It would be difficult to name an essential element in the recent progress and advancement of Greenfield that does not bear the impress of Capt. Snows strong individuality. He has been a prominent factor in the industrial and general business activity of the city and county and in many other respects has taken a leading part in calling attention to this prosperous and highly favored portion of the commonwealth of Indiana. His career has been one of continued advancement, owing to unabating industry, strict integrity, sound judgment and honorable business methods, without which no one can hope to win permanent success and earn for himself the unfailing regard and esteem of his fellow men.
Capt. Henry Snow is a native of Kentucky, born in the town of Shelbyville, in the 4th day of December, 1837. His father, Thomas P. Snow, was born in the city of London, England, as was also his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Ann Monks, and there they were married. By occupation Thomas P. Snow was a manufacturer of boots and shoes and for some years he worked as a journeyman in the land of his nativity. In the year 1828 he sailed for the United States aboard the ship Sampson and after a somewhat protracted voyage finally reached the port of New Orleans, where he soon secured remunerative employment at his trade. After some time spent in that city he proceeded northward as far as Shelbyville, Kentucky, where he carried on a lucrative business for several years, and then went to Free port, Indiana thence in 1850 to Greenfield. After working at his chosen calling for several years, he embarked in selling books and notions and was thus engaged with a reasonable degree of success until his death, which occurred in 1870. His wife survived him twelve years, dying at Caldwell, Kansas, in 1882.
Thomas P. Snow was a loyal citizen of his adopted country and became a potential factor in the commercial interest of Greenfield and Hancock county. His residence of forty-seven years in the United States enabled him to become thoroughly familiar with American social customs and business methods and as a man and citizen none stood higher in the esteem of the various communities in which he lived. Politically he espoused the principles of the Republican party, which he earnestly supported till his death; as a worker in the Presbyterian church and Sabbath school he exercised a wholesome influence in behalf of religious and benevolent enterprise and everything calculated to improve the moral status of his fellow men or advance the standard of living met his earnest and unqualified approval. He organized and taught the first colored Sabbath school and ever showed deep interest in the old slaves.
Thomas P. and Mary Ann Snow reared a family of seven children, whose names in order of birth are as follows: William S.., a soldier in the late Civil war, member of the Eighteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry and now deceased; Charles, who is engaged in the real estate and loan business in Los Angeles, California; Henry, the subject of this review; Nathaniel, who was a private in the Eighteenth Regiment Indiana Infantry during the great Rebellion, died in 1864, just after his discharge; Agnes, wife of Richard Austin, of Unionville, Missouri; Anna and John, the last two deceased.
Henry Snow acquired a good common school education and was a lad of thirteen yeas when his parents took up their residence in the city of Greenfield. After completing the prescribed course of study, he prepared himself for teaching and for several years after the age of nineteen he taught in the common schools of Hancock county, meeting with encouraging success in educational work, both as instructor and disciplinarian. It was while thus engaged that the war which threatened to disrupt the nation broke out, and, fired with patriotic fervor, he resigned the school of which he was then in charge to enter the services of the government. He was one of the first of Hancock countys loyal young men to enter the army. He responded to the first call made early in 186, enlisting April 16th, of that year, in Company I, Eighth Indiana, for the three-months service. He was at Rich Mountain in the first battle of the war. The regiment was returned to Indianapolis and on the afternoon of the 6th of August, after being discharged in the forenoon, re-enlisted in the Eighteenth Regiment, which had been organized for three years or during the war. He accompanied his command to the scene of action in Missouri and met the enemy on many bloody battlefields, including Pea Ridge, and was promoted captain of Company F, of the Twenty-eighth Indiana, in April, 1864. He was transferred to Virginia where he assumed command of his company. Capt. Snow took part in some of the most noted of the Virginia campaigns and proved a gallant leader in many of the most sanguinary scenes in the history of the war. On the 30th day of July, 1864, at Petersburg, he received a wound in the left hand from a minie ball, the hand being shattered, and later in the action received a shell wound in the head which necessitated his retention in the hospital for several weeks. When sufficiently recovered at Bedloes Island he was placed on light duty being made provost marshal and assistant adjutant at Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois. He continued in the latter capacity to the satisfaction of his superiors until the close of the war, when he was discharged, the document bearing the date of November, 1865.
