Marion's notes and special information from Gypsie Skinner (Barbado)." ~ Geneva Keene Cochran

Biography provided 05.22.2012 by Debra Hart Blackgrave Tyre, great-granddaughter. Some sections provided by daughter Gypsie Skinner Barbado to Geneva Keene Cochran for the "Keene-Pierce" book.





  • Created by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre
  • Added: 22 May 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 90578650
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marion Maude Keene Skinner (2 Aug 1880–15 May 1972), Find A Grave Memorial no. 90578650, citing Fairview Cemetery, Pickford, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre (contributor 47702154) .