TRUMAN ASA SNELL. There are men who early achieve success in life notwithstanding obstacles which appear to be insurmountable to others. They are born with an ambition which bows to no difficulty and endowed with an energy and clear judgment that lead to certain victory. Such a man is Judge Truman A. Snell who, although comparatively young, is now filling the office of county judge of Macoupin county. He is a native of this county, born on a farm seven miles east of Carlinville, September 22, 1876, a son of Guy A. and Abbie (Voorhees) Snell, both of whom were born in Jersey county, Illinois. Of their family of seven children four survive, namely: Hugh A., who lives at Litchfield, Illinois; Myron W., who is a physician, also of Litchfield; Truman A., of this review; and Reba, the wife of H. J. White, a jeweler of Litchfield.
Guy A. Snell, the father of the subject of this review, has from his boyhood engaged in farming and is now living at Litchfield. He was reared in Jersey county and in addition to farming taught school in his early manhood. In the early ‘60s he came to Macoupin county and spent several years in Polk township, at the end of which time he removed to Honey Point township, where he resided for forty years, becoming the owner of seven hundred and seventy acres of good land in this county. He retired from active labor in 1900 and has since at ease enjoyed the fruits of many years of wisely directed application. He has now arrived at the age of seventy-two years, his wife being five years his junior. He formerly took an active interest in local affairs and served as supervisor of Honey Point township, township assessor and in other offices. Fraternally he is identified with the Elks.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was Asa Snell, a native of Vermont. He removed to Jersey county, Illinois, and engaged for many years in the practice of medicine. The maiden name of his wife was Priscilla Landon and she lived to be ninety years of age. They had a large family: Guy; Gilbert, deceased; Mary, now of Oklahoma, who married Russell Bohannan, now deceased, and later John Forth, now deceased; Drucilla, who married Squire Watts, of Oklahoma; Clarissa, the wife of B. F. Calhoun, of Jerseyville; Martha, who married Richard Waddell, of Jersey county, and is now deceased; Ruby, the wife of Charles Perrings, of Polk township; Silas, who is now is now deceased; James, also deceased; Janette, who became the wife of Edward Lee and is now deceased; Luther, who lives at Carlinville; Hugh, who was formerly sheriff and treasurer of Jersey county; Katurah, who married S. Woolsey, of Auburn; and Augusta, the wife of John Howell, of Jerseyville.
The grandfather on the paternal side was Peter Voorhees, a native of New Jersey. He married Maria Kirby and they became early settlers of Jersey county, Illinois. In their family were nine children: Abbie; Charles, who lives at Jerseyville; John, who resided at Jerseyville and is now deceased; Sarah, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased; Libbie, who married T. F. Remer and lives at Denver, Colorado; George, who lives at Jerseyville; Margaret, who married Dr. McAdams of Wichita, Kansas, and is deceased; and Peter, deceased.
Truman A. Snell grew to maturity under the favoring conditions of farm life. He attended the district schools and Blackburn University, also becoming a student of Western Normal College at Bushnell. Like many promising young men he engaged in teaching school, a vocation which he followed for five years. During the latter part of his experience as teacher he began reading law and after making a fair start in the text-books matriculated at Washington University in St. Louis and was graduated from the law department of that institution in 1904 with honors and received the degree of LL. B. He was admitted to the bar the same year and began practice at Staunton, where he still maintains his office and his home. He showed special adaptability for his chosen profession and soon gained a lucrative clientage. For three terms he served as city attorney at Staunton and in November, 1910, was elected judge of the county court of Macoupin county, a position which he now fills.
On the 21st of September, 1904, Judge Snell was married to Miss Emma Schmidt, a daughter of George W. and Margaret Louise (Theuer) Schmidt. Two children have come to brighten their home, Margaret Louise and Reba Alvena. Mrs. Snell is a native of the town of Dorchester and her father was a native of Germany, while her mother was born in St. Louis, Missouri. They lived at Gillespie, Illinois for many years, where her father engaged in the hardware business. He died in January, 1906, at Carlinville at the age of sixty-six years, his wife having passed away eight years previously. Their children are George W., Jr., of Gillespie; Frederick E., of Gillespie; William H.; Emma; and Alvena.
Judge Snell is not identified with any religious denomination but his wife is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He is well known in fraternal circles and holds membership in the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. Politically he has from the time of casting his first vote been allied with the democratic party. He has demonstrated his ability to cope with legal problems and success has come as the reward of earnest endeavor, fidelity to trust and recognized standing in his profession. In his decisions he has demonstrated clear judgment and broad-mindedness that enables him to comprehend readily the details of a situation and correctly to apply the principles of law. The people have confidence in his integrity and the future is for him bright with promise, as there are few men in Macoupin county who can claim precedence in popular esteem over judge Truman A. Snell.