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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  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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When the tocsin of war sounded men from all walks of life flocked to the standard of the country, coming from the workshops, the fields, the counting houses, the stores and the offices, all actuated by the common purpose of defending the Union even at the sacrifice of their own lives if necessary. Forty-seven years have come and gone since the outbreak of hostilities and those who met the enemy on southern battlefields are fast passing away. Among the veterans now living in Union county is Carlton Snyder, of Shannon City, who for years was a farmer of Iowa and still owns a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Ringgold county. He came to this state at a very early period in its settlement and development, being brought to Iowa by his father in the fall of 1846, when a little lad of five years. He was born in Platte county, Missouri, February 10, 1841.

His father, Andrew Snyder, was a native of Ohio and was there reared after which he removed westward to Platte county, Missouri, becoming one of the early settlers of that locality. As stated, he came to Iowa in the fall of 1846, casting in his lot with the pioneer residents of Warren county, which was then largely an unclaimed and unsettled district, much of the land being still in possession of the government, while only here and there had a little home been built to indicate that the seeds of civilization were being planted in the west. Mr. Snyder entered land from the government and opened up a farm, which he cultivated until 1872, when he sold that property and removed to Madison county, settling near Winterset. There he spent his remaining days, his death occurring in January, 1878, when he was seventy-four years of age. His wife died January 12, 1891, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.

Carlton Snyder was one of a family of four daughters and seven sons, who reached adult age, while one son and one daughter died in early life. He was reared to manhood upon the Warren county farm and was early trained in the work of the fields until he had become thoroughly familiar with the best methods of planting and caring for the crops. He was twenty-one years of age when he responded to the country’s call for aid, enlisting in August, 1862, with the Thirty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. With that command he went to the south, joining the Army of the Tennessee and participating in the first siege of Vicksburg at Chickasaw Bayou. He was also in the battle of Arkansas Post with his regiment and during the winter of 1862-3 was ill in the hospital. He was then discharged for disability and returned home.

Three years passed before he thoroughly regained his health, after which he resumed farming, going to Nebraska, where he secured a homestead claim in 1871. He located upon this and improved it until he had obtained a deed to the property, remaining there until 1875. He then sold his place and returned to Madison county, where he carried on farming for a year, after which he took up his abode in Ringgold county, upon a tract of land which he had purchased some years before. It was wild and unimproved when it came into his possession, so he broke the sod, fenced the fields and did all the work necessary toward the production of crops. In due course of time the farm was brought under a high state of cultivation. He also worked a marked transformation in its appearance through the erection of a set of substantial farm buildings and through the planting of a grove and large orchard. This farm adjoins the southern boundary line of Union county and is about three miles from Shannon City. Year by year Mr. Snyder successfully conducted his farming interests until 1899, when he removed to the village and purchased a residence. He then established a butchering business, conducting a meat market for two years and at the same time gave supervision to the management and operation of his farm.

On the 31st of March, 1874, in Clarke county, Iowa, Mr. Snyder was married to Amanda J. Shawver, who was born in Warren county but was reared in Clarke county. In the latter she was educated, also attending school at Indianola, Iowa. Her father, George Shawver, was a native of Indianola, born about 1824. In that state he grew to manhood and was married there to Miss Sarah Cox, also a native of Indiana. Removing westward to Iowa, they cast in their lot with its pioneer settlers. For a number of years they were residents of Clarke county, where the death of Mrs. Shawver occurred. The father afterward married again and later removed to Madison county, where he spent his last years, his death there occurring about 1894. Mrs. Snyder was one of eight children, four sons and four daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters are yet living. By his second marriage Mr. Shawver had a son and a daughter. Mrs. Snyder was a teacher for several years in Clarke and Warren counties and gave excellent satisfaction in her work in the schoolroom.

Following their marriage the young couple began their domestic life on the homestead claim in Nebraska, where Mr. Snyder had kept bachelor’s hall for a few years. Three children have come to bless their union but they lost their first born, Frank, in infancy. Their second son, George A., is now married and is a business man of Shannon City, where he is engaged in dealing in grain and coal. Ira E. is upon the home farm. They also reared an adopted son, Clyde A. Hope, who was the child of Mr. Snyder’s sister and who lived with them from the age of six months. He is now a farmer of this county.

Politically Mr. Snyder is a republican and has voted for every presidential nominee of the party since casting his first ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 with the single exception of the year 1872. For several years, while living on the farm, he served as township trustee and had previously been township clerk in Warren county, while in Nebraska he was officially identified with the schools. He has also filled the office of road supervisor in this county and his official duties have been discharged with a promptness and fidelity that indicates his deep interest in the welfare of the community. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, taking an active interest in its work and doing all in their power to extend its influence. Mr. Snyder has been superintendent of the Sunday school at Shannon City for twelve years and Mrs. Snyder is a teacher in the Sunday school, while in the various departments of church work they are active. He has also been one of the trustees of the church and steward for twenty-four years and, moreover, their lives are in harmony with their professions and are a force in the moral development of the community. Mr. Snyder belongs to Shannon City Lodge, I. O. O. F., is a valued member of the Grand Army post and has served as commander, while for a number of years he has filled the position of quartermaster. In all matters of citizenship he has been as faithful to the interests of his country as when he followed the old flag on southern battlefields and gave substantial proof of his loyalty to the Union cause.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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