After the close of the war Capt. Snow returned to Greenfield and resumed the duties of the teachers profession. After teaching one term he concluded to cast his fortunes in the west; accordingly in the spring of 1866 he removed to and opened a jewelry store in Warrenbsurg, Missouri. He carried on a successful business at that place for a period of eleven years, at the expiration of which time he sold his stock and retuned to Greenfield, which he has since made his home.
In addition to his commercial venture, Mr. Snow became interested in the cattle business in the west. In partnership with several other parties, he purchased a fine ranch near Caldwell, Kansas, and later assisted to form a company that engaged quite extensively in cattle dealing on another ranch known as Red Rock, in the Indian Territory. He continued his connection with this enterprise to with the past ten years.
On the 3d of October, 1877, was solemnized the marriage of Capt. Snow and Miss Fannie Pearson, a native of Hancock county and daughter of Morris and Lucena (Burch) Pearson, natives of Vermont. The Pearsons were among the early settlers of Hancock county. The father and mother of Mrs. Snow were married in the county of Shelby in an early day and in the year 1837 located in Greenfield. Morris Pearson, a surveyor by profession, was born in 1799; he became a resident of Indiana in 1814, settling in the southern part of the state, and his services as a civil engineer were in great demand during the pioneer period. His death occurred May 22, 1879; his wife also lived to a ripe old age, dying on the 13th day of January, 1900.
Immediately after his marriage Capt. Snow took up his residence in Greenfield, with the business interests of which he has since been actively identified. Years ago he became a prominent factor in local politics and for a long time has been considered one of the Republican leaders, also one of the most prominent members of his party in central Indiana. In November, 1876, he was nominated for the office of county recorder and at the ensuing election defeated his opponent by a decisive majority, although the county was and always had been overwhelmingly Democratic. He was the first and only man ever elected to the position on the Republican ticket, a fact which speaks well for his standing with the people regardless of politics. He discharged his official functions with a singleness of purpose that won the unbounded esteem of the public.
Since retiring from the above office Mr. Snow has devoted his time and energies to various business enterprises. He possesses sound judgment and business ability of a high order and by reason of these and equally meritorious qualities, among which may be mentioned his familiarity with the law, his services have been frequently retained to administer upon estates and adjust affairs of a complex legal nature. At the present time he deals largely in real estate and carries on an extensive business in making loans, collections, etc., in addition to which he is a notary public. He is also interested in the Snow Flint Glass Works at Wilkinson, Indiana, which was organized in 1900 and of which he has been president ever since the enterprise was founded.
As will be seen by the foregoing, the life of Capt. Snow has been a very busy one, into which many important interests have been crowded. The lessons of his early youth caused him to be careful and saving of his earnings and he has clung to the habits thus formed to the present day. By industry and wisely directed economy he has become the possessor of ample means. Like the majority of enterprising and progressive men, he is enthused with local pride and, as stated in the initial paragraph of this sketch, the influence of his strong personality has been distinctly felt in every legitimate movement of recent years calculated to advance the industrial business interest of Greenfield and elevate its standard of citizenship. He takes pains to keep himself well informed relative to the great questions in which the industrial and political world are interested, while his conduct towards those who may entertain views diametrically opposed to his own is noted for the courtesy and the fairness bespeaking the liberal mind and generous heart.
Capt. Snow is regarded as one of the best posted and most intelligent gentlemen in the city of his residence; by correct deportment and dignified bearing he has acquired an enviable reputation and it is a fact universally conceded that no man stands higher in the estimation of the community. Fraternally he is a Mason of high degree, belonging to chapter, commandery and the Scottish Rite, holding membership with the last named at Murat Temple, Indianapolis. He is the present eminent commander of Greenfield Commandery, Knights Templar. He is also an enthusiastic worker in the Grand Army of the Republic, being identified with Dunbar Post No. 92 at Greenfield, of which he was the first commander. He has filled all other positions within the power of the local organization to bestow and much of the success which it has attained is directly attributable to his untiring interest in its behalf. Capt. Snow is a firm believer in revealed religion and in the efficacy of the church as a potent factor in civilizing and redeeming the human race. While his family are identified with the Presbyterian church, he does not himself hold active relation, though his sympathies are in accord with all religious effort. The foregoing contains but a brief and succinct outline of the life and character of one of Hancock countys leading men and a citizen of whom the commonwealth of Indiana may feel proud.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 350-353.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI July 31, 2002.
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