Page 693-694, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


William Skaer, one of the successful and well known farmers and stockmen of Spring township, is a native of Illinois. He was born in 1861, and is a son of George Skaer. Willam Skaer came to Butler county in 1876. He drove from Illinois with two younger brothers to this county, and the trip required three weeks. The father bought 320 acres of land in Spring township and engaged in farming and stock raising. A part of the first house which they built on the claim is still standing. Mr. Skaer now owns 680 acres of land, which is one of the valuable farms of Butler county. He was an extensive wheat grower in the early days and when the price of wheat declined some few years ago, he engaged more extensively in the cattle business. In whatever Mr. Skaer has specialized, whether it has been wheat or cattle, his efforts have always been marked by success.

Mr. Skaer was married in 1886 to Miss Genevieve Brooks, a daughter of William C. and Katherine (Donnell) Brooks, natives of Kentucky. Mrs. Skaer is one of a family of the following children: Mrs. Mary Warner, Augusta, Kans.; Mrs. Ada Black, Winfield, Kans.; Mrs. Kate Hutton, Kansas City, Mo.; George Brooks, Kansas City, Mo.; Paul Brooks, Kansas City, Mo.; and Genevieve, the wife of William Skaer, whose name introduces this sketch. Mr. and Mrs. Skaer have four living children, as follows: Stanley W., Augusta, Kans.; George, Ingerson, Okla.; Mrs. Opal Hyde, Augusta, Kans.; and Pauline, Augusta, Kans.

Mrs. Skaer's parents were very early settlers in the territory of Kansas. They came here prior to the Civil war and settled near Lawrence, and resided in that locality at the time of Quantrill's raid. They experienced all the dangers and trials, not only of pioneer life but the border war was raging in all its malicious details, during the early years that the Brooks family lived in the Kaw valley. The family came to Butler county when Mrs. Skaer was a child ten years of age and drove from Lawrence in an old time prairie schooner. Mrs. Skaer was one of the pioneer school teachers of Butler county, and taught for several years prior to her marriage.

Mr. Skaer is familiar with much of the early history of Spring township, and relates many interesting incidents in an entertaining way. He recollects the old time prairie fires that swept over the plains like a seething furnace, and at one time, saw a hundred tons of hay


destroyed by one of these visitations of destruction. The spring, from which Spring township takes its name, is located on Mr. Skaer's farm, and the story goes that Henry Moyle and others held a sort of preliminary meeting at this spring where arrangements were made for the organization of Spring township.

Mr. Skaer's father was a "forty-niner." He went across the plains to California with a party of gold seekers in 1849. The train with which he went, was made up of ox teams and after a few years on the coast, he returned home, bringing with him about $1,500 worth of gold. Mr. Skaer is one of Butler county's representative citizens, and has a wide acquaintance and many friends.

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