Biography of Snyder Brothers
Madison County, NY Biographies





Snyder Brothers, merchant millers, Bridgeport. This important and widely known family dates locally to Philip Snyder, the grandfather of the two gentlemen composing the present firm: W. J. and C. D. Snyder. Philip Snyder came from Holland and settled first near Sandlake, on the east shore of the Hudson. He was an ardent sportsman and not only delighted especially in the gentle art of fishing, but gained his livelihood in that way. After several years in that locality, during which time he married, he began to look still further toward the setting sun and with the hope. Not ungratified, of finding still more prolific and lucrative fishing grounds. It was in the autumn of 1825 that he purchased an uncleared piece of land on the shore of Oneida Lake, near the mouth of Chittenango Creek, consisting of 108 acres. Here he began the erection of a log house, which he completed the next spring, bringing his family from the canal at Kirkville by the primitive ox team, but was stricken with fever and died in the ensuing autumn. At that epoch he bore the repute of having become the wealthiest man in town. He left a large family, of whom the eldest son was John (the father of W. J. and C. D. Snyder), and of whom the youngest was Jacob, now an honored resident of Bridgeport, and whose personal memories of those early times are of much interest John Snyder was about eleven.years of age when his father settled here, and grew up to spend most of his life here, chiefly engaged in farming. In 1844 he married Elizabeth Hines, who bore him four children: W. J. Snyder, Mrs. Henrietta S. Brown of Cicero; Mrs. Cora L. Sharpe of Syracuse, and C. DeWitt Snyder, junior member of the firm. Mr. Snyder died in 1874, at sixty years of age, having accumulated a large property and also bequeathing to his children the heritage of an unspotted name. W. J. Snyder was born August 24, 1848, on the old homestead by the lake. He has remained intimately identified with the locality. Completing his education at Cazenovia, he first engaged in farming, and in 1879 became associated with C. D. Snyder in the purchase of the Bridgeport Flour Mills. itseff a historic old structure, and which is still operated with success by the brothers. Their mill is eligibly situated on Chittenango Creek, and upon the opposite side in Onondaga county, they have a large saw mill. W. J. Snyder has long been identified with public affairs in the town of Cicero, where he resides, and where he also owns several farms. Always a Republican he served a term of four years as assessor, and before vacating that office in 1890. was elected supervisor, which office he filled with much credit for the years 1890, 1891 and 1892. He has been bereaved of two wives; the first, Anna B. Crownhart, to whom he was married September 10, 1879, and who died August 1, 1881; and the second, Anna L. Johnson, married February 2, 1887, and died May 23, 1890. The younger member of the firm, Clinton De Witt Snyder, was born on the old homestead farm, October 17, 1857, and like his brother received his education at Cazenovia Seminary. Since their purchase of their milling business in 1879, he has made that his vocation. He. too, is a staunch Republican in politics, but cherishes no desire for public life. Hospitable and domestic in his tastes, his elegant home on the Main street of the village, is presided over by a wife who may trace her own ancestry lineage to the oldest local records. Her father was the late Cornelius Rector of Bridgeport. She was before marriage Mary Jane Rector, and became Mrs. Snyder December 22, 1881. It seems eminently proper to conclude this sketch with the general statement that both the brothers have always been identified with the best interests of the community and are recognized in both counties as citizens of sterling worth.

FROM:
Our County and it's people
A Descriptive and Biographical Record of
Madison County, New York
Edited by: John E. Smith
The Boston History Co., Publishers 1890


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