Biography - Wiley A. Snow

WILEY A. SNOW, who was born on an old Kentucky farm January 23, 1850, is an important member of the farming community of Vienna Township, Johnson County, where he has a well-conducted and substantially improved farm on sections 9 and 10. His father was Calvin N. Snow, who was a native of Alabama, whence he went to Kentucky when he was twelve years old with his father, William Snow, the removal being made with a wagon. The grandfather of our subject settled on a farm on his arrival at his destination, and worked hard to improve it. He finally came to Illinois, but, not contented here, sighed for his old Kentucky home, and returning to its shelter, is enjoying its comforts at the ripe old age of ninety years, while his wife, the companion of his joys and sorrows these many years, has attained the venerable age of eighty-nine.
The father of our subject had but meagre school advantages, but he had an unlimited opportunity to acquire a thorough knowledge of agriculture on his father's farm. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-two, and then took his first step toward independence, first marrying Miss Sallie Bridgeman. He went to farming on his own account on rented land, and subsequentl3' owned a farm, which he finally sold, and in 1863 left Kentucky to take up his abode in Johnson County, this State, traveling with teams. He had a little money with which to begin life anew, and had brought his tools, household furniture, etc., with him in the wagons. He first located in Goreville Township, and after farming as a renter two years, bought a farm, which he occupied two years more. Selling it, he rented land for farming purposes the ensuing four years. His next move was to Union County, whence he went two years later to Arkansas, and he is now a prosperous farmer of Faulkner County, that State, where he owns a good farm. His wife, who had encouraged and assisted him in his labors, departed this life April 1, 1891. Their marriage had been fruitful of ten children, of whom these six are living: Wiley A.; William Jasper, of Arkansas; Amanda, wife of F. D. Utley, of Arkansas; Francis J.; Thomas C.; and Julia Ann, wife of Isaac Taylor, all of Arkansas.
Wiley A. Snow, of whom we write, is the eldest of the family. His boyhood was passed on a farm, and he attended school whenever he could, applying himself diligently to his books, as he was ambitious to secure a good education. He assisted his father in caring for his farm until he was twenty years old, and then began farming for himself, working at it the ensuing two years. He then entered a general merchandise store as a clerk, and the insight that he gained into business methods while there has been of value to him in his after work. At the time of his marriage he resumed farming, carrying on operations in Goreville Township, and after the harvest removing to a place near Vienna, where he raised one crop prior to settling on his present farm on sections 9 and 10, Vienna Township, his home being on the former section. He bought a part of this place, which comprises eighty-five and three-fourth acres of land, and the remainder was inherited by his wife. It was unimproved when it came into his possession, but ho has made of it one of the finest farms in the vicinity — placing the land under admirable tillage, erecting a neat dwelling house and other needed buildings, and otherwise increasing its value. He is methodical, thrifty and industrious in the management of his farming interests, and is very well-to-do as the result of his untiring work. The people among whom he lives hold him in sincere respect and esteem for his many excellent qualities of head and heart, and the Christian Church has in him a devoted working member. His estimable wife is a consistent member of the Methodist Church. In politics he is a Republican. He is interested in educational matters, and is resolved that his children shall have good educations, keeping them in school whenever it is in session.
The maiden name of our subject's wife was Mary Ann Ridenhower, and she was born in Union County, of which her parents were pioneers, settling there in 1848, after their arrival from their old home in North Carolina. Her father, who died in September, 1869, was a farmer, and had held the office of County Surveyor for two years. His widow is still living. The following is recorded of her nine children: Otto L., who was in the army, died in 1868; Pernina Artemisia married Milton Howe, and died near Reynoldburgh; Erastus K. lives in Texas; Mary Ann is the wife of our subject; Harris M. is a resident of Vienna; Carrie L., who died in Simpson Township, was the wife of John L. Mount; Adda May is the wife of Alvis Berry, of Equality, Saline County; Rob Roy is a resident of Vienna; and Fleta M. is the wife of James Gibson, of Goreville.
Four children complete the pleasant home circle of our subject and his wife, namely: Norman T., Herman, Lloyd and Bernard. Two were called hence by early death: Homer, who died at the age of seven years; and Henry Calvin, who was thirteen months old when he died.

Extracted 08 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, page 123.

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