Biography - Frederick P. Snell

FREDERICK P. SNELL. During the many years that he has been a resident of Shelby County, Mr. Snell has been a useful factor in promoting its agricultural development. He is now living in retirement in a pleasant home at Moweaqua in the enjoyment of an ample competence that is the result of his early labors. He was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, August 19, 1825, a son of one of the early pioneer families of that part of the country. His father, Daniel Snell, was born in Maryland in 1788, and was a son of William Henry Snell, who was a native of Germany.

The grandfather of our subject came to America in Colonial times, and as was the custom with poor emigrants of that day, he was sold after he landed on these shores to pay his passage. He was a cooper and followed that trade in Maryland until 1795, when he went to Kentucky with his family, making the trip down the Ohio River in flatboats which had to be guarded to keep the Indians away. He lived in Kentucky a few years and then removed to Warren County, Ohio, of which he was one of the early settlers. He bought a tract of timber land in Hamilton Township and in the years that followed devoted a portion of his time to clearing his land and the remainder to his trade, residing there until death rounded out his life. The maiden name of his wife was Christina Miller and she was also a native of Germany. She came to this country with her parents, Philip Jacob and Christina Miller, and she died on her husband's farm in Ohio.

The father of our subject learned the trade of a cooper and after marriage purchased a home in Hamilton County and lived there amid primitive pioneer scenes until 1828. In that year he sold his property in that county, and returning to the old homestead in Warren County, he bought the interests of the other heirs and dwelt there the remainder of his life. His wife also died on that farm. Her maiden name was Sarah Peshenpaugh. She was born in Pennsylvania and was a daughter of Frederick and Pamelia (Varner) Peshenpaugh, both natives of Pennsylvania and of German ancestry.

Our subject was but three years old when his parents returned to the old home in Warren County, and there as soon as old enough he was sent to the pioneer schools. That was in the day of subscription schools before the free school system was established and each family paid according to the number of scholars sent. Frederick assisted on the farm and remained an inmate of the parental household until he married and established a home of his own. He resided in Warren County until 1855, and then came to this State and county, attracted thither by the many fine advantages offered to young and energetic farmers to pursue their vocation successfully on this soil of surpassing fertility. He purchased eighty acres of unimproved land in what is now Flat Branch Township, bought a log cabin which he moved to the place, and that humble abode was his first home in Illinois. The ensuing years of persistent and well-directed toil brought him prosperity and from time to time he was enabled to buy other land and once had three hundred and eighty-five acres, of which three hundred and flirty acres are still in his possession, and constitute a valuable and well-improved property. In 1882 Mr. Snell rented his farm and moved to Decatur where he purchased property. He lived there three years and then traded for realty in the city of Moweaqua where he has since resided.

In 1853 Mr. Snell took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Eliza Clark and to her devotion to his interests he is much indebted for the prosperity that he enjoys. She was born in Warren County, Ohio, and is a daughter of William R. and Nancy Clark. Her marriage with our subject has been blessed with children, of whom they have six living: Mark, Frank, Charles, William, James E. and Cora. Mr. and Mrs. Snell joined the Presbyterian Church while residents of Flat Branch Township and have since remained true to that faith, the sincerity of their religion being evidenced by their daily conduct in all the relations of life that they hold towards others, and as neighbors and friends they are highly thought of in their community. In his political views Mr. Snell is a firm believer in the doctrines of the Democratic party and advocates them through good and evil report.

Extracted 10 Apr 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 514-515.

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