Andy Snyder
I thought I might do a mini-profile of one of the younger members of our family who has really distinguished himself as an architect for one of the prominent architectural firms in the country.  Andy Snyder, son of Joe and Beth Snyder,  grandson of Dick and Helen Snyder and great grandson of Ora and Marion Snyder,   is a principal/architect at NBBJ.  Andy grew up in the Traverse City, Michigan area and graduated from Cornell University in 2005.
Founded in 1943, NBBJ has locations in Beijing, Boston, Columbus, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Pune, San Francisco, Seattle and Shanghai.  Their global network of “renaissance teams” includes more than 700 researchers, strategists, nurses, architects, anthropologists, planners and interior designers who generate ideas that have a profound and lasting impact.
Andy is the leader of NBBJ’s Science and Higher Education Practice and one of the firm’s most versatile and talented architects. He also leads the firm’s San Francisco studio.  His experience in differing scales and types of projects, from small renovations to new academic buildings and campus precincts, makes him a highly versatile designer and allows him to incorporate contemporary techniques within a complex settings.
 Andy is consistently recognized for leadership across a wide spectrum of experience–including academic research and learning, health and translational science, medical education, corporate research and technology projects. A frequent presenter at national conferences, he was recently named by the Design Futures Council as one of “40 under Forty” Emerging Leaders in Design.  When he’s not working or traveling, you can find him on the golf course or in a rowing shell.

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Stones River National Battlefield Cemetery

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a holiday for honoring those men and women who have died in the service of our country. Originally known as Decoration Day, it began in 1868 when mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants decorated the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

  I recently got away for a few days and toured several Civil War battlefields in Tennessee, including the Stones River National Battlefield.  I have been able to visit most of the major Civil War battlefields. This was one that I had never been to and it was definitely on my bucket list since two of our ancestors, Lieutenant John Biddle of the 101st Ohio Infantry and William Henry Harrison Phillips of the 64th Ohio Infantry, were killed in the battle of Stones River on December 31, 1862.  See my previous posts about them.

Stones River National Battlefield is a 570 acre park located in Rutherford County on the outskirts of Murfeesboro. The Battle of Stones River was one of the bloodiest of the war. More than 3,000 soldiers were killed and nearly 16,000 more were wounded. Some of these men spent as much as seven agonizing days on the battlefield before help could reach them. The two armies sustained nearly 24,000 casualties, which was almost one-third of the 81,000 men engaged. The Battle of Stones River resulted in a strategic and well-needed Union victory.  Within the boundaries of the park is the Stones River National Cemetery where 6,850 Union soldiers are buried.

As you may recall from one of my previous posts, Thomas M. Phillips,  the father of William Henry Harrison Phillips, traveled from Morrow County to Murfeesboro to retrieve his son’s body after learning that his son had died in this battle.

Thomas Phillips learned on January 10, 1863 of William’s death and within a week, he left on a journey to Tennessee to retrieve William’s body. Thomas took a train from Crestline to Cincinnati, where he got on a steamboat for the rest of his trip. Thomas Phillips’ diary indicates that he took a steamboat to avoid being captured and taken prisoner.  The excerpts from his diary describe Thomas’ efforts to locate William’s body, his trip back to Ohio on a steamboat full of wounded Union soldiers and the eventual return of William’s body to Ohio some five (5) months later.

Thomas would have been 63 years old when he ventured to Tennessee to bring back William’s body.  As I made the six and a half hour trip from Columbus to Murfeesboro on paved highways, I thought about what a difficult journey it must have been for Thomas Phillips to travel to Tennessee in 1863. I do not know for sure but I suspect there is a good chance that Thomas, who was a farmer near Johnsville, may have never left Ohio before that trip.

William Henry Harrison Phillips was re-buried in Shauck Cemetery. Likewise, John 1Biddle’s body was ultimately returned home and he is now buried in Biddle Cemetery in Crawford County. So, as we celebrate Memorial Day,  hopefully with a picnic and/or cookout,  lets give thanks for all the men and women  who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country, including John Biddle and William Henry Harrison Phillips. Here are photos of John Biddle and William Henry Harrison Phillips.

