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George Gideon Snyder c. 1880 - 1819-1887

Judge George Gideon Snyder

Born: June 12, 1819 in Permelia (Watertown), Jefferson, New York

Died: March 11, 1887 in Park City, Summit, Utah

George Gideon Snyder was born on June 11 or 12, 1819 at Permelia (Watertown), Jefferson County, New York to Isaac Snyder (1787-1844) and Lovisa Comstock Snyder (1789-1896).

George spent his youth in New York and Canada. His parents and other family members accepted the gospel in 1838. George was baptized on July 7, 1830 by his brother Robert Snyder.(1811-1842) The Snyder family joined a company emigrating to Nauvoo, Illinois when George was nineteen years old. His brothers, Samuel Comstock Snyder and Chester Snyder, and Jesse Snyder, and his sisters, Sarah Snyder and Jane Snyder, were also in the company. George received his patriarchal blessing on March 4, 1842 in Nauvoo from Patriarch Hyrum Smith. The Snyder family remained in Nauvoo for two years before moving on to Saint Joseph, Missouri.

George Snyder had 6 wives in plural marriages.
His first marriage was to Sarah Wilder Hatch (1821-1861) daughter of Wilder Hatch (1799-1880) and Melutable Barker (1800-1822). George and Sarah married April 17, 1840 or 1843 at Jacob's Creek, Hancock, Illinois. They lived there until the fall of 1849 when they, with their two children, came to Utah. They made their home in the Salt Lake City Fourteenth Ward. George and Sarah joined in the gold rush in the spring of 1850 and went to California. They returned to Utah in 1854 and again settled in Salt Lake City. They had ten children: Emily Lydia Snyder, Lovisa Comstock Snyder, Robert Calvin Snyer, Sarah Snyder, Wesley Jordan Snyder, Lucy Rohannah Snyder Tanner, Isaac Snyder, Parley Pratt Snyder, and George Wilder Snyder. Sarah Wilder Hatch Snyder died October 12, 1861 in SLC, Utah.

George Snyder embraced the doctrine of polygamy and married a second wife, Elsie Pamelia Jacob(s) (1831-1891), daughter of Norton Jacob and Emily Heaton Jacob, on December 3, 1854 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Pamelia was the widow of George's brother Jesse Snyder who died May 20, 1853. George and Pamelia had seven children: Norton Snyder, Maryette Snyder, Grant Snyder, Cora Elecena Snyder, Wilson Isaac Snyder, Bismark Snyder, and Margette Snyder. Elsie Pamelia Jacob Snyder Snyder died March 2, 1891 in Park City, Summit, Utah.

On June 29, 1856 George Snyder married Caroline Kilfoyle, born 3 May 1839, Warwick Twp., Lambton Co., Ontario. They had ten children: Franklin Richards Snyder, Luisa Snyder, Olive Minniette Snyder (b. Jan 12, 1862 in Cache County, Utah),. Creighton Chambers Snyder, Horace Greely Snyder, Jane (Jennie) Snyder, Luna Romanta Snyder (b. Apr 23, 1859 in SLC), Gideon Snyder (b. May 11, 1867 in Wanship, Utah), May G. Snyder (b. June 5, 1869 in Wanship, Utah), Brigham Young Snyder, Orilla Inez Snyder, and Zina Caroline Snyder (b. Dec 12, 1864 in Wanship, Utah). Caroline Kilfoyle Snyder died 11 Dec 1889, in Snyderville, Utah.

George Snyder also married Caroline's sister Martha Kilfoyle on July 12, 1857. George and Martha had three children. Martha Kilfoyle was born on the 17th or 19th of March 1841, at Warwick Township, Lambton County, Ontario.George and Martha had three children: Nellie Martha Snyder, Louis Andrew Snyder, and Willard Fiske Snyder. Martha  Kilfoyle Snyder died 23 Apr 1892, in Park City, Summit, Utah. Caroline and Martha are both daughters of James Holbrook Kilfoyle ( and Jane Lucas McKeown Kilfoyle (1800-1853):

George Snyder was called to serve a two-year mission to England in 1858. He returned from England and settled in Wanship, Summit County, Utah, in March 1864 where he was the bishop for many years. He also built the first grist mill in that part of the county. From 1964 until 1879 he was a central figure in all political, ecclesiastical, and business affairs of the county. He was appointed a probate judge in 1865 by Governor Doty and was elected for two more terms. In addition to raising stock and ranching, he, being a great lover of horses, bred and owned some of the finest horses in the state.

