images.I have previously recommended “The Saga of Poor Tom Cover,” a book written by Dan Thrapp about my 3rd great uncle, Thomas Wells Cover. I recently read the book “Discovery Men” by Gary R. Forney. It tells the story of the six “discovery men” that discovered gold in the Alder Gulch of Montana in 1863. One of those six (6) men was, of course, Tom Cover. For anyone interested in the Tom Cover story, this is an excellent book that includes a lot of information about Tom Cover.

As I have read these two books, the one thing that really strikes me about Tom Cover, above and beyond his many exciting adventures in leading parties of miners through wilderness areas, fighting Indians, leading a vigilante group and prospecting for gold, is what a savvy and successful business man he was. Tom and the other “discovery men” each staked out two mining claims 100 feet long in the Alder Gulch. As Forney notes in his book, Tom and Henry Edgar were the first of the “discovery men” to appreciate that the potential wealth of the Fairweather Mining District was much deeper than the dirt and gravel of Alder Creek. Edgar convinced Tom and a few of the other “discovery men” to use some of their newly found wealth to open a butcher shop, which he would operate. Tom was, however, thinking on a much bigger scale.

On June 16, 1863, less than three (3) weeks after the discovery of gold in Alder Gulch, Tom Cover was one of a party of men who filed a claim on 320 acres of land to be used as a town site. That claim was filed on behalf of the “Verona Town Co.” Tom Cover was one of the first men to purchase property in the new town site, some which he bought for investment purposes. Each of the six “discovery men” had a street named in their honor in the new town, which was named Virginia City. To this day, there is still a street in Virginia City named after Tom Cover.

The focus of Tom Cover’s efforts quickly turned from gold mining. Forney notes in his book that ”For much of the autumn of 1863, it was mild enough in the Alder Gulch to permit the continued arrival of freight wagons on a regular basis and for the completion of winter quarters for the hundreds of miners crowding into the new camps, Tom Cover took advantage of the favorable weather and his business acumen, to exploit the virtually limitless opportunities provided by the rapidly developing Gulch communities. Drawing upon his experience from lumbering in Minnesota, Cover formed a partnership with Perry (“Bud”) McAdow and established a saw mill along Granite Creek. The new partners soon followed this enterprise by also opening a lumberyard in Virginia City. The exploding demand for lumber to build shops, saloons, homes, sluice boxes, and coffins quickly made Cover and McAdow two of the most wealthy and influential businessmen of the area.” Tom and his partner initially made huge profits in the lumber business as they had no competition and their business soon employed twenty (20) men with “sixty yoke of oxen skidding saw logs from the great forests to the mill, bouncing them down the spray of gulches that feathered out from the plant into the mountains.” As Thrapp notes in his book, “(f)rom the outset, the business was a gold mine.” However, competing lumber mills sprang up. Eventually, Tom and his partner sold their lumber business, having reaped considerable profits after seven (7) months.

On March 7, 1864, Henry Edgar sold his mining claims to his discovery partners, Cover, Fairweather and Hughes, for $7,000. On the same day, he sold his one-quarter share in the butcher shop, the house and lot upon which it was located, a corral and eleven head of cattle to Tom Cover for an additional $1,000 in gold.

A number of the “discovery men” left Virginia City within a year with net earnings of $30,000 to $40,000 in gold dust. Forney points out in his book that while such a sum seems respectable but not especially impressive in today’s times, each of the “discovery men” was essentially a multi-millionaire in present day terms. To put it in perspective, in 1864, the level of wealth realized by the discovery men had much greater significance . In 1864, a town laborer typically earned about $1 per day and many farm families never saw $50 cash in a year. At that same time, enlisted men for the Union in the Civil War made $13 monthly.

Forney accurately points out in his book that Tom Cover was the discovery man who had the “Midas touch.” “ In addition to his mining claims and the enormously successful sawmill and lumberyard that he and Bud McAdow had established, Cover was realizing huge profits from the sale of city lots in Virginia City. Ever alert to new opportunities, however, Cover took the advice of his friend, John Bozeman, and made a thorough inspection of the Gallatin Valley. Without the same sense of urgency as when he had last ridden through the area, Cover took time to carefully consider the possibilities of the valley and the potential of establishing a settlement. Cover was deeply impressed by the agricultural potential of the broad valley and began to file claims on several parcels of land—where he intended to grow his own gold. By mid-summer of 1864, Cover and his partner, Bud McAdow, were actively supervising the construction of a large gristmill in the northeast section of a bustling new settlement in the Gallatin Valley.” The new town, now known as Bozeman, was named “Bozeman City” and Tom Cover was elected Clerk of Gallatin County.

