David E. Snyder

1908, DanielMcDonald
Pages 512 & 513.

DAVID SNYDER the subject of this sketch, was born January 21, 1850, in North township, Marshall county, Indiana. His paternal grandfather, Adam Snyder, was a native of Maryland, of German descent, who, after the War of 1812, in which he had served as a soldier, migrated to Virginia, where he met, and married Miss Anna Sparks. Immediately after that ceremony he assisted some others in building and launching a flatboat on the head waters of the Monongahela river. Embarking their families, they made the dangerous and perilous voyage, beset by hostile savages, down the Monongahela and Ohio rivers, and located on the latter river somewhere along the Ohio shore. That they were not believers in racial suicide is evidenced by the thirteen children that came to bless their union, all of whom were permitted to live to the full age of man and womanhood.

In 1834, with their large family and all their earthly possessions, they again started forth like Abraham of old to seek a new heritage. This time their objective point was the prairies of Illinois, but in passing through Marshall county they were so favorably impressed with the country, and being able to procure employment in cutting out the Michigan road which was then being constructed, they located, April 18, 1834, about six miles north of Plymouth and were among the earliest permanent settlers of the county.

John Snyder, the third child and son of the foregoing, and the father of David E., was born in 0hio, and at the time of his removal to this state was twelve years of age. In common with all the early settlers of that day, he endured many hardships and withal some privileges and pleasures to which he ever after was wont to refer. At an early age he took an active part in the affairs of his township and was well and favorably known throughout the county, having served frequently in local public office to the satisfaction of his constituents. He was actively engaged in the sawmill business and was the pioneer lumber- man of his section, operating for many years the first and only saw mill in the northern part of the county. In 1845 he married Miss Sarah J. McCormick, who had but recently, come to this then new country from the romantic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. To this union were born nine children, three of whom have passed to the beyond. The father died in 1865, at the age of forty-three. The good old mother is still living, enjoying fairly good health, though she has passed through eighty-two years of summer suns and winter snows, and, with the same motherly devotion as of old, welcomes her loved ones to her home. David Edgar Snyder, the third child and second son, was but fifteen years of age when his father died, His early life was not a life of ease, for after the settlement of the estate and payment of debts there was but little left of his father's property, and he was compelled to do his share of hard work to help support a large family. Attending the "district" school during winter, working at home or for the neighbor’s during the summer, until his eighteenth year, he entered the Plymouth high school, which at that time was but a primitive affair. Supplementing his attendance at the Plymouth school, by teaching in the country until his twenty-first year, he entered the law office of M. A. 0. Packard. Admitted to the Bar at the first term held in the present (then new) court house, he, with an elder brother, opened a law office in Plymouth, and in connection therewith conducted an insurance and loaning business on farm lands and other real estate. By strict and careful attention to business he has been eminently successful, until today he is considered one of the foremost financiers of the county.

In 1892 he assisted in organizing the Plymouth State Bank and became its president, which position he has held during the succeeding year. and his name has become well and prominently known in connection with this solid financial institution. He has a farm a few miles south of Plymouth of nearly four hundred acres, to which he gives much attention with it’s, stately buildings, fertile fields and beautiful groves of walnut, beech and maple, it is well deserving the appellation "a model farm," which it is called throughout the county. He is also interested in and one of the directors of the St. Joseph Loan and Trust Company of South Bend.

Mr. Snyder was married in September, 1872, to Miss Elizabeth Steckman, a daughter of Henry W. and Lydia (Cassady) Steckman, and their lives were blessed with two children, Bertie, the eldest, dying when but a few weeks old, and Dessie, born two years later, lived to be nearly four years old. As a memorial to their young lives, Mr. Snyder had erected the fine tower that adorns the St. Thomas Episcopal church of Plymouth, of which church he is a member and an active worker. He has been a lifelong resident of Marshall County. For five years he served his city as clerk and was a member of its council four years and a member of the Plymouth school board nine years.


David E. Snyder, retired capitalist, died at his home, 612 S. Michigan street, Sunday morning, Feb 10, 1935, at 9:55 o'clock. He was 85 years and 20 days old, and had been in declining health since May 12, 1934. He had lived in this home for 48 years.

Mr. Snyder retired from active business in 1916, the year in which his wife died. The loss of his beloved companion was a great shock, from which he he never recovered. From that time on he devoted his attention in summers to his farm, named "Bonaventure" on the Michigan road south of Plymouth.