George's first wife, Sarah died on October 12, 1861.

George Snyder married Rachel Winter Tanner (1848-1905) on January 16, 1864 in Salt Lake City, Utah; she is the daughter of Nathan Tanner and Rachel Winter Smith Tanner. George and Rachel had one child: Rachel Matilda Snyder born April 20, 1865 in Wanship (Park City), Summit, Utah. Rachel Winter Tanner Snyder divorced George and married Charles Elmore Winegar on May 29, 1873 at Tannerville, Salt Lake, Utah. She died January 14, 1905 in South Cottonwood, Salt Lake, Utah.

Rhoda Shadwell Orchard Snyder 1845-1925

George Gideon Snyder married Rhoda Shadwell Orchard (1842-1925) on December 24, 1864 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah; she is the daughter of John Orchard and Jane Shadwell Orchard. In 1868 George and Rhoda moved to Silver Creek near his brother Samuel's homestead in Spring Creek. Following a rich strike at the Emma Mine at Alta, George equipped himself with outfits for hauling ore and moved Rhoda to Cottonwood. She was an excellent cook and started a boarding house there. In 1872, news reached George Snyder about the big silver deposit in Parley's Park City, he again packed up his family and moved them back to "the Park". George and Rhoda had seven children all born in the Park City area: Lillie Snyder (Evans), Sylvia Rhoda Snyder (McKendrick), Kimball Heber Snyder, Sherman Mason Snyder, Pearl Snyder, Ruby Lucille Snyder (Brown), and Rose Lynette Snyder (Workman). Rhoda Shadwell Orchard Snyder died February 13, 1925 in Park City, Summit, Utah

Children of George and Rhoda Snyder; Rhoda Shadwell Orchard Snyder
Rhoda Shadwell Orchard Snyder

Not long after their arrival in July 1847, a few Mormon Saints returned to the green mountain meadow they had seen on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. Mormon Apostle Parley Parker Pratt visited the Snyderville Basin and had some cattle grazing there. He was impressed with the land describing it in a letter on June 30, 1848 addressed to John A. Smith as follows:

"a beautiful meadow or park, nearly circular, averaging 3 miles in length and 2 miles in width, and comprising some three or four thousand acres of excellent land, clothed withgrass and interspersed with wild flax and strawberry vines.
Large groves of aspen, mostly dry, were interspersed within the valley and hill sides, while ten beautiful clear streams ran through the park and formed the west branch of the Weber River...it was the most desirable and convenient place for stock farms I ever saw, plentiful in grass, watered as Eden and sufficiently timbered to supply hundreds of families."

"On the 17th , as four men were hauling lumber from Snyder's mill, near Parley's Park, and had arrived just east of the summit of the second or big mountain (Parley's Summit), a party of Indians fired upon them from an ambush, and instantly killed John Dixon and John Quayle, and wounded John Hoagland through the fleshy part of his arm, between the shoulder and elbow. Hoagland and Knight then unloosed, and mounted two horses, and escaped to this city, leaving the dead and four horses and two mules in possession of the Indians. A detachment was immediately sent out who brought in the dead bodies unmutilated, the day following; a portion of the detachment proceeded to Snyder's mill, dismantled it, and all returned in safety, and without being able to find any Indians. No further collisions have taken place."

Peaceful Shoshone Indians in Summit County around 1850's

To protect themselves, Snyder, who had originally settled on Spring Creek, and the other settlers built their homes inside a fort. Each evening they would bring their cattle, wagons, and other belongings inside the compound. After the Utes began setting fire to piles of lumber, Snyder began hiding the lumber in ditches and tall grass. An employee, Jesse Johnson, apparently escaped a confrontation by sneaking up a creek drainage and into the Salt Lake Valley. On May 8, 1860, Jesse W. Johnson was accidentally killed at Snyder's Mill at Parley's Park, Summit County, Utah.

