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Thomas Julian Skinker
by Gene Dressel

     Served as Camp commander in 1934. In 1934 and 1935 the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Confederate Veterans were still having joint meetings, and Commander Skinker was a prominent participant in many of their events.  The St. Louis Camp #731 UCV at that time was commanded by Rev. John Claypool, and Henry V. Niemeyer was 2nd Lieutenant Commander. An interesting side note is that their Chaplain was Mrs. Hannah Shields O’Bannon. The United Daughters of the Confederacy were very active during that time period also, and Mrs. John R. Lionberger was President of the Mattew Fontaine Maury Chapter. Thomas Julian Skinker was born on March 9th, 1886 in Stafford County, Virginia. Skinker Boulevard in St. Louis is named for his cousin Thomas K. Skinker who owned a considerable tract of land in that area.  Thomas J. was the son of T.J. and Nannie Brown Rose Skinker. He was educated in the Kirkwood school system, and in 1913 worked for the City Water Commission. Thomas J. Skinker served as an Army Engineering Officer during World War I, and he was wounded while serving in France. He returned to St. Louis and became the Chief Engineer for the City Water Commission, designing and supervising construction of the Chain of Rocks Pumping Station. Skinker was opposed to the fluoridation of the city’s water supply until sufficient research was completed to determine its long term effects. In 1941 he was promoted to Director of Public Utilities, and agreed to serve only on a temporary basis, til another director could be located. Mr. Skinker died of a heart ailment on March 30th 1964, at the age of 77 years. He is buried at Valhalla Cemetery on St. Charles Rock Road, and was a member of St. Michael and St. George Episcopal Church (6345 Wydown).

Sources: Missouri Historical Society- Necrology File