Biography - William H. Snell

WILLIAM H. SNELL. The gentleman of whom we write, although deceased, still lives in the esteem and affection of his family, friends and neighbors, having, although modest and retiring in his temperament, always held an unimpeachable reputation for integrity and honor, and being one whose adherence to principle gave an elevating influence to those with whom he came in contact. He passed away from this life bidding his friends a last goodnight, that he might enter into God's upper light, from his home on section 19, Flat Branch Township, Shelby County, October 7, 1890. He was one of the pioneers of State, having located here in 1840, at which time he settled on a tract of new, unbroken land.

In 1842, he located on section 19, of Flat Branch Township, where he improved one hundred and sixty acres of land, converting it from its virgin wildness, until it became a garden spot, luxuriant with waving grain and dotted with mild-eyed kine. Here he spent the most active part of his life. He was born in Warren County, Ohio, October 19, 1816, where he remained until he became of age. A full history of his family may be found under the biographical sketch of Fred P. Snell.

Our subject was first married in his native county to Thisby J. Briggs, who was born and reared in New Jersey. She was of New England parentage and came to Ohio when a young woman. She was engaged in the work of teaching before her marriage with Mr. Snell. With her husband she came to Illinois in 1840 and bravely assisted him not only by her prudence and economy, but also in a material way, in getting a start in life. She died here while yet in the prime of life, leaving six little children to her husband to mourn her decease, three of whom have since died. The living children are Sally, Fred M. and Mary D. Sally became the wife of Joseph McGrath, and now resides on a farm in Flat Branch Township. Fred M. took to wife Mary Certin, and now lives near Day, Kan., where he is engaged in farming. Mary D. is the wife of Charles Mazy. They also are farmers in Flat Branch Township.

Our subject was a second time married, his nuptials taking place in Flat Branch Township, and the lady who consented to be the sharer of his joys and sorrows, was Miss Louisa J. Washham. She was born in the East, having come West while a young woman, and died in middle life on the old home place. She left a family of four children who are: Daniel B., Pugh E., Cornelia A. and Edward M. The eldest son took to wife Jane Wolf and lived on a farm in Kansas. The second son was united in marriage to Lois E. Worley and resides in Ridge Township, on a farm. Cornelia A. is the wife of Samuel Haverfield, and lives at Assumption, this State; her husband belongs to the army of noble men and women educators. Edward was united in marriage to Lulu Proctor, and lives in Assumption.

Our subject was a third time married. The ceremony took place in Buell Township, Shelby County, the lady being Mrs. A. Catherine Black, nee Summers, she was a native of Washington County, Md., where she was born August 1, 1832. She is a daughter of Adam and Nancy (Himes) Summers, natives of Tennessee and Maryland. Her parents were married in Washington County, Md., and there lived until middle age. They were old residents of the county when they died. Tiny were of German stock, and Lutherans in religious preference.

Mrs. A. Catherine Snell was only a small child when her parents died. She had but one sister, Mrs. Delano, now Mrs. Eckton, of Washington County, Md. Mrs. Snell was reared by an uncle, Jacob Himes, and was eighteen years of age when she came with him to Illinois. Her first marriage took place in Shelby County, her husband being Josiah L. Black who was a native of Pennsylvania and came West when in middle life, passing from this life at Prairie Bird, this county. He left one child, Andrew D., who took to wife Minnie Spregg. They make their home with Mrs. Snell at Moweaqua. By her marriage with our subject, Mrs. Snell is the mother of eight children, six of these are deceased, those having passed away being Lillie B., Thomas, Myrtle M., Russell P., Ora O., and Emma, who died eighteen months after her marriage. The living children are Alice D. who is the wife of Hiram L. Goatley. Their home is in Moweaqua; William lives with his mother at the old homestead.

Mr. Snell was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in which he had been a Steward for some time. His deceased wives and his widow were one with him in his religious preference. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Snell has made her home in Moweaqua. She is an amiable and womanly woman and although advanced in years, retains perfectly, all her faculties.

Mr. Snell was a charter member of the order of Masons in Moweaqua.

Extracted 11 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 300-301.

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