The first four businesses recorded in Parley's Park were lumber related.

Spring Creek, Summit County, Utah Pony Express Station built c. 1860's by Samuel Snyder and William Henry Kimball
Melissa Burton Coray Kimball lived here and ran the Station until around 1903

The first mining claim filed in Utah was the West Jordan located in Bingham Canyon on Sept 17, 1863. In 1864 the first discovery of silver in the Wasatch Range was made by Colonel Patrick E. Connor himself. It was made at the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon near the claim which a few years later would become the world famous Emma silver mine at Alta in the Cottonwood Canyon.

George's older brother, Samuel Comstock Snyder died April 8, 1866 and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, just short of being 58 years old.

Sometime in late October 1868, soldiers from Johnson's Army, under the command of Colonel Patrick E. Connor, climbed over the mountains from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Clayton Peak and Scott Hill, looked down on Pioneer Ridge and across Bonanza Flats to the unknown canyons beyond and in the distance what was to become Park City, and found silver. As the snow was swirling and a storm brewing, they marked the outcropping with a bandanna on a stick for their return in the spring. This may have been the first claim filed in this new district as the Young America lode, recorded on December 23, 1868, followed the next month by the Yellow Jacket and Green Monster claims. Because they were the first claims recorded doesn't necessarily men they were the first located. The Walker & Webster claim discovered by Rufus Walker and the Pinion located by Ephraim Hanks were among the earliest discoveries.

George was a man of foresight and substantial wealth, he bought up large parcels of land in Park City, including the area on which Park City Cemetery was later built. He owned and operated the first livery stable in town, as well as barns which housed the ore and freight wagons for the mines. George is credited with building the first grist mill in Summit County. He was active in political, church, and business affairs. He was a rancher, raising some of Utah's finest horses.

"Aunt Rhoda", as she was called by all who knew her, opened another boarding house of her own, at the present site of the Kimbal Art Center on what are now Heber Avenue and Park Avenue. Aunt Rhoda fed the miners and nursed the sick.

It is believed that George's other living wives were each given a ranch outside of town, as Rhoda was supposedly the only woman in town during the early years. Aunt Rhoda was highly respected and well-liked by the miners.

Rhoda gave birth to the first baby born in Park City, Sherman Mason Snyder, on April 4, 1874. Sherman died August 27, 1903 at age of 28 years and was buried in the Park City Cemetery. [Sherman was married to Gertrude Dollman on August 1, 1986. Pearle Snyder was the first girl baby born in Park City on July 17, 1877.]

On Monday, July 26, 1869, Thomas L. Frazier, formerly a member of the Mormon Battalion, died at Wanship, Summit County, from the effects of stabbing inflicted a few days before by a Mr.(Andrew L.?) Kilfoyle. (the brother of Caroline and Martha Kilfoyle, George G. Snyder's wives?) on September 2, 1871 U.S. Marshall Patrick made a demand of Warden Albert P. Rockwood to deliver up the prisoner Kilfoyle to the marshall's custody, which was refused on legal grounds.

Samuel C. Snyder's ten years younger brother, George Gideon Snyder and his wives and children, who had been living in Wanship, entered the area on May 25, 1872 As George and his wife Rhoda and their children Sylvia, Lillie, and Kimball, were carried in their wagon by their team of horses through the lush underbrush, aspens and evergreens and wildflowers abounded. Six-year old Lillie Snyder (Evans) heard her father, George G. Snyder, say to his wife, "We will call this place Park City, for it is a veritable park." the Snyder's christened the new growing town Parley's Park City. Since 1848 the pioneers had been referring to this meadow as Parley's Park, in Parley Parker Pratt's honor.. (Many years later an elementary school was named for Pratt, Parley's Park Elementary School).

