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Skilling, David
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Skilling, David
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: The Bay of San Francisco : the metropolis of the Pacific Coast and its suburban cities : a history.; Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1892, 1411 pgs.

Page 191-192

David Skilling, M. D., deceased, a physician and surgeon of Oakland, was born in Wayne county, Ohio, August 4, 1822, a son of Hugh and Catherine (Dobbins) Skilling. The father, born in Enniskillen, Ireland, about 1792, came to the United States in 1811, and was married in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, a few years later. The mother was of Scotch parentage, and the young couple first settled on the home place, moving afterward to Wayne county, Ohio. They had seven sons and three daughters, all living in 1890 except the oldest brother and sister. The father lived to be seventy-eight, and the mother seventy-two, and the oldest surviving child, Leonard Skilling, M. D., of Hazelton, Kansas, is seventy-four. Another son, William, of Oswego, Kansas, by trade a carpenter, is seventy; and still another son, Josiah Skilling, M. D., a calvary surgeon in the civil war, is now living in Los Angeles, California. The grandparents on both sides lived to an advanced age, dying in Beaver county, Pennsylvania; and an uncle, William Skilling, reached the age of ninety.

David Skilling, the subject of this sketch, received his early education in the schools of his native district, and taught two terms in Butler county, Ohio, before he was nineteen. He then entered the University of Ohio, at Athens, remaining three years, when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he taught school three years. Returning to Ohio, he studied medicine under Dr. Harper, of Lima, Ohio, three years, when he entered the medical department of the University of Kentucky, in Louisville, and followed a course of lectures in medicine one year. He began practice in 1848, at Atlas, Pike county, Illinois, and was there married in 1849, to Miss Mary E. Long, a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He practiced at Atlas nearly five years, when he took an additional course in the medical department of the University of Missouri, in St. Louis, receiving a diploma from that institution in 1853. He then settled in Winchester, Scott county, Illinois, and became a member of the American Medical Association in 1854. In April, 1862, at the request of the Sanitary Commission of St. Louis, he took charge of the military hospital in Shiloh, with 1,400 patients, and in may was commissioned by the Governor of Missouri as Surgeon of the Twenty-first Missouri Regular Volunteer Infantry. He was in the three days’ battle of Pittsburg Landing, and remained in the service three months, when he was compelled to resign through the pressure of work. He returned to private practice in Winchester, and was one of the organizers of the First National Bank, and was elected vice-president of that institution in 1865. In 1867 he took a trip to Europe, and availed himself of the opportunity for clinical observation while in London and Paris. Returning the same year he resumed practice and was elected President of the First National Bank, holding the position for about ten years. In 1877 he came to California and settled in Oakland, where he practiced until his death.

The Doctor had recently inherited $40,000 from the estate of a deceased relative in Nevada, and he took a trip (1891) into the Sagebrush State to settle the business attending the bequest. He had to endure a long stage-drive through the cold, and on his return erysipelas set in and caused his death.

He was a member of the Alameda County Medical Association, and was a member of the National Convention of the Grand Army of the Republic at Columbus, Ohio, in 1888.

Dr. and Mrs. Skilling were the parents of two children: Henry Hugh, a graduate of the California College of Pharmacy, now a druggist of this city, at the corner of Washington and Fourteenth; and Minnie L., a graduate of the Oakland high school, and an artist, was married in this city, June 28, 1890, to William H. Leffler, of Fresno. The home is at 1004 Fourteenth street.

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