In early September of 1864, Tom and his remaining partners sold four of their discovery claims for $5,500. This was apparently a formal dissolution of the original partnership between the remaining “discovery men.” Tom was not done, however, buying gold mining claims. In Forney’s book, it is noted that Tom had filed new mining claims on 12 sites beginning in May of 1864. Tom was previously among those who had formed the Eagle Mining Company and he was also a founding partner of the Montana Quartz Mining Company. By late 1864, Tom had sold his mining claims in the Alder Gulch area. It was reported in 1884 in the Press and Horticulturist that Tom sold his Alder Gulch claims for $75,000, a very significant sum at the time.

In the September 17, 1864 issue of the Montana Post, it was reported that Tom Cover had sold his lumber business in Virginia City, that he had resigned his post as Gallatin County Clerk and that he was returning to Ohio to obtain equipment for the grist mill that he and Bud McAdow were building. While in Ohio over the winter of 1864-1865, Tom was able not only to find the grist mill equipment that he needed but he also met Mary Hess, the comely daughter of Daniel Hess, a wealthy judge in Columbus.

Tom returned to Bozeman in late May of 1865, accompanied by his brother Jason Jerome Cover. They arrived in Bozeman by horseback, having ridden for sixteen days after leaving Fort Bridger where they came by stagecoach. Jason was the businessman of the family and was in the mercantile business in Johnstown, Ohio. Jason came to Montana to investigate the stories he had heard from Tom and determine whether a profit could be made selling farm equipment. Jason had arranged for farm equipment, including mowing machines, plows and reapers, to be shipped to Virginia City and he planned to sell or rent them to those interested. Apparently, there were not enough prospective customers as Jason eventually turned the machinery over to Tom for his disposal and returned to Ohio, never to visit Montana again. By the time, Tom returned to Bozeman in 1865, the 3 ½ story mill building on the East Fork of the Gallatin River was completed. In September of 1865, the Montana Post announced that the grist mill was in full operation and was so successful that Cover would be returning to the States to purchase additional milling equipment. The Montana Post also reported that Cover was a thoroughly energetic man and had himself planted 150 acres of grain.

At some point in the fall of 1865, Tom Cover was joined in Bozeman by his younger brother, Perry Daniel Cover. Perry had served for the Union in the Civil War and had been captured by Stonewall Jackson’s army at Harper’s Ferry before being paroled. It is unknown how long Perry stayed in Montana but he later joined Tom in Riverside, California where he lived until his death. Tom returned to Ohio again during the winter of 1865-1866. While his stated purpose was to purchase additional milling equipment, he likely had another purpose in mind as well. Tom arrived in Ohio in mid-December and within two weeks had a wife. Tom wed Mary Hess in Columbus on New Year’s Eve. They were united in matrimony by Mary’s father who signed the marriage certificate as “Elder Daniel Hess.” Tom and his new bride then embarked on a lavish honeymoon on the East Coast with stops in New York City, where Tom called at a brokerage house, and Washington D.C., where Tom’s old partner was the Territorial Delegate to Congress from Montana.

Late in March of 1866, Tom and Mary reached St. Louis on the return trip to Montana. From St. Louis, they took the riverboat Bighorn from St. Louis to Fort Benton, a 2,317 mile journey that took seventy-one (71) days. Tom and his new bride had eighteen fellow passengers on the sternwheeler on this trip up the Missouri river. After reaching Fort Benton, they had a six day stagecoach ride to Bozeman. The new milling equipment purchased by Tom was transported by the riverboat and then overland from Fort Benton to Bozeman. By all accounts, Tom was a pillar of the Bozeman community, donating $100 to help establish a Methodist Church. Tom was also a founding member of the city’s Masonic lodge.

While living in Bozeman, Tom Cover had more than a few business associates, one of which was John Bozeman, who the town was named after. While their project never came to fruition, the Gallatin County Commissioners granted Tom and John Bozeman a charter to establish a ferry service across the Yellowstone River.

