Friday, August 8, 2014

Grandma's Photo Album Page 58 - Snyders and McNeils in Wilkes County

(Top left)  My great-grandfather, Nicholas Grindstaff "Nick" Snyder (1863-1944) at the funeral of his wife Louise Jane Whittington Snyder (1863-1933). This photo was taken in the Reddies River Primitive Baptist Church graveyard.  Louise died August 23 and was buried August 25, 1933.  Nick and Louise were married 49 years and had 9 children.  They lived in Wilkes County, NC, all of their lives.

The cause of death on Louise's death certificate is “Fell dead while walking through house.”   Here's the family story my mother passed on to me:
Louise's granddaughter Carrie (who was 7 years old) vividly recalled that day.  Granny Lou was staying at her daughter Mary’s house, taking care of Mary’s family because she had phlebitis in her legs and couldn’t get out of bed.  Granny Lou had a squirrel cooking in a pot.  Lou suddenly fell down and started mumbling. Then she died.

(Top center) My uncle, James Neil Snyder (1922-1993) in front of his parents' home on Pleasant Home Church Road, Millers Creek, Wilkes County, N.C.  Uncle Jimmy left home in 1939 to join the Coast Guard and never lived again in North Carolina, only coming back for brief visits. In 1946, he was honorably discharged and worked in New York harbor as a tug boat engineer.  While in the Coast Guard, he met Kay (living) and married her in 1943.  She was close to her family in Gloucester, Mass., so that was their permanent residence.

Uncle Jimmy was only 17 when he enlisted.  I always wondered why a boy from the N.C. mountains would join the Coast Guard, but evidently, he liked the water!

(Top right) Edward McNeil (1916-1963) and his wife Dare Hayes McNeil (1918-1995).  Ed was my grandmother's youngest brother.  He died young - in his 47th year.  Their son Gary (1946-1993) had a premonition that he would also die at 47 - and he did!  Ed and Dare also had a daughter Pam (living).

Ed and Dare were married in 1938.  In 1943, Ed enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he was a skilled mechanic.  He was known for his great sense of humor, and usually he is smiling in photos.  Ed and Dare lived in Millers Creek, next to Ed's mom Clara Eva Hettie Ellen Jarvis McNeil (1873-1959) and near many other relatives.

(Lower left) Another photo of Ed.

(Lower right)  Millers Creek School.  This is where my mother Carrie attended first through 11th grades.  She was born in 1926.  Back when she was in school, there was no kindergarten and there were only 11 grades.  Her younger siblings had to attend 12 years of school!

This brick building has been renovated and is now home to the Millers Creek Baptist Church and the Millers Creek Christian School.

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