One of the very early settlers of the Solomon valley is Phoebe Snyder, a native of Pennsylvania. She went with her parents to Indiana when but seven years of age and grew to womanhood in the town of Frankfort. Her father, John Murfin, was born near Liverpool, England, in 1802, emigrated to America and settled in Pennsylvania in 1834. One year later he was married to Permelia Sanders. He was a shoemaker by trade and after moving to Frankfort he owned and operated a boot and shoe store in connection with a factory. The Murfin ancestry were nearly all tillers of the soil. Mrs. Snyder's father was twice married. His first wife died in England, leaving two children, who remained with their grandparents near Liverpool. The Sanders were early settlers of Pennsylvania and later of Indiana, where Mrs. Snyder's grandparents located in the early 'thirties and cleared their land when wild beasts roamed the forests. Her father died May 31, 1858, at Frankfort, Indiana, and her mother December 30, 1886. Mrs. Snyder is the eldest of eight children, three of whom are living: Jedduthen, proprietor of a chair factory in Austin, Indiana, Elizabeth, deceased at the age of eleven years; Catherine, the widow of James Davis, of Scottsburg, Indiana; Sarah died at the age of three years; Marion died in infancy; William died at the age of thirty-three years, near Austin, Indiana, leaving a wife and two children; Permelia Alice, the deceased wife of William Faulkner, died at the age of thirty years, leaving two children.
Mrs. Snyder was married to Captain H.C. Snyder in Frankfort, Indiana, December 24, 1854. He first enlisted in the Thirty-ninth Indiana Infantry, and was commissioned lieutenant of that company. In his second enlistment he was promoted to captain of the Eighth Indiana Cavalry. He was wounded twice and disabled for a short period each time, but served all through the war. When he entered the service Captain and Mrs. Snyder owned a residence and were living at Austin, Indiana, but during his absence Mrs. Snyder had traded the property and moved on to a farm. They sold the farm in 1866 and emigrated overland to Kansas with their family of five children. They were preceded by H.H. Spaulding, who wrote back telling his Indiana friends of the beautiful valley he had found, the "Eden of the world," its natural resources and great possibilities, which resulted in Captain Snyder and five other men with their families seeking homes on the boundless prairies of Kansas. Of this little company of emigrants Mrs. Snyder and her children are the only ones living in the community. A part of the band sought other places of residence, some became disheartened and returned to their former homes and some have gone to the unknown realms of the "great beyond." Captain Snyder homesteaded land one-half mile west of Glasco, now owned by Garrett Davidson, but still known as the Captain Snyder farm. While Mrs. Snyder has experienced many hardships and privations, this spot marked by many sorrows, where she lived in the primitive days and often sat on the corner of their little dugout during her husband's absence, watching the night through, while her little brood slept peacefully on the inside, endeavoring to catch the outline of the savages who might be hovering near, still seems more like home to her than any other place.
The Pawnees were numerous and while pretending to be friendly Indians were often troublesome and gave cause for alarm. The outlook from the first was of a discouraging nature, though not more perhaps than in any new country, and things moved on in a monotonous channel until the Indian raid of August 11, 1868, the first in this locality and a description of which is given elsewhere in this volume. After this excitement the Snyders, with other settlers, moved to the stockade until affairs assumed a normal condition. While a new stone house was in course of erection their old domicile, built of stone with a sod roof, which was weakened by the washing down of continued rains, gave way, and, had it not been for the door casing which kept the ridge pole from giving way, Mrs. Snyder and two small children would perhaps have been severely injured. In 1872 Captain Snyder erected a one-and-a-half story house of four rooms, which was a very pretentious residence for that day and the best in the vicinity and where they lived until 1879, when they came to Glasco. They built the little cottage where Mrs. Snyder now lives in 1887.
To Captain and Mrs. Snyder ten children have been born, five of whom are living: Permelia, deceased wife of John Mann, a farmer of Cloud county and resident of Glasco (see sketch). She died August 29, 1887, leaving seven children, five of whom are living. Lewis, the oldest son, who was wounded by the Indians, is a miner of Bingham, Utah. Leonard is supposed to be dead. He went to Colorado and thence to Arizona and has not been heard from for fourteen years. Ulysses is a resident of Kansas City, and was sergeant of the police force until the Democrats were put in power. He is now following his trade - that of a painter. Ora Bell, wife of Joe Martin (see sketch). Ada, wife of Charles Pilcher (see sketch). Anna Laura died at the age of eleven years. Henry, Jr., died in infancy. Luella, wife of Charles Franks (see sketch). Arlet died in infancy.
Hattie Mann, who found a home with her grandparent, Mrs. Snyder, at the death of her mother, in 1887, is deserving of much commendation for her personal virtues and meritorious career. Having been deprived of a mother's loving care, she was thrown upon her own resources early in life, and while her grandmother assumed the duties and responsibilities of a mother to the extent of her means, she was not in a financial position to give her more than a home and the wise counsels that will follow her through all the viccisitudes of life. Miss Mann is a young woman of more than ordinary talents and intellect and excels in her chosen profession - that of teacher; is now engaged on her third term. She is not only cultured and refined but possesses an amiable disposition and many excellent personal qualities.
Mrs. Snyder is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and lives her religion daily. She is also a member and active worker of the Woman's Relief Corps and a woman ever ready to promote the happiness or welfare of her friends and neighbors.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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