John E and Mark H Snyder


JOHN E. and MARK H. SNYDER, brothers, son of John Snyder, are in the coal business under the firm name of the Snyder Brothers Coal Company, which supplies a considerable share of the local trade, for both manufacturing and domestic purposes, and operates a mine which was first opened about 1870.

John Snyder, the father, was born in Salem, Westmoreland Co., Pa., and now resides in Kittanning, Armstrong county. He married Magdalena Shaffer, of Armstrong county, daughter of Anthony Shaffer of Cherry Run, Kittanning township, this county, and they became the parents of twelve children, six of whom, four sons and two daughters, live in Armstrong county. The mother died Sept. 3, 1811, and is buried at Homewood, in Bethel township, Armstrong county. Like her husband she was a member of the Baptist Church, and in politics he has always been a Republican. During the Civil war he served in Company F, 3d Heavy Artillery, 162d Pennsylvania Volunteers.

John E. Snyder was born July 22, 1868, in Armstrong county and in his boyhood attended public school, leaving, however, at an early age. But he did not give up study, buying books as he could and persevering with reading and the acquisition of general information to such an extent that he may be called a practically self-educated man. From early youth he has been familiar with the practical work of mining, and in January, 1906, in partnership with his brother Mark, he bought the leases, cars and other equipment of Joseph Beck on the operation they have since worked, located a quarter mile down the Allegheny river from Kittanning, on the west bank, situated in North Buffalo township. They have about eighty acres of leased coal running from the river bridge west and adjoining the Fair grounds. This mine was first opened about 1870, by Mr. Mecklens, who made two entrances. The bank had been abandoned for some forty years when Joseph Beck resumed work there in 1905, and he was soon bought out by the Snyder Brothers Coal Company, whose operations have been carried on continually since. There are two entrances to the old mine, where the coal vein is from three to four feet in thickness, and the Snyders also have a lease on the top vein of coal. From four to twelve men are employed, and there are two paydays monthly, all the business of the concern being attended as systematically as is customary among the larger companies. The Snyders own two teams which are kept busy hauling to the Kittanning Iron & Steel Company, their largest buyers, with whom they make yearly contracts, this concern using from 200 to 400 tons monthly. They also supply the Kittanning Plate Glass Company, and sell large quantities of coal by the bushel for domestic use, two or three extra teams being engaged in delivering to their customers all over Kittanning and vicinity.

Mark H. Snyder was born Nov. 9, 1876, in North Washington township, Westmoreland Co., Pa., and received his education in the public schools, first attending at Manorville, and later the Bethel township (Armstrong county) schools. Ever since he left school he has been engaged in mining, since January, 1906, he and his brother have been very successfully engaged in their present enterprise.

The brothers have many interests in common outside of business. They served together in the Spanish-American war as members of the 17th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and after their discharge, by special order of the War Department, returned to their Pennsylvania home. They are prominent members of the Baptist Church, of which John E. Snyder is now a trustee, and he was formerly a deacon for five years, his brother now holding that office. John E. Snyder is teacher of the Snyders Bible class, of the Adults� State Association, and he and his brother are active members of the Personal Worker�s League, which has a nationwide membership, Mark H. Snyder serving on the devotion committee at present. The brothers have also assisted faithfully in providing the music, both having good voices and belonging to the Male Quartet and to the Men�s Chorus. Politically they are Republicans, and thoroughly in sympathy with Prohibition principles.

On Aug. 15, 1901, the brothers were married, John E. Snyder to Effie Catherine Harmon and Mark H. Snyder to Elvira Harmon, her sister, daughters of Philip and Elizabeth (White) Harmon. Rev. A. F. Shumaker officiated, the double wedding taking place at Ross farm, near Rosston, this county. Mr. and Mrs. John E. Snyder have two children, Hazel Marie and Mark Emerson, and Mr. and Mrs. Mark H. Snyder also have two, Charles Harmon and Florence Elvira. The former reside at No. 510 Hawthorne avenue, Kittanning, the latter in the adjoining property at No. 512 Hawthorne avenue.

Source: Pages 927-928, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Jeffrey Bish for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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