Biography - Michael Snyder

MICHAEL SNYDER, Jr., a resident of Moweaqua, though not now actively engaged in agricultural pursuits, is identified with the great farming interests of this county as the proprietor of a well improved farm, located in Flat Branch Township, from the rental of which he derives a comfortable income. He is a native-born citizen of this state, the oldest son of Michael and Margaret (Kautz) Schneider, who were among the early pioneers of Sangamon County, and there in their primitive pioneer home he first saw the light of day October 23, 1834. When he was two years old, his parents removed to Christian County, and settled near the line between the county and this close to the present site of the village of Moweaqua, which, like the surrounding country at that time, was still wild land owned by the Government. He attended the first schools ever taught in this section, which was conducted in a log house, and provided with furniture of the most primitive sort, fashioned by hand, the seats being made by splitting logs, hewing one side smooth, and inserting wooden pins for legs, there being no desks or backs to the seats. A log was taken out the entire length of the building, and glass was inserted in the aperture thus made to admit the light. Holes were bored in the log underneath the window, pins were inserted, and a board laid on them served as a desk for the larger scholars to write upon. In those early days of the settlement of the county, deer, wolves and wild turkeys were plentiful, and game often furnished an agreeable addition to the scanty fare of the pioneers.

Mr. Snyder was reared to habits of industry, and commenced very early to help on the farm, thus acquiring a thorough knowledge of agriculture that was of great use to him when he entered upon his independent career as a farmer. He lived with his parents until he married and established a home of his own on a farm that belonged to his father that was situated six miles east of Taylorville. Seven years later he removed from there to Assumption, where he was assistant in a lumberyard for two years. At the end of that time he came in Moweaqua, lived a while in the city, and then settled on his farm in Flat Branch Township. In the years that ensued, he busied himself in its improvement, and had brought it to a good condition when he rented it in 1881, and retired to Moweaqua. The farm is still in his possession, and contains two hundred and eighty acres of fertile land, the greater portion of which is well improved and is well supplied with necessary buildings and machinery.

Mr. Snyder was first married in 1857 to Miss Frances Malone, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of William Malone. She departed this life in 1867, after a happy wedded life of ten years, leaving one child, Albert. Mr. Snyder was again married in 1871, taking as his wife Miss Ellen Annetta Deffenbacher, a native of Decatur, Ill., and a daughter of Scibold and Mary J. Deffenbacher. Her pleasant union with our subject has brought them these four daughters: — Margaret. Ida J., Lucy E. and Evelina.

Politically, Mr. Snyder is a Republican. He has always taken an interest in educational matters and has been active in securing to the youth of his township good advantages as to schooling while serving as School Director and Trustee, and he has always shown himself willing to advance the welfare of the community in whatsoever direction he could.

Extracted 09 Apr 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 478-481.

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