Elmore W. Snyder is one of the substantial citizens whose sound business judgment, energy and ability as a financier has helped to give Leavenworth its high standing among the cities of the West. He was born in Wayne county, New York, Nov. 30, 1850, being the oldest son of Col. James W. and Sarah A. (O'Neill) Snyder, both natives of Wayne county. James Snyder was a farmer, but at the call for volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in the Ninth New York artillery, and was elected captain of Company A. He took part in various engagements, among them those of Cedar Creek and Winchester, and served until the close of the war, having been commissioned colonel for gallantry in action.
Elmore W. Snyder received his education at Union Seminary and soon after leaving school accepted a position as bookkeeper with a manufacturing firm in Rochester, N. Y. In 1876 he determined to go west and located in Illinois, but two years later removed to Washington county, Kansas, where, with his brother, in 1878, he organized the first banking house of Clifton, under the firm name of Snyder Brothers. In 1879 this firm established the Bank of Clifton, with F. W. Snyder as president, which position he retained for a number of years, this bank afterward being reorganized as the First National Bank of Clifton. Mr. Snyder removed to Leavenworth in 1883, and became a member of the firm of Snyder & Denton, grain merchants. The business grew so rapidly that within a short time he was forced to dispose of his interests in Clifton in order to devote all his time to business in Leavenworth. During his partnership with Mr. Denton the firm built the Kansas Central Elevator, which has become one of the industrial landmarks of Leavenworth. In 1888 the Manufacturers' National Bank of Leavenworth was organized, with Mr. Snyder as president, and which position he has since filled. This institution was located in the Wulfenkuler Building until 1910, when they purchased the Masonic Building, at the corner of Delaware avenue and Fourth street. After remodeling this building and equipping their banking offices with the most modern fixtures and one of the most substantial bank vaults in the state, they moved to their new location in the fall of 1910. Mr. Snyder has not confined himself to banking entirely, for it was through his efforts that the plan of building a bridge across the Missouri river at Leavenworth was again taken up and agitated. In 1892 he interested Vinton Stillings in the idea and a company was formed, known as the Leavenworth Terminal Railway & Bridge Company, with a capital stock of $600,000. Mr. Snyder was president for seventeen years, and he and Mr. Stillings were the principal stockholders of the company. A steel bridge, 1,010 feet in length, was erected and opened for the public Jan. 1, 1894. Over this bridge three railroads were able to enter the city: The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and the Chicago & Great Western. In addition to the bridge the company built a terminal depot and store house, for the accommodation of passengers and freight. The success of the enterprise, which was one of great magnitude, shows the good judgment, energy and ability of the men who conceived the idea. Mr. Snyder is president of the Home Riverside Coal Company, which owns and operates three mines, employing over 700 men. He is also a member of the State Bankers' Association, and was its vice-president in 1898. Business interests have prevented Mr. Snyder taking an active part in politics. He has always been a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and has served as chairman of the county central committee. He was president of the city council one year and represented the first ward in the council four years. The nomination for mayor of Leavenworth, which was tendered him, was declined, but his interest in educational matters induced him to become a member of the board of education. In 1896 he was the Republican nominee for the state senate, and though opposed by a Fusion ticket, he came within 130 votes of being elected. While living in Rochester, N. Y., he joined the Masonic order, and is now connected with Leavenworth Lodge, No. 2, Free and Accepted Masons; Leavenworth Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Leavenworth Commandery, No. 1, Knights Templar; and Abdallah Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the American Order of United Workmen.
In 1877 Mr. Snyder married Fannie M. Benson, a daughter of Lafayette Benson, a merchant of Brandon, Vt., who subsequently removed to Gardner, Ill., where he died. Mrs. Snyder was educated at the Evanston Female Academy, Evanston, Ill. She takes an active interest in club work, is a member of the Art League and was one of the women who assisted in the organization of the Leavenworth Library Association, and was president of that organization at the time the Carnegie library was built. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder have two sons: Charles E., who is the cashier of the Merchants' National Bank of Leavenworth, and has served as representative in the lower house of the state legislature, and Ira Benson, who is one of the leading merchants of Leavenworth. The family are members of St. Paul's Episcopal church.Pages 789-790 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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