Office: Department of History
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
The education of secondary Social Studies teachers has been a major emphasis at Southeast for more than a century. For thirty years of that century that emphasis was directed by Dr. Robert Skelton. In that time, Skelton advised and mentored literally thousands of Social Studies graduates. Today in classrooms all over Missouri, Social Studies teachers are applying the lessons learned as a Skelton student.
Dr. Skelton earned a B.S. in Education at Northeast Oklahoma State College followed by a Masters and then Ed.D. at the University of Arkansas. While at Southeast, Skelton developed a wide following among students who appreciated his laid-back teaching style and individual concern. Some students took one, then another, and yet another of Skelton's classes -- working on a minor in "Skelton Studies."
Skelton was also active in teaching, presenting, and writing about Native Americans -- especially the Cherokee. Born in Oklahoma, Skelton is proud of the fact that he is a voting member of the Cherokee Nation. He continues work on editing the journal of Daniel Butrick and the Trail of Tears.
With the advent of the Historic Preservation Program, Skelton put on another hat. For many years after its inception, Dr. Skelton was responsible for the University Archives. Much of the collection is available as a result of his efforts.
In retirement, Dr. Skelton was very much the gentleman farmer in Bloomfield, Missouri. The farm, his duties as a fisherman, woodchopper, and deer hunting when he was able, kept him busy the last years of his life. Bob Skelton passed away on February 16, 2010.