William Henry Harrison Phillips






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jack-lemmon-9378762-1-402  The famous actor, Jack Lemmon, is related to us. Jack is a descendant of Alexis Lemmon, Sr.,  one of our ancestors. (In my first post on this blog, I featured Alexis Lemmon, Jr., a Revolutionary War soldier,  who is buried in Shauck Cemetery.  Alexis, Sr.  is my sixth  great grandfather and also was Jack’s sixth great grandfather.

John Uhler “Jack” Lemmon III was born on February 8, 1925 and died on June 27, 2001.  Lemmon was an eight time Academy Award nominee, with two wins. He starred in over 60 films, such as Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts (for which he won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple and its sequel 30 years later, The Odd Couple II, (and other frequent collaborations with Odd Couple co-star Walter Matthau), Save the Tiger (for which he won the 1973 Academy Award for Best Actor), The Out-of-Towners, The China Syndrome, Missing (for which he won Best Actor at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival), Glengarry Glen Ross, Tuesdays with Morrie, Grumpy Old Men, and Grumpier Old Men.

Lemmon was born  in a suburb of Boston.  He was the only child of Mildred Burgess LaRue (née Noel) and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a donut  company.  His paternal grandmother was from an Irish immigrant family. During his acceptance of his lifetime achievement award, he stated that he knew he wanted to be an actor from the age of eight. Lemmon graduated from Harvard. He served in the Navy on the aircraft carrier, Lake Champlain, during World War II.

After college,  Lemmon took up acting professionally, working on radio, television and Broadway. He  studied acting and became  enamored of the piano, learning to play it on his own. He could also play the harmonica, guitar, organ, and the double bass.

He was married twice and his son, Chris Lemmon, was also an actor. Lemmon was well-known for being an outstanding “celebrity” golfer, who frequently played in pro-am tournaments. He is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park in Westwood, California, near his friend and frequent co-star, Walter Matthau.


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33444095_1437682818Thomas  Poland was the father of  Simon Poland, who was the father of  Cora Idella Poland,  who was  the mother of Marion Idella Lucas, who married Ora Otis Snyder, Sr. He was born on December 16, 1816 and died on February 17, 1896 in Indiana. He  has been described at different times as a carpenter, farmer and/or fruit farmer.  Here is a biographical  sketch about him that appeared in the Morrow County History of 1880.

“THOMAS POLAND, farmer, P.O., Lexington, was born Dec. 16, 1816 in Franklin Co., Penn.; his parents were natives of that state–his father , John Poland of Franklin Co. and his mother, Rachel (Cookston) Poland of Adams Co. His father was a farmer by occupation, and in 1832 he moved to Richland Co., where he lived four years. He then bought eighty acres of “school land” in this  county, on which he lived for more  than thirty years, when he sold it and moved to  Indiana. At the  age of  17, Thomas commenced working  at the carpenter trade which he followed for thirty years. When 19 he walked  to the city of  Baltimore and  returned as far as Pennsylvania, where he worked during the summer, and then came home.

He was the first man in this part of the  county to pack and ship apples; he was  engaged  in the produce business several years, and  in the lumber  trade some five years, during which he owned a portable sawmill a short  time. In all these ventures, he has been eminently successful, being now worth near twenty-four  thousand dollars.

He is a member of the I.O.O.F., and has been a charter member of the Patrons of Husbandry, of  which he is a lecturer; he also helped organize  a Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and is one of  the Directors. He was  married in July, 1838 to Mary, daughter of Lewis and Catherine Grimes. She was born Jan. 18, 1815, in Lancaster Co., Pa. To  them eight children were born; six are living–Simon, Mary A.,  Alexander, Hannah J,  Thomas J. and W. Scott. All are  married and the oldest three sons served in the late  war. ”

Around 1880, Thomas and his wife moved to Indiana  with their son Alexander.
They first located in Kosciusko County near where Thomas’  father John Poland and his youngest brother Jesse lived, also near where his daughter Mary, wife of George Tuckey, lived. In 1890 Thomas moved to South Whitley, Whitley County, Indiana. One of Thomas and Mary’s sons was Thomas Jefferson Poland, named after our country’s third president. Their son, Winfield Scott Poland, was named after Winfield Scott, a famous United States Army General and unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1852 for the Whig party.  Thomas is buried in South Whitley Cemetery, South Whitley, Indiana.

