ISAAC S. SNEDEKER, a well-known citizen and successful farmer who owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 23, Hilyard Township, was born near Trenton, N.J., on April 10, 1834, and is descended from Holland ancestry, who during Colonial days crossed the Atlantic and settled in America. The family was first established on Long Island, but James Snedeker, the great-grandfather of our subject, removed to New Jersey, where he began life as a farmer. He served in the Colonial Army throughout the Revolutionary War, fought at the battle of Monmouth, N.J., and afterward remained in that State until his death, which occurred at the age of seventy years in New Brunswick, at what is known as Long Branch. His son, Isaac Snedeker, was there born and reared to the occupation of farming. He married Miss Catherine Moore, and they spent the greater part of their lives in the vicinity of Trenton, N.J., where the wife died in 1832, when about seventy years of age. Isaac Snedeker afterward removed to Monroe County, N.Y., and spent his last days near Rochester, where he died at the age of four score years.
Unto Isaac Snedeker and his wife were born eleven children, one of whom Jacob, became the father of our subject. He was born March 23, 1806, and is the only one now living. In the usual manner of farmer lads his boyhood days were spent, his education being acquired in the common schools while his business training was received as a clerk. He was married in the city of Trenton to Ellen Jay, who was born October 2, 1813, and is a daughter of William and Hannah (Vandervere) Jay, natives of New Jersey, where they were reared and married and spent their entire lives. The father died in middle life, after which the widow was again married. Joseph Jay, the maternal grandfather of our subject was a native of Scotland, who emigrated to this country and fought throughout the war for independence. He lived and died near Trenton, N.J. Jacob M. Snedeker and his wife bade goodby to their home in that locality after the birth of their first child and removed to Monroe County, N.Y., in May, 1834, settling on a farm near Rochester, where they spent about five years. In 1839, they became residents of Champaign County, Ohio, and the autumn of 1850 witnessed their arrival in Illinois. They traveled overland by team and at length made a settlement in jersey County, where Mr. Snedeker rented land for one year. At the expiration of that time they came to Macoupin County and purchased land in Hilyard Township, which the father transformed from the raw prairie into rich and fertile fields constituting one of the best farms in the community. He also made many excellent improvements and erected a pleasant home where he is spending his last days. Mrs. Snedeker suffered a stroke of paralysis February 24, 1889, and was an invalid until her death, which occurred March 21, 1891. Mr. Snedeker, however, still retains both his mental and physical faculties to a remarkable degree. Never but once in all his life has he had to call a doctor for himself and that has been within the past two years. In early life he was an old line Whig and is now a stanch Republican. Numbered among the honored citizens of the community he and his wife have been held in high regard and their names well deserve to be recorded upon the annals of their county's history.
Isaac Snedeker was a lad of seventeen years when the family located in this county. He had begun his school life in Ohio, whence he removed in the fall of 1850, to Jersey County, Ill., where he spent one year. Since 1851, he has resided in this county and during all the years which have since come and gone his home has been upon the farm which he yet owns. It was purchased by his father when it was a tract of wild prairie, entirely destitute of improvements. He turned the first furrow upon many an acre and aided in the development and cultivation of the land which now yields him a good income. He was married in Bunker Hill Township, February 16, 1859, the lady of his choice being Miss Martha Ellen Frost, who was born June 4, 1833, in Vermont, of which State her parents, William and Caroline (Rich) Frost, were also natives. With their family they emigrated Westward in 1844, and after a short time spent in Jersey County, Ill., came to Woodburn, Macoupin County, where the wife and mother departed this life at the age of thirty-seven years. Mr. Frost has been a second time married and now lives on a farm near Woodburn.
Under the parental roof Mrs. Snedeker remained until her marriage and the training which she received combined with the natural excellencies of her character had made her a cultured woman who has proved a true helpmate to her husband. Their home has been blessed by the presence of four children, but only two are now living - Caroline I. and Alma. The latter is the wife of Harry Colter who resides on a farm in Hilyard Township. Ida A. died in childhood; and Theodore died three days before he had attained to the age of twenty-one years. Mr. Snedeker is a practical and progressive farmer who successfully operates his quarter section of land and has thereby acquired a competence. He takes a commendable interest in all that pertains to the upbuilding and welfare of the county and always willingly gives his support to those enterprises which are calculated to promote the general welfare. Those who have known him from his youth up and are familiar with his upright life are numbered among his staunchest friends and in speaking of him they use only words of commendation and praise.