William E. Skinner | Inducted by 1920
One of the founders of the International Live Stock Exposition, and the show’s first general manager.
1865-1931 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
One of the founders of the International Live Stock Exposition, and the show’s first general manager, William E. Skinner was born in Watertown, Ontario. At age twenty, he moved to Chicago to work for Union Stock Yards. He soon accepted a position with the Street Stable Car Line in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and then, in 1887, went to work for the Omaha Stock Yards Co.
In 1892, he helped establish the Fort Worth Stock Yards, returning to Chicago when Robert Ogilvie, Mortimer Levering, and G. Howard Davison started to conceive of a new major show. Skinner promoted their efforts during the 1899 Toronto livestock show, and this helped establish the international character of the International from the beginning.
After overseeing the first six Internationals, W. E. Skinner took a position as assistant to the president of the Denver Stock Yards Company. He was also president of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, but in 1911, he was lured back to Chicago, where he organized the National Dairy Show and the National Dairy Council, serving as its first secretary.
Did You Know?
Since 1915, National Dairy Council has been a non-profit organization founded by dairy farmers and funded through the national dairy checkoff program. Skinner was the first secretary of the NDC.