Being thus out of the stream of active business for the past eighteen years or more, Mr. Snyder was not so well known among the newer business people, but for nearly forty years prior to 1916 he was the leading figure in the financial life of Marshall County.

Through his ability to save and to make money, Mr. Snyder became one of the wealthiest men in Marshall County, having at one time and before the reverses of the recent depression came on, property valued at several hundred thousand dollars.

However, Mr. Snyder was a very quiet and retiring man. He had trained himself in the hardest kind of knocks of the world and to the most strenuous savings and carefulness with his resources. One never heard him brag about what he had done; but in his later years his donations to the church and other benefactions spoke loudly of his generosity, his kindly spirit and thoughtfulness for others.

David Edgar Snyder was born in North Township,Marshall County, Indiana on January 21, 1850. His father and mother were John and Sarah Jane (McCormick) Snyder and were of German stock. The grandfather and grandmother of David E. Snyder had moved to North Township from Ohio April 18, 1834, and so were among the very earliest settlers in Marshall County. They were on the way to Illinois but were so impressed with the country here that they stopped, and also because they secured work on the Michigan Road which was just then being built through here.

David E. Snyder, was but 1 year old when his father died and he was compelled to do his share toward the support of the family. At the age of 18 he entered the Plymouth schools. He taught in country schools during this period and at the age of 21 entered the law office of Marcus A.O. Packard in Plymouth. He was admitted to the bar in the first term of court held in the present courthouse in 1872. Before his death Mr. Snyder was the oldest living member of the Marshall County Bar.

Mr. Snyder was the first teacher in the Boyd school in Polk township. Later he taught in schools in Polk and North townships, notably at the Snyder school which was named from a member of the Snyder family.

On Sept 15, 1872, Mr. Snyder married Miss Elizabeth Steckman of Polk Township. Two children born to them died in infancy. On of them, Dessie, lived to be four years old, and it was in memory of her, years later that Mr. and Mrs. Snyder built the tower of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Plymouth.

Mr. Snyder was one of the chief figures in organizing the Plymouth Stat Bank in 1892 and was its president almost continuously until his retirement in 191. It was on his suggestion the _____________ South Bend was organized, and he became one of the organizers and for many years was one of its directors.

For this noted savings institution Mr. Snyder made loans in Marshall County for many years, putting out thousands and thousands of dollars on farms and other real estate. A remarkable fact concerning these loans is that not a dollar was ever lost by them, so good a judge of men and property was Mr. Snyder in making his loans.

Among the public services of Mr. Snyder were a term of five years as City Clerk, a member of the City Counsel for four years, and a member of the school board for nine years.

At the building of St. Thomas Episcopal church Mr. Snyder was one of the most liberal donors. After he had given for the work and all was completed, except the tower, and it had been proposed to let the church stand without the tower, Mr. Snyder came forward and said he would build the tower, making it a memorial for their little daughter Dessie. Though later years he was a most liberal giver to the needs of the church.

It is said that the course of a man's life goes from his Birth and rearing on the farm tote city, through business and banking until his later years and then he longs to get back to the farm with its quiet and peaceful beauties. It was so with Mr. Snyder. So he bought the 300 acre farm about three miles south of Plymouth on the Michigan Road and named it "Bonaventrue," saying with a laugh that it was a good venture if not a financially successful one, for there he expected to get, and did get, great pleasure. He remodeled the buildings, made good the fencing, cleared the woods of magnificent maples, elms, beeches, and walnuts, it was here he loved to spend both his money and his time during the spring, summer and fall, until the rigors of winter sent him back to his Plymouth home.

The only immediate living relatives are a brother, John O. Snyder, just north of Centennial park and a sister, Mrs. Ada Bollman, formerly of Plymouth and now living in Washington state.

Mrs. Snyder died on Sunday in 1916; her sister, Miss Margaret Steckman, died on Sunday Dec 2, 1934; and now Mr. Snyder departed this life on Sunday. He left a lengthy will, in which he makes K. Frank Brooke his executor.

The funeral of David E. Snyder will be held at the Snyder home, 612 S. Michigan street, at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the services being conducted by Father William J. Cordick, rector of St. Thomas Episcopal church. The body is at the home and is in charge of the Runnell Mortuary

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