To make the town and name official, "On July 4th of the settling year, (1872) the Snyder family and a few male workers from the mines and the mill gathered for an Independence Day celebration. A straight quaking aspen had been stripped of its branches and stood upright as a flagpole on ground just south of the Utah Power and Light sub-station on Park Avenue. Rhoda Snyder fashioned a flag from a white sheet, a red flannel baby's blanket, and a blue silk handkerchief. The thirty-seven starred flag was lofted to the breeze, and George G. Snyder officially declared the site to be named Park City, a shortened version of the original name. Rhoda and her daughters (and George's other wives, Elsie Pamelia Jacob Snyder Snyder, Caroline Kilfoyd Snyder, Martha Kilfoyd Snyder, and their assembled children), were the only women present, and they cheered with the few mill and mine workers as Old Glory fluttered in the summer breeze."  

George G. Snyder with wife, Elsie Jacob Snyder Snyder c. 1867
George Gideon Snyder, with wife, Elsie Pamela Jacob Snyder Snyder c. 1867.
Child may be Maryette Snyder. Elsie is the widow of George G. Snyder's youngest brother Jesse Snyder 1825-1853

Using lumber bought from the sawmill at the mouth of Empire Canyon, George built a two-room Snyder homesite which was located where the Eley Motor Company use to stand on Heber Avenue and Park Avenue (now known as the Kimball Art Center).

In 1872 the discovery of exceedingly rich silver ore (400 ounces to the ton) leds to the opening of the Ontario Mine and started a boom town atmosphere in Park City. George Hearst, the father of William Randolph Hearst, and his partners bought the Ontario for $27,000. It produced over $50 million in its lifetime.

About this time Park City mining camp became a boom town. The Snyder home was enlarged and Rhoda, the only woman in town for many months, once again opened a boarding house. She became cook, doctor, nurse, and confessor to the miners. The men developed such respect and loyalty for her that there was not a man who would not have sacrificed his life for her had it been necessary.

George G. Snyder started the first livery stable and had barns for accommodating teamsters hauling ore and freight. He had the first stage for carrying passengers and mail to Salt Lake City. He also furnished transportaion to the hospitals for thos injured in the mines. He owned a large part of the township and platted the northern part of his holdings which became known as Snyder's Addition. He gave the 40 acre plat of ground where his daughter Pearl Snyder was buried, to the city for a cemetery with 5000 available burial plots. George Snyder and John L. Street sponsored the first school in Park City in 1875.

The area north of the Park City limits, intersected by I-80, Highway 224 and Highway 40 is named Snyderville in honor of these early Snyder settlers.

On July 9, 1877 The Mormon Saints (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) residing in Summit County, Utah, were organized by Apostles John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, and Franklin D. Richards, as the Summit Stake of Zion. William Wallace Cluff (mayor of Coalville) was set apart as Stake President with George Gideon Snyder and Alma Eldredge as his counselors, Ward E. Pack as Stake Clerk. The organization of six new wards was also provided for, namely: Echo Ward (Elias Asper as Bishop); Henefer Ward (Charles Richens as Bishop); Hoytsville Ward (Andrew Hobson as Bishop); Parley's Park Ward (Joseph H. Black as Bishop); Upton Ward (Charles Staley as Bishop); Rockport Ward (Edward Bryant as Bishop).

Lillie Snyder Evans - 1866-1938 daughter of George & Rhoda Snyder
From the headstone of Pearle Snyder," In Memory of Pearle, Daughter of George & Rhoda Snyder, Died Feb. 22, 1879, Aged 1 year 7 mos. 8 days." In the booklet "Silver and Snow" written by Noal C. Newbold and Bea Kummer the following story, told by Pearl's sister Lillie Snyder Evans, is quoted: " Pearl had been sick since Christmas 1878. With deep snows and no doctor in camp, Ma could do only what she best knew to care for her sick baby. Ma was a good nurse. Many a gout and croup she took care of. Not only with her own kids, but with miners and settlers. She was called Aund Rhoda all her life by people who weren't any more related than a bullfrog. They called her that 'cause they like her. She was a good nurse.
"Ma kept telling Pearl when the snow broke she would fetch her to the doctor, but Pearl turned for the worse. She died on February 22, 1879, just like her headstone says.
"Pa fetched some pine wood and made a tiny casket. Ma said she dressed her Pearl in blessing clothes and put a bonnet on her head. They were going to take Pearl to Salt Lake for a proper burial.

