Reminiscences of my Snow Grandparents

by: Leila Thorpe Turner, October 18, 1922
From Randolph NY Library

Contributed by PHGS Member Claudia Patterson

The Snow grandparents settled on lot 4 in Conewango in 1827, coming from  Warsaw, NY, where they were married March 18, 1813. The following quotation from the History of Cattaraugus county is given as a record for speed in house construction: "Nathan snow cleared away the timber, cut the logs,  built a house and moved in, all in a week's time" . He died on the same farm  October 18, 1860, age 71 years.

Our pioneer ancestors were staunch members of the Methodist Church. Since no  other building was large enough to accommodate all the worshippers, the Methodists held their quarterly meetings in barns, and at those meetings exhibited great religious excitement. The story is told of a woman of the town, a Presybterian, who refused the use of her barn to the "ranting" Methodists, as she called them, giving as her excuse that "She had a hen sitting on a nest of goose eggs, and she had heard that thunder would kill young goslings."

That the dauntless spirit of freedon which in 1637 led her Puritan ancestors across the Atlantic and was later upheld by their descendants at Saratoga and Bunker Hill was strong in Grandmother Snow is evident from a story told me by an old gentleman of her generation. The rules of the Methodist Church prohibits wearing to meeting, "any jewelry or other ornament". Although she knew ornaments were forbidden, she wore to the quarterly meeting a bonnet adorned with a red rose. Upon arrival she was told to remove the offending flower before she could enter, but Grandmother promptly refused, asserting her personal rights, and was consequently not allowed to attend Love Feast.

Married at the age of sixteen and the mother of ten children, subjected to the hardships of the pioneer, Grandmother was active physically and mentally until the age of 80 years, when she suffered a stroke of paralysis, although she lived several years longer, was a social, genial nature, and a visit from Grandmother Snow was one of the joys of our childhood. As was a common practice of the time among old ladies, Grandmother smoked her pipe after each meal. In strong contrast to Grandmother Thorp's long, white clay pipe, was the short, dark one smoked by Grandmother Snow. Between the two women the contrast was a plainly marked. Grandmother Snow was short, dark, quite stooped, but quick in her movements; while Grandmother Thorp was fair, straight and slender as a girl, and very prim.

The early settlers lightened their toil by an occasional dancing party held at their houses. In winter they rode in ox sleds, but in summer they usually walked to the place where the dance was held. A fiddler played and called for the dances, and frequently displayed his dexterity by fiddling and dancing at the same time. Grandmother Snow delighted in recalling those pleasures of her younger days, and of contrasting the style of dancing of the two periods, such to the disparagement of the then "modern" dances.

William Snow married Lurilla Newcomb, and had two daughters, Louise, who married James Paisley; and Rosetta, who married Oscar Wood. William married 2nd Sally Newcomb, sister of his first wife.

Rosette and Oscar Wood had one daughter, Cora, who married Oscar Farland. Their daughter, Rosetta,married Philip Sullivan of Buffalo. They have one daughter.

Suell Snow married Maximilla Newcomb and had four children: Christallina, Emmerette, Hiram and Samantha. Christallina married Daniel Worden and had seven children: Ada, Ida, Gusta, George, Grace, Mattie and Mittie. Emmerette married George Van Sykle and had three daughters: Minnie, Maude and Eva. Hiram married Etta Darling and had four children. Samantha married Charles Darling and had one son, Glen.

Chauncey Snow married Mercy Hull and had six children. Four of the children and their mother died within two weeks time from a prevailing epidemic. A daughter, Loraine, married John Ackley and had two sons, Carl and Charles. Nathan, son of Chauncy, married Christina Kinney and had three daughters: Grace, Kate and Rena.

Orre Snow married Elizabeth Smith. Their daughter Ada married Edward Hazard, while the other daughter Mary married Thron Strickland. Orre's son, Wallace, was twice married and left a daughter Evelyn and a son, Marion.

Melvin Snow married Maria Houstin and had two children. Ella married Hiram Benedict and had one son. Clarence was twice married and had one daughter (Genevieve), who married Claud Pool and lives on the old Snow homestead.

Edward Snow married Dolly Crawford and had two daughters: Lillian who married Charles Carnahan; and Nellie, who married William Stone of Jamestown, NY.

Alvira Snow married George Watkins and had five children. Lucelia married Lafayette Weoden (?); Delos married Mary Brown; Duane died while young; Etta married Oliver Phillipps; and Merta married Charles F. Allen.

Roselia C. Snow, the youngest child of Nathan and Lura Hovey Snow, married Walter Foy Thorpe and had four daughers, May I., Lelia A., Ora l., and Addie R.


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