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Below is a family biography included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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J. R. SNYDER, proprietor of the Bank of Chenoa, Chenoa; was born on a farm in Rensselaer Co., N. Y. Aug 5, 1829. He was educated at the Poultney Seminary, Vermont, after which he began the study of the law, in the office of H. Z. Haner, a prominent lawyer of Troy, N. Y. After remaining with him two years, he entered the law school at Ballston Springs, where he spent one year. He then went to Albany, and remained a year in the Albany Law School, graduating in 1852. Coming West, he located at Earlville, La Salle Co., Ill., and began the practice of his profession, afterwards engaging in the banking business also. About six years later, he engaged in farming, his farm of 300 acres, near Earlville, being acknowledged the finest improved farm in La Salle Co. In 1867, he removed to Amboy, Ill., and established himself in banking, coming to Chenoa in 1869. He started the Bank of Chenoa, the first in the town, and the only one existing at the present time. He erected his present fine bank building, in 1871, and, in 1874, built the Snyder Block, one of the finest in the State, outside of Chicago, besides other buildings in the city, including a commodious and attractive residence. He has always been active in improving and building up whatever town he has lived in. He is a gentleman of acknowledged financial ability, and, whether managing his own private interests, or administering public affairs, has always brought them to a successful issue. He served as Supervisor in La Salle Co., one term, and as Township Treasurer, several years. During his residence here, he has been Township Treasurer about four years; Mayor of Chenoa, two terms, and President of the City Council, one term, under the Princeton charter. He was married, in 1852, to Miss Elizabeth Boyington, of Troy, N. Y., who died in 1864, leaving three children — Hattie E , now wife of R. F. Davis, of Bloomington; William B., in business in Chenoa, and Lester H., cashier of the Bank of Chenoa. Mr. Snyder was married again, in 1866, to Miss Elizabeth Cleveland, of La Salle Co. They have three children — Ida M., Arthur J. and Nina B.

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This family biography is one of 1257 biographies included in The History of McLean County, Illinois published by Wm. LeBaron, Jr. Co. in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of McLean County, Illinois

View additional McLean County, Illinois family biographies here: McLean County, Illinois Biographies

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