& Associated Families

Vonce Skipworth                         Stella Nelson
Taken 1922 at age 48                    Taken c1895 at age 20

Photos from Robert E. Miller and Carole (Nelson) Ketterer
Vonce DeLeon Skipworth
was born in New Madrid, Missouri, in 1874, the oldest of four children. He grew up living all around the mid-West in railroad towns. His father was a Civil War veteran. He married Stella Nelson in 1895 and they raised two children. In 1900 they were living in Kansas City, Missouri, with Stella's family. They then moved to Chicago, where Vonce did very well for himself - eventually becoming a vice-president of the Wilson Meat Packing Company. In 1938 he started the Skipworth Packing Company in Springfield, Ohio. Unfortunately, it soon went bankrupt. However, he kept his dignity intact until he died in 1945 in the city where he once had had high hopes for his business.

Ozella Nelson,
known as Stella, was born in Iowa in 1875, one of four children. There are indications that she moved around the mid-West in her early years - her father, a Swedish immigrant, was a saloon keeper and her mother ran a boarding house. She married Vonce Skipworth in 1895 and eventually raised two children in Chicago. Her and her family's circumstances went from lean to plenty to lean again, but she wasn't deeply fazed by it. She died in 1962 in Florida, where she and her sister, Minnie, then lived.
Above vignettes by S. Acree


47 S. Kensington Place, Springfield, Ohio


Photo from Frances (TenEyck) Skipworth


1874Vonce was born in Point Pleasant, New Madrid Co., Missouri, as the eldest of four children (with an older half-sister).
1875Stella was born in Davenport, Scott Co., Iowa, as the third of four children of Swedish/German parents.
1884Stella's paternal grandparents emigrated from Sweden to Nebraska, following her father's example.
c1890Vonce's parents moved to Kansas City, Jackson Co., Missouri, after living seven years in Blue Mound, Linn Co., Kansas.
c1890Stella's parents moved to Kansas City to open their second boarding house.
1895Vonce and Stella married in Kansas City.
1896Their daughter, Helen, was born in Kansas City.
1900The family was living at Stella's mother's boarding house in Kansas City, as Vonce, then a clerk, began his career in the meat-packing & distribution industry.
c1902-1926The family lived in Chicago, Illinois, where Vonce eventually became a vice-president of Wilson and Company. In 1905, Vonce, then an assistant traffic manager, pled guilty, with superiors in the Schwarschild & Sulzberger Packing Co. of Chicago, of conspiracy in illegally accepting rebates from railroads and was fined $5,000.
1910Stella's mother died of heart disease in Sioux Falls, Minnehaha Co., South Dakota, having lived with her younger married daughter there for several years.
1911Stella's father died in Kansas City, having separated from her mother in the 1890s and lived since then with another woman.
1916Their son, Edward, was born in Chicago.
1920Helen married and continued to live in Chicago.
1922Vonce's mother died of neuroasthmia in Sulphur, Murray Co., Oklahoma.
1925Stella took Edward to Europe for a visit, perhaps to Sweden.
1927Vonce's father died of heart disease at his daughter's home in Denison, Grayson, Co., Texas.
c1926-1930The family lived in New York City (Forest Hills), where Vonce was president of the Silz Packing Company.
1930Vonce visited Paris, France, alone, perhaps on business, for two weeks in the fall.
1931-1933The family lived in Detroit, Michigan, where Vonce was general manager of Parker-Webb Co.
1933-1937The family moved back to Forest Hills, when Vonce was named president of Adolf Gobel, Inc., another packing company.
1934Edward vacationed in Bermuda.
1936Vonce travelled with Edward to Germany in the summer.
1937Stella vacationed in Bermuda with her divorced sister, Minnie, who had moved in with them.
1937Edward married Frances TenEyck in New York.
1938Vonce, Stella, Minnie, Edward and his bride moved to Springfield, Clark Co., Ohio, where Vonce purchased the Springfield Abattoir Company, established about 1890, and re-named it the Skipworth Packing Co., Inc.
1940Vonce and Stella bought an expensive home at 47 S. Kensington Place.
1941The Skipworth Packing Co. went bankrupt. Vonce opened a small second-hand furniture store. He and Stella moved with Minnie to a more modest home. Edward left Springfield with his wife and daughter.
1945Vonce died, at age 71, in Springfield, eight months after their golden wedding anniversary, having closed the furniture store due to illness.
c1952Stella and Minnie moved to 609 Palm St., in West Palm Beach, Florida.
1962Stella died of heart disease, at age 87, in West Palm Beach.


Copyright © 2001-current year by Charles Acree. All rights reserved.