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The following article, entitled Bellville Blackout Was Considered Successful Last Wednesday Night,  appeared in the Bellville Star on May 27, 1943 during World War II. I found this article interesting and thought I would share it with you. Looking back, it seems kind of silly that anyone thought that Bellville or Richland County would be a strategic  target for Japanese or German bombers. It seems even more silly looking back that anyone thought that Japanese or German bombers could reach targets in Ohio but I guess that this was a sign of the times. As you will note the article indicates that Snyder Funeral Home was the conduit for “local blackout calls” during the test blackouts to prepare for air raids. According to my father, the funeral home would receive an order that the blackout test was over and someone would be sent to the cemetery to advise the “lookout.” Here is the article:

“Bellville can justly claim credit for its fine cooperation in the blackout test held throughout Richland County on Wednesday evening of last week. While it was announced that a test blackout would be held that evening, the time of the actual test was withheld to come as a surprise.

Snyder Funeral Home, where local blackout calls are received, heard the warning call at 9:40 am which was followed by the blackout orders about ten minutes later. The messages were transmitted to Mayor Thomas R. Zewigler, Fire Chief Worner and local Civilian Defense Officials.

The steady two minute blast of the siren, heard for miles out into the county, came at 9:50, and with very few exceptions, almost immediately all lights in Bellville were completely blacked out.

Among the notable exceptions to the total black out, according to Mayor Ziegler, was a light  left for chickens in a home in the south end of  town, a local business place that took  two minutes to get lights out, a lodge room in which a light had been left burning  (a warden possessing a key quickly extinguished that), and a very few people turned on their lights before the all clear signal, the street lights came on.

Actual air raids in this country this summer are expected by Civilian Defense officials, and everyone is warned to acquaint himself fully with blackout signals in order to give the utmost possible cooperation in case of an air raid.

Practically all Bellville air raid wardens and their messengers were on the job patrolling and reporting on every home in Bellville. The local Volunteer Fire Department members reported at the fire station for any duty that might arise.

Congratulations  generally are due local citizens for their fine cooperation. The folks in the township too did a splendid job of  notifying residents of the blackout.

Once again, elsewhere in this issue, the Star-Press publishes the air raid instruction information, which should be learned thoroughly.”


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128791382_1398820962 Jason Jerome Cover was one of our more industrious ancestors. He was a very successful merchant. He was one of the brothers of Tom Cover, one of the favorite subjects of this blog. My research has revealed that Jason even traveled to Montana at one point to visit Tom Cover. Below you will find the biographical profile of Jason that can be found in the 1880 History of Morrow County. He was born in 1823 and died at age 70 in 1893. He is buried in Shauck Cemetery.

JASON J. COVER, Shauck; was the oldest of ten children born to Daniel and Lydia (Stevenson) Cover; he was born in Frederick Co., Md., Feb. 5, 1823. Until 13 years old he attended such school as could then he afforded, when coming to Seneca Co., and there to East Perry, in Richland Co., Ohio, with his father, his assistance became necessary in the clearing and farming  of their land.