For reasons that are now unclear but perhaps related to continuing Indian raids in the Montana territory, growing competition from new gristmills in the Gallatin valley and/or the harsh Montana winters that Mary likely did not enjoy, Tom began looking towards Southern California in 1868 and opportunities that existed there for silk farming. By the autumn of 1868, Tom and Mary Cover were living in Southern California in what is now known as Riverside. Tom began acquiring large tracts of land that he intended to use for his silkworm farms. Unfortunately, Tom’s plans to establish silkworm farms came to an end in 1869 when his partner and silk production expert died.

Tom then went to Plan “B,” and found a way to utilize his large land holdings. Tom became a director of the Southern California Colony Association and served as the superintendent of a large project to build an irrigation canal system. The canal system provided an economic boost to agriculture in the area and the city of Riverside began to quickly develop. Tom sold some of his land holdings as the area flourished and continued to grow. However, Tom retained large tracts of land and, together with his brother, Josiah (“Si”) Cover and Samuel McCoy, introduced the navel orange to California.

Forney’s book, “The Discovery Men,” indicates that Tom Cover became a successful rancher, citrus grower and community leader in Riverside. “Between 1869 and 1884, Tom continued to enhance his financial wealth through investments that included land development and the planting of extensive citrus orchards.” Tom remained very active with the Southern California Colony Association and was not only a founder but became a leading citizen in the new community of Riverside, which was formally established on December 14, 1870. Tom built a beautiful home in Riverside known as “Mountain View,” which was referred to as a “thirty thousand dollar mansion.” Tom’s role in establishing Riverside was recognized with a street in the new city named in his honor. At the time of his disappearance in 1884 on a prospecting trip into the desert in an effort to find Peg-Leg Smith’s legendary lost gold mine, Tom was, by any yardstick, a very wealthy and influential man in Riverside.



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Jacintha CookOne of the branches of our family on the Lucas side is the Phillips family. My 3rd great-grandfather is Thomas M. Phillips. His daughter was Sara Ann Phillips. Sara married Isaac Jerome Lucas, the father of Thomas Lucas. Thomas was the father of Marion Lucas Snyder, who married Ora Otis Snyder, Sr. The first wife of Thomas M. Phillips was Sara Hetrick. After Sara died in 1851, Thomas married Jacintha Cook in 1852. Thomas died in 1886. She died on November 4, 1894 at the age of 81.

I do not know a whole lot about Jacintha. She is buried in Shauck Cemetery. I found her obituary—it was very brief— but what I found to be very interesting was that she was born in “the block house in Mt. Vernon in September of 1813, where her parents had fled for safety during an Indian raid.”

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Rev.DanielCover (2)Lydia Stevenson

Rev. Daniel and Lydia (Stevenson) Cover were the parents of 11 children, Thomas H.Cover, Jason J. Cover, Upton Aquilla Cover, Josiah S. Cover, Thomas W. Cover (our gold miner ancestor), Mary Margaret Cover, Martha Ellen Cover, Elizabeth Jane Cover, William H. Cover, Perry D. Cover and John W. Cover. Mary Margaret Cover married George Washington Biddle. One of their children was Martha Ellen Biddle who married Henry Albert Snyder, father of Ora O.Snyder.

Lydia Stevenson was born July 27, 1803. Lydia was the daughter of Josiah Stevenson and Margaret Wells. Margaret was born in England. Josiah also may have been born in England. His father was Henry Stevenson, who came from England.

Daniel Cover was born in August 23, 1801 in Westminister, Maryland. He died September 23,1855. Daniels’s parents were Yost Cover and Mary Kemp. Daniels’s grandfather was Daniel Kober, who immigrated from Germany to Philadelphia in 1748, and whose name was anglicized to “Cover” in civil records by 1860.

In 1831, Westminister, Maryland, then home to Daniel and Lydia, had 94 houses, 70 qualified voters, 97 slaves and local businesses included five taverns, four tannerys, three cooper shops or barrel factories, one carriage maker, a brewer, seven general stores, three saddlers and a tinsmith.

Daniel and Lydia were married on April 2, 1822. Daniel and Lydia came to Ohio from Fredrick, Maryland. They moved to Ohio in 1836, first to Seneca County and then to Perry Township, Richland County. Daniel and Lydia are buried in Shauck Cemetery. Daniel and Lydia had an 80 acre farm on Biddle Road between Johnsville and Bellville.

