Harvey A. Skiles, Reverend

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 518, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Rev. Harvey A. Skiles, pastor of the Union Baptist Churches at Browning and Denver, in Hancock county and Spring Creek in Sangamon county, is one of the very early settlers of Schuyler county, born here August 29, 1829. His parents were William and Sarah (Perkins) Skiles, who located in Schuyler county after their marriage sixty-eight years ago. The grandfather was a farmer in Rushville township, where he settled in his early manhood and died. The mother died during the cholera epidemic in 1852.
  Harvey A. Skiles says that he received his education in the backwoods seminary, to which he walked two and one-half miles night and morning. Later in life he applied himself to study in the line of theology. Thirty-nine years ago he was ordained a minister in the Union Baptist Church, and has been constantly in the ministry to the present time. He has on ten or more occasions walked forty miles in a day and preached at night. His labors in those days were not pathways lined with roses, by any means. The pay consisted largely in provisions and necessaries, and they were not always in very liberal quantities. He preached two years in Fulton county for a wagon load of frost-bitten corn. It is certain Mr. Skiles did not preach for the emoluments derived from it. In late years his pay has been satisfactory and work not arduous. He worked on a farm in his early manhood, and continued until the last twenty years, thus securing a livelihood for his family, giving his services in the ministry for the good of humanity. Little was expected in return for his labors except the satisfaction of duty well done; certainly, little was realized in a temporal sense. Mr. Skiles spent fourteen years preaching in Iowa, and has preached two years at Keokuk since locating at Browning, going from here to his appointments.
  He married, September 15, 1854, Mary A. Wright, daughter of William and Rebecca Wright, who came to Schuyler county in 1835. Mrs. Skiles was born October 31, 1836. She was the eldest of a family of nine children, eight of whom are still living. Her father died August 15, 1884, and the mother died March 13, 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Skiles were born within one and one-half miles of each other, attended the same school, grew to maturity as young acquaintances and friends, which resulted in matrimony. They have had six children, but only one is living, Bele, now Mrs. Billingsley, and resides near Camden, Illinois, her husband a farmer. Mr. Skiles is a stanch Republican, and takes a lively interest in political matters. The family owns a pleasant home, located in Browning.

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