Oak Grove School History

Oak Grove School, district 102, is in section 13 of Grassy Township. Once there were magnificent oak trees throughout the neighborhood, now persimmon and sassafras have replaced the forest giants.

In the spring of 1892 the teacher at Oak Grove was sixteen year old Hosea E. Skinner, who had finished his own school work there just a few months before. Among his pupils were his younger brother Roy, William H. Rendleman, and B. F. Crain. The two later became doctors, as did their cousins Walter and John Brandon who grew up with them.

Hosea E. Skinner, now an attorney at Marion, still calls Oak Grove district home and owns his family homestead in section 11 of Grassy Township northwest of the school. This farm has had uninterrupted ownership by father, son, and grandson since 1818, more than a century.

John Skinner (1801-1889) was brought from Delaware in a six-horse covered wagon. The team ran away, killed his father, and severely injured his mother, who threw the baby, wrapped in a heavy blanket, to the ground. At seventeen John Skinner came to the new state of Illinois and opened the farm where his son was born.

Nelson Skinner (1838-1926) enlisted in Company I, 11th Illinois infantry for the Civil war and was promoted sergeant. When he returned to civilian life, he was constable of the home district sixteen years and deputy sheriff under James Hartwell Duncan.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939 which is on sale at the Williamson County Museum)