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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Jasper Snyder, who has recently retired from farm life and moved to West Union, is numbered among the honored pioneers of the county, and was one of the first three settlers in Windsor Township, where he made his home for thirty-five years. He has been a faithful citizen of the community and well deserves a representation in this volume. The history of his life is as follows: He was born in Albany County, N. Y., June 13, 1813, his parents being Isaac and Mary (Johnson) Snyder. They were also natives of Albany County, and our subject is descended from one of the early Colonial families, his great-grandfather, a native of Holland, having emigrated to this country during the early settlement of New York. In the family were ten children, seven sons and three daughters, of whom Jasper is the youngest, and only survivor. He was reared to manhood on a farm only twelve miles from Albany, N. Y., and married Barbara Edward, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Shirk) Edward, the former a native of Wales and the latter of Pennsylvania, born of German parentage. Mrs. Snyder was born near Fort Erie, Canada, October 26, 1817, and they were married on the 15th of March, 1836, in Buffalo, N. Y.
For about nine years after his marriage, Mr. Snyder engaged in farming in Canada, and then emigrated to Illinois, making a location near Freeport, Stephenson County, where he worked at blacksmithing for three years and farmed for six years. It was in May, 1855, that he came to Iowa and located on his farm in Windsor Township. Two years previous he had visited this county and entered a quarter section of land from the Government for which he paid the usual price of $1.25 per acre. As before stated he enjoys the distinction of being one of the first three settlers in the township and an honored pioneer of the county. He is also the only survivor of those early settlers. With the development and upbuilding of the community he has ever been identified, laboring for its interests and doing all in his power for its advancement. The hardships and trials of frontier life he bore uncomplainingly and by industry and perseverance overcame many of his early disadvantages. He built a blacksmith shop upon his land and in the winter months followed that trade, devoting his attention during the summer season to the cultivation of his farm. He has lived to see his township become one of the wealthiest communities in the county, with its land under excellent cultivation, and dotted here and there with fine residences, good barns, schoolhouses and churches. His own labors have been blessed with prosperity and he is now enabled to lay aside the more arduous duties of life, the competence acquired in former years supplying all his wants. His wife has indeed proved a helpmate to him, sharing in his prosperity and adversity, his pleasures and his disappointments. The 15th of March, 1887, was their fiftieth <sic> wedding anniversary and now they have traveled life's journey together for more than fifty-three years. For over forty years they have been faithful and consistent members of the Methodist Church and have lived useful Christian lives. In an early day Mr. Snyder supported the Whig party, but since the organization of the Republican party has been a stanch supporter of its principles.
Unto them have been born the following children: Jacob, born in Canada January 27, 1837, died October 13, 1854; Melinda, born in Canada, January 15, 1838, married Henry Sheiry in 1857. He died in the army August 15, 1863, and she afterwards became the wife of Samuel Van Dorn, from whom she was divorced in 1883. She wedded James McGrady and they reside in Loop City, Neb., and her children are George, William, Edward, Mary and Nettie; Daniel, born in Canada, August 23, 1841, married Paulina Potter and resides in Loop City, Neb. Of their seven children four are living - Helen Sigel, Alfaretta Ulysses, Flora Stella and LeRoy; Andrew, born January 9, 1843, died on the 12th of March following; Mary Elizabeth, born July 26, 1846, in Canada, became the wife of John Henderson, of Argonia, Kan., and their children are Phoebe, Andrew, Frank and Robert; Edward J., born in Stephenson County, Ill., married Sarah Burkholder, November 19, 1870, by whom he had one child - Jasper, born December 2, 1871, and has lived with his grandparents since five years of age. He was divorced from his first wife and married Elizabeth Holsenbeck in 1878. She had two children by a former marriage and has two by this marriage - Daisy and Wallace. They reside on a farm in Windsor Township.
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