"Pa fetched the horses from the barn, and in the blizzard hitched them to the sleigh. The snow was belly high on the poor animals. They started out for Salt Lake, but in those days there was barely a road. Nothing like today, you know.

"They got past the (Snyderville) junction a piece and found the snow was too much. The horses were already sweating under their harnesses, they couldn't break the trail for another forty miles.

"It was then Ma suggested they take their baby to Heber City to be buried. Pa had to get out of the wagon and break the trail himself to get the team turned around. They didn't get very far in that direction either. The snow was still too deep.

"With the wind playing cat and mouse and the storm threatening, it looked as though Pearl would have to wait to be buried. Just when they was ready to give up, Ma saw a patch of dry earth. "Let's bury Pearl there" she said, when its spring we can take her to Salt Lake for a Christian burial."

"Pa finally chawed a hole deep enough, and they laid their baby to rest right there. She was the first person to be born in Park City, and the first person to die there.

"When spring came Ma couldn't bear to disturb her baby girl, so they just left her here. This land was once Pa's anyway, so he deeded it over to Parley's Park City and it's been the cemetery ever since."

George Gideon Snyder's 17 of 38 children
Standing: Horace Greely Snyder, Trand??, Brigham Young Snyder 1871-1947; Willard Fiske Snyder 1863-1927; Louis Andrew Snyder 1859-1945; unknown; unknown; unknown; Grant Snyder 1868-1959

Seated: Bismark Snyder 1871-1919; Lilli Snyder Evans 1866-1938; Zina Snyder Shepherd 1864-1962; unknown; Orilla Snyder 1857-1936; unknown; Nellie Martha Snyder Thiriot 1861-1927; Ruby Snyder Brown 1881-1983
Photo taken close to 1927 - Eighteen of George G. Snyder's 38 Children

Lillie Snyder Evans 1866-1938, Rose Snyder Workman 1883-1970, Ruby Snyder Brown 1881-1983

On December 11, 1880 the Utah Eastern Railway was completed from Coalville to Park City.

1884 Park City was officially incorporated.

July 16, 1887 William Henry Walker of Wasatch County was arrested on a charge of unlawful co-habitation and brought to Park City and placed under bonds.

George G. Snyder was the father of thirty-four children by six wives. He always led a very active life. After six weeks of illness he died on March 11, 1887. He was survived by three wives, and approximately 34 children and many grandchildren. He left to each a fine ranch that was well stocked and equipped.  George is buried at the Park City Cemetery on the left as you enter the west entrance.

The following tribute was paid to George G. Snyder at his funeral:

"Judge Snyder was one of that mold of men who, on long and tried acquaintance, grow to be a necessity to their friends and neighbors. His integrity, his high sense of right and wrong, justice and injustice, and all the attributes that go to make up the highest type of man and citizen, always found him warm and faithful friends. Every man was his friend and all men were his neighbors. If he had an enemy, it was himself....

The machinery his body was born with should have run for ninety years but his energetic spirit wore it out twenty-three years too soon, death coming when he was but sixty-seven years old. His death will leave a vacancy that cannot be filled."

Rhoda Snyder and George G. Snyder graves at the Park City Cemetery on Kearns Blvd.

The Daughters of Utah Pioneers and Bea Kummer were instrumental in maintaining and revitalizing the small Snyderville Cemetery which was on land adjoining property owned by the Franklin D. Richards family still residing in the area. The Snyderville Cemetery is now owned by Conway Snyder. The first burial recorded was in 1874, with a total of 30 known burials. This cemetery has Snyder graves of the family members of Chester and Ephraim Snyder. The Sunpeak subdivision was built around the Snyder Cemetery. The cemetery can be found at the end of Roffe Road, a short cul-de-sac off Mahre Drive found off Bear Hollow Drive and Highway 224.

