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The View from Puncheon Creek: Royalton’s Dr. Randolph Skaggs

October 4, 1871 would prove to be an important date for the as yet non-existent town of Royalton, Kentucky. On this day Daniel Vincent and Louisa Dials Skaggs of Lawrence county, KY were gifted a son.

He was destined to prominence in the annals of Royalton as Doctor Randolph Skaggs. Around fifty years after Skaggs’ birth the Dawkins Lumber Company created the town of Royalton to house their workers. Well planned with modern amenities the Dawkins people tried to cover every need.  Dawkins, Fannin and Davis, the principals who incorporated the BS & KR Railroad in 1921 were men who looked after the needs of their workforce. Every town needs a Doctor and Royalton would have Dr. Skaggs.

27 Feb 1896 we find him in Johnson County, Kentucky getting married to Sallie Mandy La Masters born 1878. In 1900 we find the Skaggs family back in Lawrence County but by 1910 they have relocated to the Meadows where the town of Royalton would be built. I find it intriguing that Dr. Skaggs beat the rail road’s arrival by over a decade.  Even so, I still feel the two were much intertwined. As a matter of record, Dr. Randolph Skaggs from Royalton was hired by Tip Top Coal Mining Company to provide health care to the miners & their dependents in 1927. He had a small medical building near to the commissary where he dispensed health care until his retirement in the early 1950’s. The mine ceased operation in 1957.  Dr. Skaggs and wife Sallie had two sons, Forrest May Skaggs 1896–1924 and Horace Grant Skaggs 1912–27 Sept. 1992. Dr. Skaggs also seen to the medical needs of the community at large making house calls and delivering babies. He and Mrs. Skaggs retired to Ashland, Kentucky where he passed away on 03 Nov. 1955, eleven months to the day prior to my birth. His wife Sallie passed on 24 Sept. 1958. They are buried in the Bluegrass Cemetery in Salyersville, Kentucky. Their son Forest was a dentist, he died young from a ruptured appendix and his body was brought to Royalton for burial. 

 

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