Velasco R. Snodgrass was born in Moral township, Shelby county, February 7, 1857, the son of Benjamin and Sarah (Leonard) Snodgrass.
Benjamin Snodgrass was born in Sugar Creek township, Hancock county, one-half mile south of New Palestine, April 15, 1831, and died at the home of his son, Velasco R., in April, 1878, at the of forty-seven years. He was the son of Benjamin Sr., and Lorena (Evans) Snodgrass. Benjamin Snodgrass, Sr., came from Kentucky to Indiana about 1830 and took over a part of the old Mernon farm, south of New Palestine, which had been entered as a government tract. This place contained one hundred and twenty acres of virgin timber and Benjamin Snodgrass, Sr., made his home in what was then a wilderness. His efforts were cut short by his early death, which occurred late in 1830 or early in 1831. His widow, five children, four boys and one girl, continued to live on the old homestead until the death of Mrs. Snodgrass. It was on this old homestead that Benjamin Snodgrass, Jr., the father of the subject of this sketch, was born and grew to manhood. He experienced all the hardships of the early pioneer life. He was married at the age of nineteen to a Miss Roseberrry and to this union were born two children: one, a girl, who died in infancy and the other, Elwood, who lives at the present time in Iowa. Benjamin Snodgrass, Jr., was married, secondly, to Sarah Leonard, who was born in North Carolina on April 1,4 1852, and who was the daughter of John A. and Lavina (Curry) Leonard, both of North Carolina. They were likewise pioneers of Sugar Creek township. Their old homestead is in the south part of Sugar Creek township, where Homer Leonard now resides. Sarah Leonard, who was the mother of the subject of this sketch, was one of thirteen children, all deceased except Homer, Melissa and Sheppard. After the first marriage of Benjamin Snodgrass, he started to farm for himself on forty acres which he at that time owned and which is now a part of the William Lantz farm. After his second marriage, he and his brother bought a farm in Moral township, Shelby county, and there he resided for six or seven years. In the fall of 1864 he moved to a farm two and one-half miles southeast of New Palestine, where he bought an eighty-acre tract. Here he spent the remainder of his life. This place had only a small log house and barn and about thirty acres of cleared land. He died here in 1878 at the age of forty-seven. His wife survived him by about ten years. She died in June, 1887, at the age of fifty-seven years.
It was to this place where he now resides that Velasco Snodgrass, the subject of this sketch, came, with his parents, as a boy of seven years. He spent the balance of his childhood and youth here and attended the old Gates school. His first teacher in Shelby county was Sarah Cunningham and his first teacher in Hancock county was Hoppy McDougal. He remained on the old home place until he was twenty-four years of age. On November 3, 1881, he was married to Diza Smith, who was born in Moral township, Shelby county, April 4, 1857, the daughter of James H. and Nancy (Emmons) Smith, both of whom were natives of Maryland and came to Shelby county in the early pioneer days. The Smiths settled in Shelby county and the Emmons in Hancock county. The former had thirteen children, eleven of whom still survive, and Diza Smith, the wife of the subject of this sketch, was the tenth in order of birth. After his marriage, Velasco R. Snodgrass rented his father-in-law's farm in Shelby county for two years. He then moved back to his old home place, where he has since resided. After his mother's death he bought out the other heirs and became the sole owner of the home place. He has continued to improve the place by improving his residence, which now contains eight rooms, and his barn, which is now thirty-six by fifty feet. He has also erected a fine stock barn and a double corn-crib and other buildings in keeping with the surroundings. In 1910 he bought forty acres one mile northeast of the home place and for this he paid one hundred and fifteen dollars per acre, and in 1914, he bought forty acres more adjoining this tract, for which he paid one hundred and fifty dollars per acre.
Velasco R. Snodgrass and wife are the parents of the following children: Clarence who is married to Nannie Tucker and who resides in Sugar Creek township and who is the father of two children, Agnes and Frances; James H., Ira, Carrie, the latter three all at home. Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Snodgrass had five children, two boys and three girls: Velasco, who is the subject of this sketch; Xenis, who died at the age of nineteen years; Levina, who died at the age of two; Marie, who is the wife of Marshall Bussel, who resides at Morristown; Esther, who is the wife of Albert Stone and who resides at Morristown, Indiana.
Velasco R. Snodgrass is a Democrat in politics. He has served as township trustee of Sugar Creek township from 1905 to 1909. He is one of Hancock county's well-known and substantial citizens. His standing in this community is shown by the offices which he has held and of other opportunities which he felt compelled to decline. It goes without saying that he enjoys the respect of his fellow citizens and that he is a man of sterling character.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1003-1005.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 22, 2001.
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