Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

SNODGRASS, NELSON (deceased). - In the death of the late Nelson Snodgrass, Clear Lake Township, Sangamon County, lost a prominent and well-known citizen, who had spent most of his life there. He was born near Vincennes, Ind., in 1834, and was a son of William Snodgrass, also a native of Indiana and a farmer. The parents were early settlers of Sangamon County, having previously lived for a time in Logan County, Ill., and lived many years on a farm in Clear Lake township, where both died.

In his boyhood Nelson Snodgrass helped his father develop and cultivate the farm, and received his education in the country schools of Clear Lake Township. When he was old enough to choose his occupation in life he chose farming and began working for himself in Clear Lake Township, moving to the farm now occupied by his widow April 18, 1868. He was an ambitious and energetic farmer and reaped excellent results from his work. He was prominent in the councils of the Republican party, casting his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He served several years as Road Commissioner in Clear Lake township.

October 4, 1855, Mr. Snodgrass was married in Mechanicsburg, to Parthenia Viar, who was born in Clear Lake Township, September 23, 1838, daughter of Richard Viar, born May 9, 1806, in Kentucky, and his wife, Julia A. (Henry) Viar. Mr. Viar came to Sangamon County at an early day and settled on a farm near Rochester, carrying on farming there until his death March 11, 1855. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Snodgrass: Samuel H., born December 22, 1856, died July 30, 1894; Delcena Bell, born November 23, 1858, married Ed Baker, and they live on a farm in Clear Lake Township; Rachel Ann, born April 22, 1861, died February 20, 1865; John W., born August 4, 1864, lives in Springfield; Laura C., born October 6, 1869, died April 3, 1870, and Julia E., wife of Samuel Waddells, a farmer of Clear Lake Township. There are three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren in the family. Mrs. Snodgrass owns the farm of ten acres in Clear Lake Township, where she has lived over forty years. She was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, attended his funeral, and has a clear memory of many incidents connected with his life in Springfield. Her father furnished many ties for the construction of the Wabash railroad.

Mr. Snodgrass was an active and devout member of the Christian Church, to which his widow also belongs. He won many friends by his high character and sterling worth, and his loss was deeply felt, not only by his immediate family, but by many others as well. He continued actively engaged in farming until his death, which occurred on his farm February 7, 1900.

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