While still in Maryland, Daniel “embraced religion” in the United Brethren in Christ Church in 1833. This church originated in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area and developed under the preaching of Phillip William Otterbein, who Otterbein College was named after, and Martin Boehm. United Brethren understandings were rooted in Mennonite origins with Lutheran touches and strong affinities to the Methodist church. Daniel later became a minister after he and Lydia moved their family to Ohio.

In 1849 ,Daniel, George Nickey and Elah Shauck, as trustees for a United Brethren in Christ congregation, paid $30 for a lot in Johnsville on which to erect a sanctuary. The durable brick sanctuary of the Johnsville United Brethren in Christ church, was completed in 1849 at a cost of $1,237 and the church was formally organized in 1850. Daniel Cover donated the walnut lumber for the church pews. That church building still exists today and is now known as the Johnsville Grace United Methodist Church, the United Brethren in Christ church having merged with the United Methodist church in 1968. Located right next to the church at that time was the residence of Henry Albert and Martha Ellen Biddle Snyder. In later years, someone purchased their home and moved it to a different location.

Daniel was ordained an Elder in the Johnsville United Brethren in Christ church on September 23, 1850.In that church, the office of “Elder” was equivalent to that of minister. As an Elder or minister in the Sandusky, Ohio conference of the United Brethren in Christ church, Daniel was a “circuit rider” and traveled by horseback, preaching in various churches. In addition to tending to his own farm, he preached quite extensively in Morrow and Richland Counties, almost every Saturday and Sunday without remuneration. He organized five churches in addition to his own. The 1880 history of Richland County also listed Daniel as having been one of the leading members of the Clear Fork United Brethren In Christ Church, which was organized in 1852,

After Daniel went to his reward on September 23, 1855, the Dayton Religious Telescope noted that Daniel had “a most excellent and amiable spirit. He was meek, gentle and just…..As a steward, he was faithful and blameless. As a teacher, he was able, by sound doctrine, to exhort and to convince the gain-sayer…..Brother Cover is gone, but gone to enjoy sweet rest in the calm of heaven.”

By his will, Daniel left most of his estate to Lydia, instructing her to “school the minor children.” To each of his daughters, he bestowed “an outfit consisting of a cow, a bed and bedding, cooking stove, bureau, table and set of chairs,” while to each of his three minor sons he left a horse to be given to them when they reached 21.


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IMG_554Former location of Odd Fellows lodge in Johnsville.

Someone asked me once how I decide what to put on this blog. The short answer is that I put on this blog only information that really interests me. I have lots of research about family history that I have never finalized or reviewed. I have dozens of articles that I have started but not finished—those articles more or less have fallen ino a veritable “black hole” due to a lack of interest or time and may or may not resurface at some point. This post is an example of a draft started long ago that somehow pulled itself out of the “black hole” and got finished.

My research regarding Thomas W. Cover and Perry D. Cover indicates that they were both members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Riverside, California. The Odd Fellows instituted a lodge in Riverside on April 26, 1879 with thirteen charter members. By the way, Thomas Cover was also a charter member of the separate Evergreen Lodge No. 259, F. & A. M. in Riverside, which was likewise established in 1879.

There previously was an Odd Fellows lodge in Johnsville and it is my understanding that my grandfather, Ora Snyder, was a member of that lodge for a time until he moved to Lexington. The photograph above depicts the building in Johnsville in which the Odd Fellows lodge was previously located. I was curious about both how the Odd Fellows lodge came to be formed and also about the history of the Odd Fellows lodge in Johnsville.

In 17th Century England, people were facing a lot of challenges. Life was tough, often lawless and desperate. Medicine was still crude and in a primitive stage. Life expectancy was about 45 to 50 years. There was lots of sickness, orphaned kids, widowed mothers and many people could not afford to pay for a decent burial for their loved ones.

So, ordinary people from different trades and walks of life grouped together as brothers and sisters and contributed some of their hard-earned wages to a common fund which they could use for unfortunate times such as sickness, losing a job and even death. They would work together to help each other and the unfortunate families back on their feet, whether it was rebuilding a barn that had burned or putting in a new crop after a devastating season. This group came to be known as “Odd Fellows” because it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. It was believed that they were “an odd bunch of fellows” who would behave in such a selfless and seemingly impractical fashion.

