Monday, July 14, 2014

52 Ancestors: #23 Susanna "Anna" Kimmel, Grandmother of Red Skelton

Susanna "Anna" Kimmel was born around 1860 in Olney, Richland County, Illinois.  She was the tenth and last child of Jacob Kimmel and Nancy Tombaugh.  At the age of seventeen she became the wife of Asa M. Fields.  Their marriage took place on December 23, 1877 at the home of the bride's father.  Anna's brother-in-law, Samuel Forney, performed the marriage ceremony.  Their first daughter, Stella, was born in 1880.  Around 1881-1882, the family relocated to Nebraska, where four more Fields children were born: Mary Kathryn (born in 1882), Ida Mae (1884), and twins Eddie and Freddie (1888).  Ida Mae was the mother of Richard "Red" Skelton.

The Fields were affiliated with a German Baptist church in Kearney, Nebraska. The Wood River Church was organized May 28th, 1881 at the residence of Moses Snavely. At the first meeting, there were just 13 members present, among them: Minister Samuel Forney and Asa and Susanna Fields. However, on February 11, 1882, Asa and Anna left the congregation, as recorded in the minute books from the church. 

Vincennes Sun Commercial, February 20, 1939
Around 1890, Asa and Anna moved their family again, this time to Vincennes, Indiana.  My great-great grandmother, Carrie, was born there in 1891, and the last of Asa and Anna's children, Robert Hergel, was born in 1899. 

 I am unable to find an obituary or death certificate for Asa, but I think he died sometime around 1900.  In a letter to her brother, Lewis Kimmel, dated May 5, 1938, Anna wrote that she had been a widow for 38 years.  She said she had two sons and three daughters living out of 14 children, 25 grand children and 13 great grand children. Her pension was $11.00 a month. She was living in one room all alone. Her youngest son (Robert) was married and lived on the same lot with her. Her address was shown as 702 Upper 11th, Vincennes. 

In 1939, Anna (called Susan in the newspaper) attended a luncheon honoring her famous grandson, Red Skelton.

Anna Fields died March 17, 1945 and is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Vincennes. 

Indianapolis Star, March 20, 1945


  1. I just stumbled across this blog today.Susanna was my great-great-great grandmother through Mary Kathryn. I've really enjoyed reading all of the Kimmel family stories!

    1. Hi Ashley! Nice to connect with you. So glad you enjoyed the blog. Thanks for commenting!