Biography - William J. Snyder

WlLLIAM J. SNYDER. The gentleman whose biography it is our pleasure to here give, at least in outline, is noted for the interest that he takes in the moral and religious good of the community; although he has been and is a successful farmer, he is a deeply religious man and devotes more time to the progress of mental, moral and spiritual life than to financial gain for himself. He is now one of the county Sunday-school workers, having been Superintendent for years, and once President of the County Board. He is at present one of the executives, and is also a standing delegate to the State conventions that meet in the interest of this work.

In the business of general farming. Mr. Snyder devotes himself mainly to stock-raising, having one of the best stock farms in Flat Branch Township, being located on section 8, where he owns four hundred and twenty acres. All of this is under the plow. His buildings are all first class in construction, and the place is well stocked. Every improvement is the work of his own hands. He purchased the farm in 1866, locating on it the following year. It was then a wild brush patch, but with undaunted energy he set about clearing it, planted fine shade and fruit trees, tilled the fields and divided the meadows into paddocks wherein are now found horses, cattle, sheep and swine of high grade and breeding. Naturally Mr. Snyder is a progressive farmer and is never satisfied with well enough.

Prior to the coming of our subject to this State he was a resident of Christian County, where he was born in Prairie Township, May 28, 1842. There he was reared and educated, going through the common schools and finishing at the High School at Mt. Zion, in Macon County. At the breaking out of the war, before he was quite twenty years of age, he enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, Col. N. W. Tucker (now deceased) and Capt. J. L. Dobson, now at Salisbury, Mo., in command. They joined Gen. Sherman's Army of the Teunessee, and were with them in the battle of Oxford, Tenn. Our subject saw much service during his experience in the war and was honorably discharged in 1862. He later, however, re-enlisted in the Thirteenth New York Heavy Artillery, Company L, and did marine service on the United States steamer "Parks," Col. Howard commanding. This steamer was particularly and conspicuously engaged in capturing rebel torpedoes and in preventing the rebels from destroying the Union provisions at Petersburg. It also captured many local fleets and both commissioned and non-commissioned officers. It also captured the James River pirate, Capt. Hines. While this little marine hand saw comparatively little hard fighting, they did a great deal of active and valuable service and won for themselves many laurels. Our subject received his final discharge at Newbern, N. C. in 1865. He was never wounded or taken prisoner, but suffered from experiences known to the kind of army life he had served, being swamped in the surf at Port Fisher, with many of his regiment.

After the war, Mr. Snyder returned to his home in this State and devoted his time to his business as a farmer. He has been remarkably successful and of his abundant store, he is generous and open handed. He is a son of Michael Snyder, of whom a further sketch may be found in another part of this volume. He was married in Brown County, Ohio, to Miss Eliza A. Grinner, who was a native of that State and county. She was there reared and educated, where her parents lived and died. Mrs. Snyder is an intelligent and capable woman and makes a charming home for her husband and children, who show the influence of refined and cultured home training. Our subject and his wife are the parents of six children, they are: Lula M., who is engaged as a teacher in the public schools of the township therein she lives. She was educated at the Wesleyan College at Bloomington, this State; Ernest F., May Bell C., William R., Lida Pearl and Grace G., who are all at home and make the family life merry with their brightness and intelligent converse.

Our subject and his wife are popular young people. Mr. Snyder is a member of the Evangelical Association, while his wife is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is associated in all his work with the best men in the township and county. Politically he casts his vote and influence with the Prohibition party.

Extracted 16 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 587-588.

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