A look back – the search for local businessman George Skinner would come to an unfortunate end

Skinner’s body was found by his car some distance from the main road leading northeast from town

A look back - the search for local businessman George Skinner would come to an unfortunate end

In October of 1930, after failing to arrive home, a search for local businessman George Skinner would come to an unfortunate end.

The search had been hampered by a snowstorm, and a radio call for people in the area to be on the lookout was sent out.

It was believed that Skinner had become snowbound and was trapped somewhere in his car. However after the storm subsided, and the search continued, this turned out to not be the case.

Skinner’s body was found by his car some distance from the main road leading northeast from town.

At first, it was believed that Skinner had taken his own life. It was believed that he was troubled due to financial problems and had decided to end it all.

However after a coroner’s jury investigated the situation, they determined the death had been accidental, and not intentional or self-inflicted.

The investigation into the prominent businessman’s death was undertaken by Dr. A.E. Kennedy.

Dr. Kennedy had been informed that on the day Skinner disappeared, he had been out on a collecting trip. He had been reported to have made several calls in the district that morning, and everyone said he was in good spirits.

Dr. Kennedy’s report cited that Skinner was an avid hunter and was known to travel with his shotgun in his vehicle.

One report in the Red Deer Advocate varies slightly with another report in the Star Phoenix newspaper out of Saskatoon.

Or at least they presented the findings slightly different. They report that the inquiry into Skinner’s death was due to accidental discharge of his shotgun.

However the cause of the accident varies differently between the two papers. One states the inquiry believes he was reaching into his curtained Ford car, as he attempted to acquire his weapon to shoot chickens.

However the other paper states the tragedy was caused when Skinner suffered car troubles, and while he was attempting to get out of his car, the gun fired into his body. I have not been able to find another report that backs up one or the other, so I presented both claims in the interest of neutrality.

Skinner was a Stettler resident for 25 years.

He was the owner/operator of Skinner Motors, which I’ve seen noted in some sources as the Ford dealer. He was also an authorized dealer for Atwater Kent, which was an American maker of rather high-end floor model radios.

Skinner was noted as being survived by a widow, a son, a daughter, and a brother in Wetaskiwin.

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