PETER SNYDERS. Almost every known country has contributed energetic and enterprising citizens to the United States, the natural advantages and freedom of the States attracting attention far and wide. Since the landing of the "Mayflower" many years ago, this has been the case, and each succeeding year adds to the number who come from their native land to join the band of free American citizens.
Mr. Snyders numbers among this class, and is a native of Gelderrend, Holland, where he was born November 28, 1826. He commenced working on his father's farm at the early age of eleven years, and was hired out by his father to assist in the support of the family. He continued to make his home in Holland until 1858, at which time he came with his wife and four children to America. Setting sail from Havre de Grace, he landed in New Orleans after a voyage of forty-five days, and after landing came direct to Calhoun County, being at the time of his arrival $180 in debt for money borrowed to pay his passage.
Our subject began life in Calhoun County by working out by the day for a time, but finally leased a tract of land which was very wild, and this he proceeded to improve. In 1860 in company with another man, he purchased the eighty-acre tract which he now occupies. At the time of the purchase only twenty-five acres of the land was cleared, the other being covered with timber and brush. Mr. Snyders built a house and at once entered upon a successful career as a farmer. He had always been very industrious and has the good judgment essential to successful business transactions. In a short time he bought out the interest of the other heirs, and has continued from time to time to add to his estate until at the present time he owns three hundred and forty acres of fine land all in one body. On another page of this volume the reader will find a view of the pleasant homestead of our subject.
Mr. Snyders was married in 1850 to Miss Henrietta Vanarker, who was also born in Gelderrend, Holland. They have six children living, namely: Gerhart, Anton, Gilbert, John, Henrietta and Mary. The family are one and all members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Our subject's father, Anton Snyders, was born in Holland as was also his father, Peter Snyders, the grandfather of our subject. They both lived and died in their native land, and the former was always actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. And thus we see on every side children inheriting the industry of their parents, and taking up the occupations to which they were trained in childhood, a fact that should impress upon every one the great necessity for such lives as will serve as a shining light to the younger members of society, who will soon become acquainted with the busy mercantile world. Every day adds to or detracts from a man's worth, and happy is he who can look back upon a life well and profitably spent, and remember how at various times he helped not only himself, but others as well.
Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 646-648
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