Today ,the Odd Fellows society continues to exist with nearly 10,000 lodges in approximately 26 countries consisting of men and women who unite together for mutual aid and conviviality, providing social and practical support for each other and their communities.

There is, however, no longer an Odd Fellows lodge in either Riverside or Johnsville. While Johnsville always was and still is a small town, it had many lodges at one time. The Odd Fellows outlived other Johnsville lodges, including Justus Paxson Post No. 625, a G.O.P. post, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodsmen of America. The Odd Fellows lodge was organized in Johnsville in 1871. One of the charter members was Asher Craven, one of our ancestors in the Phillips branch of our family. The Johnsville Odd Fellows lodge moved into the brick building depicted in the above photo in approximately 1900. From what I can tell, the Odd Fellows lodge in Johnsville closed in the 1970’s. I suspect that we had many other ancestors in the Johnsville area who were “Odd Fellows.”



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IMG_1532 (2) On August 14, 1945, it was announced that Japan had unconditionally surrendered to the Allies, effectively bringing World War II to an end. Many communities in our country celebrated the end of hostilities by having parades or massive celebrations.  Bellville was no exception. The photo above was taken at the End of  World War II parade held  in Bellville in August of 1945. Notably, this photo depicts the Snyder Funeral Home horse-drawn hearse. This photo was taken at the corner of Main and Ogle Streets and you will see in the background a long gone Mobil gas station. According to my Dad, there was an effigy of the Japanese emperor in the back of the hearse. We don’t know who was driving the hearse but it is not believed to be Poppo (Ora Otis Snyder, Sr.).  The original of this photo is framed in the Bellville Historical Society Museum.

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IMG_6403   I went to a funeral yesterday morning in Lexington. Since it was Veterans Day, I swung by the grave of Simon Poland in Lexington Cemetery. Simon was the father of Cora Poland Lucas, who was the mother of Marion Lucas Snyder, the wife of Ora Otis Snyder, Sr. As readers of this blog will know from my prior posts about Simon, he served in the Civil War in the 10th Ohio Cavalry and was captured by the Confederates in a battle in South Carolina in 1865, spending the balance of the war in the prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, Georgia.

The bottom of  the monument for Simon and his wife Susan Stull Poland, contains the inscription “God’s Will—Not Ours–Be Done.” Their monument is located in the back of the cemetery right on the driveway closest to the river.

I have a good friend who is a very prolific author of Civil War books. He plans to t ell the story of Simon Poland in a new book he is working on. In no way will the book be about Simon and I would anticipate that he will only get a brief mention in the book. Nevertheless, I am excited that he will be mentioned in the book. I would like to provide my friend a photo of Simon Poland for inclusion in the book. However, I do not have any photo of Simon. I KNOW THIS IS A LONGSHOT BUT IF  ANYONE HAS ANY PHOTO OF SIMON, PREFERABLY A PHOTO OF HIM IN HIS CIVIL WAR UNIFORM, PLEASE LET ME KNOW AS I WOULD LIKE TO OBTAIN A COPY OF THE PHOTO. I can be reached at Likewise, if anyone would have any diary and.or letters from Simon, I would like to get copies of them as well.




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Bill RitchieBy  David Ritchie, Guest Blogger

Howdy y’all. Cousin Brad has asked me to write for his blog about my family’s involvement in our military and aviation.  My name is Dave Ritchie, some of you know me, but most do not.  My mother is Betty Snyder Ritchie; she married my father Bill Ritchie when dad was a naval aviation cadet in 1945.

My dad developed his love of aviation at an early age; my best recollection is 16 years old. His dad bought him his first ride with a barnstormer and after that he saved his pennies for a few rides and lessons.  Sometime after Pearl Harbor, my dad like many other young men, enlisted in our military.  He chose to pursue aviation rather than ground pounding.  Dad was just two weeks away from getting his wings of gold when Japan surrendered.  He told me that when that happened he was told we do not need you any more, go home.

When dad’s construction business grew to the extent he was performing work in Colorado, Texas, and Kansas he found a way to bring aviation into his business, he bought a small plane. This allowed him to go visit remote jobsites and be home for supper the same day.  Several of my Snyder uncles flew with my dad in the Colorado Rockies, specifically Don, Dave, Bob, and Arden

Military service and aviation skipped my generation of Ritchies. I was living in married student housing during Viet Nam.  When they drew numbers for the draft lottery I got 275, which was in the upper 1/3 and not likely to be drafted.  My brother Fred was also not drafted and my sister and youngest in the family Tim were both too young at that time.  In addition, none of my dad’s kids shared his love of or aptitude for aviation.

