Velasco  R.  Snodgrass

          Velasco Snodgrass  was born in Moral township, Shelby county, February 7, 1857, the son of  Benjamin and  Sarah (Leonard) Snodgrass.
          Benjamin Snodgrass was born in Sugar Creek township, Hancock county, one-half mile wouth of New Palestine, April 15, 1831, and died at the home of his son, Velasco R., in April, 1878, at the age of forty-seven years.  He was the son of  Benjamin, Sr., and  Lorena (Evans) Snodgrass.  Benjamin Snodgrass, Sr., came from Kentucky to Indiana about 1830 and took over a part of the old  Mernon  [Murnan?]  farm, south of New Palestine, which had been entered as a government tract.  This place contained one hundred and twenty acres of virgin timber and Benjamin Snodgrass, Sr., made his home in what was then a wilderness.  His efforts were cut short by his early death, which occurred late in 1830 or early in 1831.  His widow, five children, four boys and one girl, continued to live on the old homestead until the death of Mrs. Snodgrass.  It was on this old homestead the Benjamin Snodgrass, Jr., the father of the subject of this sketch, was born and grew to manhood.  He experienced all the hardships of the early pioneer life.  He was married at the age of nineteen to a  Miss Roseberry  and to this union were born two children:  one, a girl, who died in infancy, and the other,  Elwood,  who lives at the present time in Iowa.  Benjamin Snodgrass, Jr., was married, secondly, to  Sarah Leonard,  who was born in North Carolina on April 14, 1852, and who was the daughter of  John A. and Lavina (Curry) Leonard, both of North Carolina.  There were likewise pioneers of Sugar Creek township [Hancock County].  Their old homestead is in the south part of Sugar Creek township, where  Homer Leonard  now resides.  Sarah Leonard, who was the mother of the subject of this sketch, was one of thirteen children, all deceased except Homer,  Melissa  and  Sheppard.  After the first marriage of Benjamin Snodgrass, he started to farm for himself on forty acres which he at that time owned and which is now a part of the  William Lantz  farm.  After his second marriage, he and his brother bought a farm in Moral township, Shelby county, and there he resided for six or seven years.  In the fall of 1864 he moved to a farm two and one-half miles southeast of New Palestine, where he bought an eighty-acre tract.  Here he spent the remainder of his life.  This place had only a small log house and barn and about thirty acres of cleared land.  He died here in 1878 at the age of forty-seven.  His wife survived him by about ten years.  She died in June, 1887, at the age of fifty-seven years.
          It was to this place where he now resides that Velasco Snodgrass, the subject of this sketch came with his parents, as a boy of seven years.  He spent the balance of his childhood and youth here and attended the old Gates school.  His first teacher in Shelby county was  Sarah Cunningham  and his first teacher in Hancock county was  Hoppy McDougal.  He remained on the old home place until he was twenty-four years of age.  On November 3, 1881, he was married to  Diza Smith,  who was born in Moral township, Shelby county, April 4, 1857, the daughter of  James H. and  Nancy (Emmons) Smith,  both of whom were natives of Maryland and came to Shelby county in the early pioneer days.  The Smiths settled in Shelby county and the Emmons in Hancock county.  The former had thirteen children, eleven of whom still survive, and Diza Smith, the wife of the subject of this sketch, was the tenth in order of birth.  After his marriage, Velasco R. Snodgrass rented his father-in-law's farm in Shelby county for two years.  He then moved back to his old home place, where he has since resided.  After his mother's death he bought out the other heirs and became the sole owner of the home place.  He has continued to improve the place by improving his residence, which now contains eight rooms, and his barn, which is now thirty-six by fifty feet.  He has also erected a fine stock barn and a double corncrib and other building in keeping with the surroundings.  in 1910 he bought forty-acres one mile northeast of the home place and for this he paid one hundred and fifteen dollars per acre, and in 1914 he bought forty acres more adjoining this tract, for which he paid one hundred and fifty dollars per acre.
          Velasco R. Snodgrass and wife are the parents of the following children:  Clarence, who is married to  Nannie Tucker  and who resides in Sugar creek township and who is the father of two children,  Agnes  and  Frances;  James H.,  Ira,  Carrie,  the latter three all at home.  Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Snodgrass had five children, two boys and three girls:  Velasco, who is the subject of this sketch;  Xenis, who died at the age of nineteen years;  Levina, who died at the age of two;  Marie, who is the wife of  Marshall Bussel, who resides at Morristown;  Esther, who is the wife of  Albert Stone  and who resides in Morristown, Indiana.
          Velasco R. Snodgrass is a Democrat in politics.  He has served as township trustee of Sugar Creek township from 1905 to 1909.  He is one of Hancock county's well-known and substantial citizens.  His standing in this community is shown by the offices which he has held and of other opportunities which he felt compelled to decline.  It goes without saying that he enjoys the respect of his fellow citizens and that he is a man of sterling character.
History of Hancock County, Indiana:  Its People, Industries and Institutions, George J. Richman, B. L., 1916, Federal Publishing Co., Inc., Indianapolis, pages 1003-1005.

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