He stayed upon the farm some four years, when an opportunity of changing his business offering , he entered the employ of Creigh & Shauck Lek in his seventeenth year. He continued with this firm, serving behind the counter, in the post office, at the warehouse, packing pork and caring for horses; he served in various capacities, often working until ten or twelve o’clock at night, for eight dollars per month, turning over to his father every dollar of his earnings until he reached his majority. He then hired out to J. T. Creigh for $130 per annum and his board, refusing an offer of $144 per year from another merchant; he took his pay in clothing, notes and accounts against customers. Here he remained for nine years, his ability commanding repeated addition to his yearly salary, until it reached $175 per year. During the five years that he worked as clerk for himself he laid by $650, and in May, 1849, was taken into the firm of D. M. & J. T. Creigh & Co., as partner; he received six per cent. upon his capital and one-fourth of the profits on the entire business, which then included a general store, business, shipping of produce, buying notes, packing pork and dealing in flax seed. For five years the firm did a prosperous business, and at the expiration of the term of partnership he found himself in possession of a capital of $4,000, and the Creighs retiring at the head of a fine business. He associated his brother with him in business, under the name of J. J. Cover & Co., with a combined capital of $5,500; this left the firm in debt, with payments of $1,000 and $2,000, to he met in annual installments, which was successfully accomplished.

Mr. Cover has been in active business ever since; save during the last year or two he has not paid so much attention to his store trade. During his active business career it was his custom to visit New York every six months to purchase goods, making some thirty-nine trips in all. In the fall of 1861, his business shrewdness led him to buy an enormous stock of dry goods, groceries and hardware, so that it taxed the capacity of his buildings to their utmost to bold them. His supply lasted three years, and was closed out at enormous profits,. reaching 300 or 400 per cent. He has maintained the business of the early day in all its branches, save, perhaps, that of pork-packing, doing a trade of from $25,000 to $75,000 per year, and that without the usual amount of friction. Business misunderstandings have been rare, and though obliged on two or three occasions to have recourse to the services of a Justice of the Peace, he has never had a case in court. In the course of his business life., Mr. Cover has had the forming of the business character of eleven young men, who are now promising business men on their own account, or in positions of wider usefulness. He always took a lively personal interest in the young men in his employ, and now follows their career with all the interest of a near friend. Among these are Christian Gauwiler, since deceased, John Schantz and Jerome King, doing a prosperous business at Mansfield, Tolman House in the produce business at Cameron, Mo.; George R. Hosler, at Johnsville; Samuel Wagner, at Shauck’s Mills ; Robert Leedy, farming in the west ; John W. Thenna, druggist and postmaster at Johnsville; John Held, of Newhouse & Held, and his two sons, Upton I. and Jacob K. These young men stayed with Mr. Cover not less than three years, nor any more than four, two of them being employed sometimes together. He remembers them as industrious honest ]ads of fair ability; his business abilities have been felt elsewhere, and in the settlement of the large bankrupt estate of J. S. Trimble, when the liabilities reached a sum exceeding $100,000, his management was especially creditable ; he assisted also in organizing the First National Bank of Mt. Gilead, of which he has been a stockholder and director from the first.

During the war he was prominent in securing volunteers to free his township from draft, and was employed by other communities to act in this capacity for them, paying from $120 to $650 for substitutes. On Sept. 2,1852, he married Catherine, daughter of Jacob King (see biography) ; she was born Sept. 20, 1833, in Troy, Richland Co., O. This union has been blessed with six children, five of whom are still living: Upton J., born Oct. 10, 1853 ; Alverda J., Oct. 20,1855, died Aug. 28, 1869, aged 13 years, 10 months and 8 days; Jacob K., born Nov. 25,1857; Laura B., Feb. 5,1863; Minnie R., Nov. 25, 1867; Katie D., Oct. 20, 1874. Of his brothers and sisters, Thomas W. married Mary I-less, of Columbus, and is at San Bernardino, Cal., engaged in raising tropical fruits; Josiah S. married Ann Wertz, and lives at the same place, and is engaged in the same business as his brother Thomas; Mary M., now Mrs. George Biddle, resides on the Cover homestead in Perry Tp.. Richland Co., 0.; Martha E., deceased, was the wife of William Lewis, of Congress Tp.; Eliza J., deceased, was the wife of Isaac Markwood, also deceased, leaving a daughter, Alverda E., now residing with U. A. Cover; William H. H. married Mary, only daughter of William Corson, near Belleville, Richland Co., O.; he is a farmer and stock-dealer near Waterford, 0.; Daniel P. married Mary A. Fowler, of Fort Scott, Kan., and is now engaged in raising tropical fruits at Riversides, San Bernardino Co., Cal.; John W. married Mary Sourbrum, of Troy, Morrow Co., where he is farming; and Upton A. married Susan Lamb, retired merchant, of Johnsville.

