Thursday, February 5, 2015

Grandma's Photo Album Page 73 - Snyders about 1920

(Left) I think this is Ruth Mae Snyder Tomlinson (1920-1995), niece of my grandparents.  I believe this photo was taken in Winston-Salem since that's where she was born and lived.

(Center) The man on the right is my grandfather's brother, John B. Snyder (1894-1969).  I believe he's with a comrade from the army.  I imagine this photo was taken in South Carolina when he was in training in 1917.

John registered for the draft on June 5, 1917.  His was a single farmer with no dependents.  He was tall with a medium build, dark blue eyes, and dark brown hair.  He signed the card “John Snider.” (1) 

John was inducted into the U.S. Army in Wilkesboro on March 30, 1918.  He was initially in the 16 Company 4 Training Battalion 156th Depot Brigade until April 24, 1918.  Thereafter, he was in Company B, 118th Infantry.  This company was in the 1st Battalion, 59th Infantry Brigade, 30th Division. (2)

His daughter Dorothy told me that while on the S.S. Canada crossing the Atlantic, John stole a cabbage from the officers and shared it with the other guys to avoid scurvy.

I get chills whenever I read this account which was published in a tribute after John's death in 1969:
Mr. Snyder had a distinguished term of service in World War I with the American Expeditionary Forces where he saw active service in France.  He was actively engaged in several major battles, one of which occurred on October 8, 1918, wherein his company consisting of 256 men entered into battle and out of this number only five returned alive, Mr. Snyder being one of the five to return. (3)

After the war, John was a barber and owned his own shop in North Wilkesboro.  He was also a founder of a savings and loan.

He eventually married my grandmother's sister (Toyce Etta McNeil), so Dorothy is my mother's double first cousin.

(Right)  Is this also Ruth?  I think it's her, just a bit older.  She had 2 brothers (no sisters that I'm aware of), but this baby could be a boy!

(1) Adjutant General World War I Cards, microfilm publication Army and Marine Corps Series (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, 1987 - 1988), roll S.1.120.37, John Snyder card. North Carolina State Archives.

(2) Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War, 5 volumes (1931-1949; reprint, Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1988), 2: 163 - 169.
(3) "Late J. B. Snyder is Honored By Savings And Loan," (North Wilkesboro) The Journal-Patriot, 29 Jan 1970, p. 3, col. 3.

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