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Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company

Page 619

HENRY SNELL is one of the sagacious, skillful farmers who are actively helping to carry on the agricultural interests of this county, and he is the fortunate proprietor of a fine prairie farm, comprising the northeast quarter of section 28, Girard Township. In Bethel Township, Miami County, Ohio, he first opened his eyes to the light of the world June 18, 1836, in the pioneer log house that was the home of his parents, Jacob and Barbara (Harshbarger) Snell. His father, who was born in Rockingham County, Va., in 1806, was reared in his native county, and there carried on his trade as a carpenter in connection with farming until his removal in 1831 to Ohio, the journey being made with teams. He bought a tract of land in Bethel Township, on which stood a log house, in which he and his family took up their abode. In the intervals of pursuing his trade he gave his attention to improving a farm, and increased its size by the purchase of land adjoining. He lived there in peace and comfort, respected by all who knew him, until death called him hence in 1855, when he was scarcely past the meridian of life. His wife, who was a native of the same county as himself, was a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Harshbarger, also died on the home farm, her death occurring in December, 1860. They reared a family of five children, named as follows: John, Elizabeth, Henry and Susan (twins) and Annie.

Our subject began to assist his father on the farm as soon as he could make himself useful. His education was conducted in the local public schools. He remained with his parents until their death, and after that purchased the old homestead, which he occupied until 1864; he sold it then and bought a mill in the same township, which he operated until 1867. In that year, wishing to resume farming, and feeling satisfied that this county offered him better chances of profit than the more worn soil of his native State, he took up his residence in North Otter Township on a farm that he bought. Eighteen months later he sold that and bought the place upon which he has since lived in Girard Township. Its fields and pastures are very fertile and are under careful cultivation, while substantial buildings adorn the place, which bears every indication of a thrifty, energetic and capable manager at the head of affairs.

December 9, 1858 Mr. Snell took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Amanda Mayer, a native of Fairfield, Greene County, Ohio, born November 7, 1840. Her father was David Mayer, and he was born in Lancaster County, Pa., a son of Christian Mayer, who was a life long resident of Lancaster County, where he was engaged both as a blacksmith and a farmer.

David Mayer learned the trade of a miller, and in the early settlement of Greene County, Ohio, he went there to carry on his calling. After marriage he rented a mill at Fairfield, and he subsequently erected a brick building, in which he conducted the mercantile business, while at the same time he operated the mill. Thence he removed to Huffersville, where he bought a mill, in which he engaged in the manufacture of lumber for years. Finally he sold that property and took up his residence in Miami County, and bought and operated a mill there the ensuing twelve years. In 1864 he sold all his possessions in Ohio, and coming to Macoupin County, invested in a farm in North Otter Township. There his attention was given to agricultural pursuits until death closed his busy life April 31, 1890.

Mrs. Snell's mother's maiden name was Eliza Huffer, and she was a native of Lancaster County, Pa. Her father, grandfather of Mrs. Snell, was one of the pioneers of Greene County, Ohio, the locality where he settled being named Huffersville in his honor. He purchased an extensive tract of land there and improved a water power by building a woolen mill, a saw and grist mill and a distillery. In addition to carrying on these varied interests he superintended the improvement of a farm. The maiden name of his wife was Elizabeth Stone, and she was a native of Lancaster County, Pa. Both she and her husband spent their last years in Huffersville. Mrs. Snell's mother, who has attained a venerable age, occupies the home farm with her son John.

Mr. and Mrs. Snell have five children living, whose names are Anna Mary, Emma L., John F., Eliza C. and Charles H. Our subject and his wife are people who bear themselves sensibly and uprightly in their intercourse with others, and are always ready with sympathy and practical help to aid any who are in trouble, and are valued as neighbors and friends in their community. The German Baptist Brethren Church finds in them devoted members and true disciples of its faith.

1891 Index

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