Sunday, June 19, 1898, Park City was partly destroyed by fire. Nearly all the principal stores and many private residences were reduced to ashes. The loss was estmate at about $1,000.000. Among the buildings consumed was a Latter-day Saint meeting house which had just been completed at a cost of about $5,000. This was considered the most disastrous fire that ever happened in Utah.

Sunday, August 18, 1901 the Park City branch was organized a Ward with Frederick Rasband as Bishop. The Bishopric of Parley's Park Ward was reorganized with Angus J. Cannon as Bishop.

Sunday, October 10, 1909 William D. Lewis was ordained a Bishop and set apart to preside over the Park City Ward.

In the early 2000's approximately thirty-four Snyder families live in the Park City area. The one we remember the best was Maud Lincoln Snyder, wife of David Snyder, son of Ephraim Snyder, son of Samuel C. Snyder. . She was born December 27, 1889 in Milnthorpe, Levens, England. Maud and her sister Rose Lincoln Snyder (md. Wilford Snyder in 1910) were worked together as midwives and nursed the sick until Rose and Wilford moved to California. Maud's friend Bertha Stahle were good friends and worked together. David had a crippling stroke in 1940, Maud nursed him for ten months until his death on January 1,1941. Maud died at the age of nearly 100 when she contracted pneumonia while standing at an open door on a particularly cold, blustery night, while a group of high school students sang several Christmas carols to her. She is buried at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah. Maude lived in a little house on the corner of Old Ranch Road and Highway 224. The circle of large, old trees marks the spot where her home once stood.


PAF - Archer files = James Brown Sr. > Daniel Brown + Elizabeth Stephens > James Stephens Brown + Lydia Jane Tanner > Lydia Jane Brown + Homer Manley Brown > Sarah Edna Brown Brown + Nathan William Tanner : Nathan William Tanner is the son of Lucy Rohannah Snyder + John William Tanner : Lucy Rohannah Snyder is the daughter of George Gideon Snyder + Sarah Wilder Hatch.

http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Canal/5891/jane.html?20051 (Kilfoyle data)

The History of Summit County by David Hampshire, Martha Sonntag Bradley, and Allen Roberts, 1998, for the Utah Centennial County History Series. Received as a gift from cousin James Wilde Brown.

Mountain Memories: A Book of Remembrance 1848-1986, Kamas Utah Stake of Zion, Edited and compiled by Marie H. Nelson. Printed by Al Cooper in 1986. Pages 135-136, 211-213.

Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, Frank Esshom in September1966. Pages 1174-1175.

Silver and Snow: The Story of Park City, by Noal C. Newbold and Bea Kummer, 1968.

"Stories in Stone - Miners and Madams, Merchants and Murderers - True Stories of Park City's most colorful pioneers and maps to where they're buried" by Collen Adair Fliedner.  Flair Publishing, 1995. Pages 24-27.

Treasure Mountain Home: A Centennial History of Park City, Utah, by George A. Thompson and Fraser Buck in 1968.

5/25/2012 Carleen Jimenez <artformsinc@gmail.com>

Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org



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- (Cynthia Abbott) Joseph Stephen Fife (child) 1873-1878

- (Cynthia Abbott) James Abbott Fife (infant) 1877-1878


- (Diana) Caroline Lambourne 18461979

- (Diana)  Miles Park Romney 1843-1904

- (Jane) Emma Sarah Bodily 1858-1935

- (Jane) William Wilkie Galbraith 1838-1898

- (Elizabeth) Alexander F. Macdonald 1825-1903

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Atkinson 1841-1922

- (Eliza) Anne Kirstine Hansen 1845-1916

- (Eliza) James Niels Skousen 1828-1912

- (Angela) Maria Durán de Holguin 1876-1955

- (Angela) José Tomás Gabaldón 1874-1915












Contact Us:
Orson Pratt Brown Family Organization
P.O. Box 980111
Park City, Utah 84098-0111