My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  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.

* * * *

JOHN C. SNYDER, justice of the peace and dealer in groceries, glassware, chinaware, etc., at No, 404 East Main street, Norristown, is a native of Bucks county, where he was born May 17, 1834. He is the son of Michael and Anna (High) Snyder, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and lifelong residents of the state. They had four children, three sons and one daughter, all of whom are deceased, however, except John C. Snyder.

His father was a farmer and lived in Bucks county all his life. He died about 1843, aged forty-six years. His wife lived much longer, dying at the age of seventy-three years. Both were members of the Lutheran church.

The maternal grandfather of Mr. Snyder came from Germany and settled in Bucks county, dying there in middle age. He was a farmer and had a family of three sons and four daughters.

The paternal grandfather was also a native of Germany, and died in Bucks county in middle age. He had a family of four sons and two daughters.

John C. Snyder was reared on a farm in Bucks county until he was seventeen years of age and attended the district schools in the winter season. He learned the trade of blacksmithing, which he followed eight years. He then met with a misfortune, having lost a part of his right hand by a premature discharge of a cannon while he with others was engaged in celebrating Washington’s birthday. This interfering with his usefulness in an occupation involving manual labor, he engaged in the grocery business, which he has followed ever since, being located for many years on Main street opposite Walnut. About 1851 he came to Norristown, where he learned his trade, and where he has lived ever since.

He married Miss Mary Rittenhouse, daughter of Christopher Rittenhouse and Catharine (Markle) Rittenhouse. They had four children: Winfield W., Anna Kate, Mary Helen and John Harry. Winfield W. died at the age of twenty-four years. Anna Kate married Robert Edmunds. They live in Norristown and have one child, Mabel Christine Edmunds. Mary Helen keeps house for her father. John Harry is in the store with his father.

Mrs. Snyder died in March, 1898. She was a member of the Lutheran church of the Trinity. Notwithstanding the loss of his hand, Mr. Snyder felt the fires of patriotism burning within him so strongly that he volunteered in the defense of the Union in the Thirty-fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, as lieutenant. It was an emergency organization at the time of the first Confederate raid in Pennsylvania. Lieutenant Snyder’s second enlistment was in the Forty-third Regiment in the three months’ service. He enlisted for the third time in the One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Regiment in the hundred-day service, and was captain of Company G. He left the service of his state and country with three honorable discharges, and since then he has confined his attention strictly to the grocery store, and has made an excellent reputation as a reliable and successful business man.

Mr. Snyder is a Democrat in politics. He served as assessor in the fifth ward three terms. He was appointed under Andrew Johnson’s administration, government cigar inspector, which office he filled until it was abolished. He was elected coroner of Montgomery county on the Democratic ticket in 1858, serving three years in the position. He was elected justice of the peace in the fifth ward in 1869 and consecutively every five years since that time, so that he has filled the position for thirty-five years and was elected February 16, 1904, for five more years. He has performed his duties with rare fidelity, his decisions being generally accepted as just and fair.

In 1894 he was a candidate for councilman from the fifth ward. He has now served nine years in the council and in February, 1904, was elected for his fourth term. He has belonged to the Independent Order Odd Fellows of Norristown many years, is a member of the encampment and is a past grand.

By strict integrity, fairness and honorable dealing, Justice Snyder has won the esteem and respect of all with whom he has come in contact in a business, social or judicial capacity, and there are none who stand higher in the good will or kindly regard of the community.

* * * *

This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.