Known as the Prophet of Princeton, “Hell Devil” Skillman gained some notoriety during the early twentieth century by predicting the final score of the Princeton vs. Harvard football match. Earlier “The Bookman” reported in 1911 that he was known as an ancient prophet and correctly predicted the score of another game.
Quoting a Nov. 6, 1915 article (at right) in The New York Times,
“Predictions on the game are almost non-existent. The only authoritative one is given by “Hell-Devil” Skillman, whose professional business is prophesying, but who manages to eke out an existence by moving the furniture of Princeton students. Skillman states that Princeton will win by a score of 12 to 7. The coaches refused to discuss the prediction, but most of them thought that there was a fighting chance for Princeton, and were unanimous that the struggle would be close.”
Although, records identifying the man by his legal name have been difficult to locate, based on other facts, Bill Skillman, SFA Genealogist, believes that “Hell Devil” was most likely Arthur Augustus Skillman (#6411), born 10/23/1882, who lived in Princeton, NJ in the early 20th century and owned an express company. It is not known whether Hell Devil was connected in any way to the more famous New Jersey Devil.