That brings me to my three sons. They all served in the Navy and all were or are involved in aviation.

George RitchieMy oldest son George enlisted in the navy right out of high school. He served 5 years on the USS Nimitz as an AG (weatherman).  His service on that ship included the first Gulf War.  I had a very patriotic experience on that ship.  When the ship was returning to its homeport of Bremerton, WA, after deployment to the Gulf War, I was able to join the ship in Hawaii for a Tiger Cruise to the homeport.  On the last day of the trip we entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  As we got closer to Puget Sound many people were standing on the shore waving our flag, cheering and waving at the ship.  That is an experience I will never forget.

After his discharge from the navy George worked as a real cowboy and operator of a concrete pump truck. During that period of his life he earned his private pilot license.  That got him started in aviation but he did not earn enough money to support his aviation habit.  He decided to enter Embry Riddle University where he earned his degree in Aerospace Engineering.  Upon graduation he worked for NAVAIR, mostly on unmanned aircraft.  He then moved to Spirit Air, a subcontractor to Boeing where he led a group of Russian engineers on the nose cone section of the 787.  He currently works for Airbus as a signatory engineer on fuselage repairs.

Peter RitchieMy middle son Peter had a strong desire to turn wrenches. He enlisted in the Navy right out of high school.  His navy job was AT (aviation technician).  He was assigned to an F18 squadron in Lemore, CA.  He did one deployment to the Western Pacific on the USS Kitty Hawk.  I was able to join him on a Tiger Cruise to the homeport of San Diego, CA.  Our entry into San Diego harbor was memorable, but not in the same manner as the one mentioned previously.  While entering the harbor, many small boats came along side.  Those boats were filled with young women employed at local gentlemen’s clubs.  I will leave the rest up to your imagination.  Unfortunately, a drunk driver a few months later, mother’s day, 1995, killed Peter.  That is the saddest day of my life.Phillip Ritchie

My youngest son Phillip is highly involved in military aviation as well as commercial aviation today. He did not start his military career as early in life as his brothers.  He attended Texas Tech University, earning a degree in Chemical Engineering.  Upon graduation he went to work for Phillips 66.  The high point of his time at that company was a one year tour on Alaska’s north slope where he helped start up a new unit.  The remainder of his time with Phillips 66 involved crunching numbers in a cubicle, not fun.  He had always wanted to be a pilot, but was limited in that endeavor due to the fact that he had to wear glasses to drive.  He kept trying to figure out how he could get into the military and fly.  He finally discovered that the navy would accept PRK surgery, if successful, and allow him to enter naval aviation.  He had to pay for that surgery out of his own pocket and did so.  He then entered the navy via OCS and earned his wings of gold at NAS Corpus Christi, TX.  He was assigned to VP1, Oak Harbor, WA, as a P-3 Orion pilot.  He did 2 deployments with that squadron to Okinawa.  On one of those deployments he few a mission under orders from president Bush (43) to prosecute a Chinese submarine that was harassing one of our aircraft carriers.  That mission lasted nearly 24 hours and is very unusual in peacetime.  During his time with VP1 he went on several DETS to the Middle East.  There he flew the P-3 on surveillance missions mostly at night.  During the night missions it was easy to see many types of munitions being fired at them.

Phil left the P-3 community to become a multi-engine advanced instructor pilot with VT31, back in Corpus Christi. He has been with that squadron for about 9 years and accumulated over 4,000 hours in the T44.  It is so much fun to listen to his stories about instructing.  According to him the students are trying to crash the plane and it is his job to not let them do that.  During his tenure at VT31 he volunteered to do an IA to Iraq.  During that IA he trained Iraqi pilots to fly multi engine aircraft on surveillance missions.  About 3 years ago Phil resigned from the navy and moved to the navy reserve.  He did this to become a first officer for Southwest Airline.  During the last 3 years he spent most of his time on active duty orders with VT31.  Those orders are now over and he will resume full time status with Southwest shortly.

That was a lot of information about the Ritchie branch of the Snyder family tree. I hope you enjoyed the material.  If you have questions, comments, or want to correspond, my email is


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