Alonzo A. Skinner Biography


        Alonzo A. Skinner was born in 1814 in Huron County, Ohio. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1840. In 1842 he settled in Putnam County, where he was elected prosecuting attorney, his commission being signed by Thomas Corwin.

        He came to Oregon in company with Orville Risley and others, in 1845, being appointed by Governor Abernathy one of the circuit judges under the provisional government, which office he retained until the organization of the territory. The salary of this office was originally fixed at $200, but it is said that it was raised to $800 to induce Judge Skinner to accept the place. Peter H. Burnett, afterward Governor of California, was Supreme Judge of Oregon, but resigned because Judge Skinner received the largest salary.

        In 1851 he was appointed commissioner to treat with the Indians, together with Governor Gaines and Beverly Allen. In the latter part of that year he was made Indian Agent for the Rogue River Valley, and removed from Oregon City to Southern Oregon.

        Being a Whig, and the territory overwhelmingly democratic, he was beaten in a contest for the delegateship of Oregon in 1853, Lane being the successful candidate.

        After the expiration of his term of office as Indian Agent, he returned to Eugene City, which was founded by Eugene F. Skinner, where he married Eliza Lincoln, one of the worthy and accomplished women sent out to Oregon as teachers by Governor Slade.

        On the death of Riley E. Stratton, in 1866, he was appointed by Governor Woods to fill the vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court. On retiring from this position he removed to Coos County and was appointed Collector of Customs for the Port of Coos Bay, about 1870.

       He died April 30, 1877, at Santa Barbara, California, where he had gone for his health.

Arthur F. Benson's Biography Document