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Abram D. Skaggs
By Charles Dailey - Revised July 9, 2002
|A. D. Skaggs at a Glance: |
||1843 in Grayson Co. KY |
||Maria Pool |
||Frances Kirkpatrick 1867 |
||Elmina F. |
Mulkey Town, IL. |
Mound Valley, KS
Pleasant Hill 1889
Roseburg 1890 circuit
Junction City 1892
The Dalles 1896 - 1897
Corvallis 1897 - 1898
Portland - Rodney Ave. 1899
Vancouver 1901 - 1905
Centralia 1905 - 1909
Sunnyside 1910 - 1912
||1929, probably at Vancouver |
||Park Hill Cemetery, A 419-1 |
The parents of A. D. Skaggs emigrated from Germany in the early part of the 1800s. They settled in Kentucky, where our subject was born.
Mr. Skaggs married Maria Pool in Elkart, Indiana, but she died in 1863. He married Frances Kirkpatrick in 1867 and they had eight children.
Mr. Skaggs was educated in Illinois and his first ministry was at Mulkeytown Christian Church in Franklin County, IL. Following this, he conducted gospel meetings in Missouri for five years.
Then he settled in Labette County, Kansas. He established churches in several communities. He was still preaching in Kansas in 1887. He was also a partner in the firm of Skaggs and Plymer, general merchants.
Mr. Skaggs appeared in Pleasant Hill, Oregon about 1889. It seemed to be his home base for a circuit-riding ministry. By 1890 he was circuit-riding between Roseburg and Pleasant Hill, Oregon. He remained in Pleasant Hill three years.
His next move was to Junction City, Oregon where he remained five years. Then he moved to Independence, Oregon. Following this he preached at the Rodney Avenue Church in Portland and then moved to The Dalles, Oregon.
Before the decade was over, his wife had died.
A. D. Skaggs
The Times, Junction City, Oregon, January 4, 1898
THE TIMES regrets to announce the death of Mrs. A.D. Skaggs, which occurred December 15th in Roswell, N.M., where her husband had taken her in hopes that the climate would improve her condition. Her remains were interred at that place.
Mrs. Skaggs was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Read, of Pleasant Hill, and her many friends there as well as in this place will be grieved to learn of her death. Elder Skaggs and children are still there and are undecided as to their future, but think strongly of returning to Kansas.
In November of 1898, Mr. Skaggs married Elmina. He soon appears at Stayton, Oregon and then at Vancouver, Washington were he remained five years. Following this he moved to Centralia, Sunnyside and Zillah in Washington, finally retiring at Vancouver in 1918.
This remarkable man immersed about 7,000 men, women and young people into Christ over the years of his ministry, equaling the record set earlier by Mac Waller.
Dr. Ross Griffeth writes that Skaggs "is credited with having spent
forty-three years as a local minister and seventeen years as an evangelist. During
these sixty years he organized 162 churches, baptized 22,202 persons and united
in marriage 12,603 couples."
A more realistic number comes from the pen of Vancouver newspaper reporter Ted Van Arsdol. He reports that Skaggs claimed 7,393 baptisms and 6,193 marriages. Either number
makes A. D. Skaggs remarkable.
Ted Van Arsdol in Vancouver on the Columbia published by Windsor Publications.
In a newspaper interview, he said that he was a veteran of the Grand Army of the Republic and had been wounded three times. He was also a prisoner-of-war for six months. Records show that he was in the Indiana Infantry.
The Disciples Historical Society has provided a cryptic, handwritten record of Mr. Skagg's application for pension from the Disciples' Pension Fund. We are reproducing it here so the reader can get the flavor of the document, but we are adding words in italics and spelling out abreviations to complete the sense of the statements.
I preached first in Illinois. The salary was small. I can't give the exact dates. It was Mulkeytown in Franklin County, Illinois. But I preached most of the time in evangelistic work in those days. We spent about 2/3 of our time holding meetings. We went from Illinois to Missouri. I spent five years there as an evangelist. Then we went to Kansas and spent six years there as a evangelist and five years as pastor of Mound Valley and Labette City in Labette County.
Mr. Skaggs wrote in an unprinted area on the form:
Then moved to Oregon. Was pastor at Pleasant Hill, Lane County for three years. Then we moved to Junction City for five years and then to Independence. And then we moved to Portland, the Rodney Avenue Church for three years.
Then we moved to Vancouver, Washington where I was pastor five years and six months. Then we were at Centralia four years, then in Yakima County at Sunnyside and Zillah four years. We then returned to Vancouver. Haven't missed communion in 27 years.
(The form asks: Total years and months of service to the Churches of Christ.)
Mr. Skaggs wrote: From 1869 till last May 56 years.
We have eight living (children), two boys and six girls. All good homes and happy homes. They are children of former wife.
1851 - 1932
1843 - 1929
I have fought a good fight
I have finished my course
I have kept the faith
2 Timothy 4:7