His brother Thomas  was one of the discoverers of the celebrated Alder Gulch diggings, of Virginia City, Montana. Jason has survived all the male citizens of Johnsville that were here when he first came to the place, some forty years, ago. He was first a Whig, and voting for John C. Fremont, he has followed the fortunes of the Republicans ever since. He joined the United Brethren in Christ at the age of thirty-three, and has been an Active member ever since, acting as trustee, leader, Sabbath-school superintendent, and never without some official duty to discharge, ever since.

His father, Rev. Daniel Cover, came from Frederick Co., Md., and after sojourning in Seneca Co., 0., one year, he made a permanent settlement in Perry Tp., Richland Co., O., in 1836, on eighty acres of land, which he owned until his death. He was a minister of the United Brethren in Christ-among the first of that faith in this locality. He preached quite extensively in what are now Morrow and Richland counties, almost every Saturday and Sunday, without remuneration. The records show that during his ministerial labors of about twenty years in this country, he helped to organize and build five churches. He died in 1855, mourned by a family of ten children.




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6d72c9e0Some time ago, I sat down with my father, J. Paul Snyder, and talked  to him  about  the vehicles that his father, Ora Otis Snyder (“Poppo”) utilized  in the funeral business. It proved to be a very interesting conversation and I thought I would share it with you. Until about 1965, Snyder Funeral Homes provided ambulance services in each of their locations. Over all the years, all of Poppo’s ten (10) sons helped him on ambulance runs from time to time.

Poppo’s first car was likely the 1926 Ford Model T that he drove to and from embalming school in Columbus. He was initially a “Studebaker man.” He owned Studebaker hearses and sedans. Poppo had the first car in Johnsville with hydraulic brakes. After the Studebakers, he had a black  1928  Cadillac Sedan Ambulance that loaded from the side. Dave and Don Snyder drove this ambulance and Poppo also  used it as a family  funeral car.

Poppo  then had a black  1936 Flexible Buick combination vehicle that was manufactured in Loudonville. A “combination car” was built on a “professional car” chassis and  could be used as either a hearse or ambulance.  He then used that vehicle until he bought a black  1940 Flexible Buick combination car. Poppo had a black 1937 Ford service car. That car had a siren on it. My Dad recalls that one day he and his brother Phil were moving chairs back to Bellville after a church funeral. Phil was driving and had the siren on.  He went too fast around a curve and put the car into a ditch. The first person to stop and offer them assistance was a state trooper!  They declined assistance and were able to get the car out of the ditch. Fortunately, the car was not damaged. Dad does not think Poppo ever found out about that incident. The 1937 Ford Service car was traded in on a white  1948 Mercury  woody wagon that was used as a flower car.

Other flower cars included a medium brown 1951 Chrysler Windsor station wagon and a white 1957 Chevrolet Corvar Greenbriar station wagon that had a 4 cylinder engine and so little power that it “could barely pull itself out of a mud puddle.” Poppo had a gray 1939 LaSalle straight ambulance that was kept at Bellville. He also had a 1937 LaSalle combination, gray with black fenders, that was kept at Lexington.

My  dad recalls that one Sunday he, his brother, Phil, Poppo and Gong-Gong drove to a funeral home in  southern Ohio where Poppo purchased a used black 1940 Buick seven passenger limo to match the 1940 combination car. However, he found he could not use it on funerals because the rear brakes would lock up. Dad remembers his brother Pete crawling under the limo and beating the transmission with a hammer to try and get it to loosen up. Poppo had that car until 1948. His next vehicle was a blue 1948 Meteor Cadillac combination. He traded that in on a 1954 Meteor Cadillac combination. The Meteor vehicles were manufactured in Piqua, Ohio. Poppo also had a gray 1949 Meteor Cadillac combination that was used and/or kept at the Butler funeral home. At that point, the family funeral business had funeral homes in Bellville, Lexington and Butler.

