MILES J. SNIDER, who carries on farming on section 23, Carbondale Township, Jackson County, was born October 21, 1836, on Eight Mile Prairie, Williamson County, Ill. His grandfather, Solomon Snider, was a native of Virginia, and about 1806 emigrated to Union County, Ill. A short time afterward he removed to Eight Mile Prairie, where he built a log house, which is still standing. Later he removed to Six Mile Prairie, in Franklin County, where he made a permanent location, and in the midst of the wilderness developed a fine farm. He had one of the first horse-mills of that locality. He married Polly Smith, and to them were born ten children, three yet living: Mrs. Nancy McElvain, of Perry Comity; Solomon, who lives on the old home farm in Franklin County, and Mrs. Sophronia Kimmel, of Elkville, Jackson County.
Ephraim Snider, father of our subject, was born in Union County, April 9, 1809, and married Elizabeth Herrin, a native of Herrin's Prairie, Williamson County, born May 1, 1819. Her father, David Herrin, was born in South Carolina on the 15th of August, 1793, and accompanied her grandfather, John Herrin, to Hopkins County, Ky., when a boy. February 21, 1814, in Kentucky, occurred his marriage with Sarah Herring, who was born in South Carolina, October 9, 1792, and died July 31, 1856. On the 10th of February, 1819, they came to Herrin's Prairie, Williamson County, Ill., where they continued to reside until their demise. They reared a family of six children, viz.: Delila P., Alfred J., Elizabeth, Oliver, Eleanor and Martha C. The father of this family died September 1, 1870.
John Herrin, great-grandfather of our subject, was probably a native of South Carolina; he married Elizabeth Collins, who was born in Ireland. Another great-grandfather, the Rev. Isaac Herring, was one of the early settlers of Kentucky, removing thither from South Carolina in 1812. Later, accompanied by his wife and six of their children, Jonathan, James, Reuben, Moses, Rachel and Rebecca, he removed to Illinois and settled at Herrin's Prairie, Williamson County. There his death occurred June 29, 1845, aged seventy-seven years. His wife, Unity, was born in Ireland in 1770, and passed away July 23, 1846. He was a pioneer Missionary Baptist preacher of ability, and aided in the organization of the Franklin Baptist Association.
The Rev. Isaac Herring and David Herrin, in whose honor Herrin's Prairie was named, were numbered among the first settlers of this part of Illinois. At the time of settling here, they found the country infested with tribes of Indians as well as almost every variety of wild animals and game. By occupation they were farmers, and though subjected to the many hardships endured by the first settlers of a new country, were successful financially. Their children became useful and honored citizens, and hundreds of their descendants are now numbered among the progressive residents of this locality.
The parents of our subject were married September 24, 1835, and located on Eight Mile Prairie, in Williamson County, where they resided until 1856. The farm upon which they lived is still in the family. They then came to Jackson County, and in 1859 built a brick house, then the finest in the county. The father began life a poor man, but accumulated a large estate. He died December 28, 1867, and his wife passed away July 7, 1888. Both lie buried in Snider Cemetery, where a fine marble monument marks their last resting place. In the family were nine sons and daughters, and at the death of the mother six of the sons acted as pall bearers. The members of the family still living are: M. J.; Rebecca, wife of M. A. Evans, of Carbondale, by whom she has four children; Solomon; Sarah E.; Mike T., of Carbondale Township, who married Martha Brewster, by whom he has two children; Mollie, wife of Dr. John Vick, of Carterville, Ill., by whom she has four children; Charles P., who married Nancy Woods, and has five children; E. Monroe, who wedded Emma Painter, and with his wife and two children makes his home in Carbondale; and Laura, twin sister of Monroe. She is now the wife of Robert H. Dillinger, of Carbondale Township, and has five children.
The subject of this sketch attended a little log schoolhouse, heated by a fireplace and seated with rude slab benches. He aided in the labors of the home farm until twenty-two years of age, when he commenced life for himself on a wild farm on section 22, De Soto Township. He built a log cabin and brought to his new home a bride. October 24, 1861, he married Anna Maria Boucher, who was born in Ireland, July 5, 1843. She died May 29, 1865, leaving a daughter, Lizzie, who was born December 24, 1862, and is now the wife of W. D. Ward, of DuQuoin, by whom she has two children.
Mr. Snider was again married, November 10, 1872, his second union being with Miss Hannah, daughter of Jeremiah and Mary (Hagler) Brewster. Her father was born in 1815, and was a son of Jeremiah Brewster. Her mother was born in Pomona Township, Jackson County, June 20, 1820, and was a daughter of John and Susan Hagler, who came to Illinois in a very early day from North Carolina. Mr. Brewster died in 1877, but his widow still survives him. They were the parents of eight children, seven yet living: Dr. James Brewster, Mrs. Mary Campbell, William Harrison, Mrs. Snider, Mrs. Mattie Snider, Mrs. Laura Qualls and Mrs. Cora Van Keuren. The parents were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Two sons, James and John, served in the Civil War, the former as Assistant Surgeon of the Eighteen Illinois Infantry; and the latter in Company B, Eighty-first Illinois Infantry. He died March 27, 1880. Mrs. Snider was born March 9, 1849, received a college education, and afterward successfully engaged in teaching.
In 1866, Mr. Snider removed to his present farm, where he has since made his home. He carries on general farming, and four hundred and fifteen acres of valuable land pay tribute to his care and cultivation. He also raises some fine cattle and horses. In 1872 he erected a commodious and comfortable residence at a cost of $2,500, and the home of Mr. and Mrs. Snider was blessed by three children: Manning, who was born April 8, 1875, and is a student in the State Normal University; Andrew J., born January 27, 1882; and Nellie, born on the 17th of January, 1886. The mother is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and takes an active part in Sunday-school work. Mr. Snider is a stalwart supporter of the Democratic party, and has served as School Director. He may truly be called a self-made man, for since starting out in life he has been dependent entirely upon his own resources, and his success is the result of his own labors.
Extracted 22 Sep 2016 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, pages 491-492.
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