Sometime before 1954, Poppo purchased a yellow 1950 straight Cadillac ambulance. My Dad recalls that one day he had just finished  washing  that ambulance at the Bellville funeral home and it started to rain. Cars were washed on one side of the garage and the ambulance was kept on the other side of the garage that was heated. As  he went to move the ambulance from one side of the garage to the other, he  backed the ambulance out into the alley and backed it into a 1937 Chevrolet being driven by his buddy, Zeke Ziegler. The impact was enough that Zeke was knocked unconscious. My dad pulled Zeke out of the car and laid him on the alley. Zeke recovered but it cost $400 to repair the ambulance.

Poppo had a black 1948 Buick combination that he kept at the Lexington funeral home. He traded the 1954 Superior in on a 1956 Superior Cadillac combination, white with a gray top, that was kept at Bellville. He later had a black 1959 Superior Cadillac combination with big tail fins and a matching black 1959 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. The funeral home also had a white 1966 Superior Pontiac combination that was kept at Fredericktown. During the 1960’s, the funeral home also had a 1965 Superior Cadillac combination, white with a black top. At about that same time, a white 1964 Cadillac combination was kept at the Mt. Gilead funeral home.

In 1951, my Dad and Phil were on an ambulance run on Route 13 north of Bellville. They were driving a blue 1948 Meteor combination with the lights and siren on. . Another car suddenly pulled out in front of them and they were unable to avoid striking that car in the rear, knocking it off the road.  They kept going on and reported the accident when they got back to the funeral home.  . Fortunately, the Meteor combination only sustained minor damage.

Another accident occurred when Poppo and Uncle Bob were at an accident scene south of Lexington on  Route 42 on an ambulance run. They were loading a lady into the ambulance when a tract0r-trailer came over the hill and struck the ambulance.

Another time, Poppo and Uncle Bob were in an ambulance taking a lady from Lexington to the Cleveland Clinic in the winter time. They were in a 1941 yellow Packard ambulance and were traveling north on Route 42 on Ashland Hill, just north of Mansfield. They had just crested a hill on a snowy day  and there sat a salt truck sideways in the road. They could not get stopped in time and could not avoid striking the salt truck, totaling the ambulance. Poppo had purchased the Packard ambulance in Bowling Green–Uncle Dave had found it there when he was attending college at Bowling Green State University.

The personal cars that Poppo had included a black 1941 Buick Super, a black 1946 Buick Roadmaster, a 1948 navy blue Buick Roadmaster, a 1951 dark green Chrysler Saratoga with a hemi engine, a gun metal gray 1952 Chrysler New Yorker, a blue 1953 Lincoln Capri, a charcoal gray 1957 Chrysler Imperial, a black 1959 Buick Electra, a white 1964 Cadillac Sedan DeVille, and a white 1970 Oldsmobile 98 with a black padded top.

During World War II , Poppo had to take the ambulance  west of  Lexington during a snowstorm to take someone from their residence  to the hospital. Poppo got the ambulance stuck in a snow drift in the driveway and it  took several hours to get the ambulance out of the snow drift  with the  assistance of a man from the residence. After they worked several hours to free the ambulance from the snow drift, Poppo asked “where is the man I need to take to the hospital?” The man who had been helping Poppo said, “well, that would be me!”

When Dick Snyder ran the Butler funeral home, he had a number of occasions where he made emergency runs to transport a pregnant mother and her doctor in the ambulance to the hospital. My Dad says that Dick “lost several races with the Stork,” with babies being born in the back of the ambulance before they arrived at the hospital. On one occasion, the happy mother named her newborn son after Dick!











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