Mortimer A. Snyder, one of the prominent men of Nez Perces County in the industrial and manufacturing line, while also a leader in any line of enterprise and the substantial up building of the country, is eminently fitted for representation in any work that purports to grant mention to the leading men of the County.

Mr. Snyder was born in Montreal, Canada, on January 12, 1855, being the son of Atkinson and Susan (McBean) Snyder, natives of Montreal, and born in 1820 and 1823, respectively. The father was a successful merchant and lumber dealer, of English descent and died in 1862. The mother, who still lives in Canada, was of Scotch descent, being the daughter of Colonel Archibald McBean, who came to Canada from Scotland. He was a large lumber dealer and on account of distinguished service was presented with a handsome sword from Queen Victoria.

Our subject remained at home and attended school until the death of his father and then was adopted by his grandfather, McBean. Then he completed his educational training in the Normal school and learned the lumber business, which has occupied his attention continually since that time. He is a thorough master of the business and has operated mills in various sections of the United States and Canada. In 1871 he went to the vicinity of Buffalo, New York, and took charge of a sawmill, but later removed to Bay City, Michigan, and there operated a mill for two years.

With his cousin, T. H. Snyder, we next see him in Manitoba, where they erected one of the largest mills of the country and made a financial success of the enterprise. Later he was in the Rockies and handled a mill for the Palisser Company on the Columbia River. In 1883 he went to Seattle and there took charge of the Fremont Milling Company’s plant, where he was engaged until April, 1901, when he came to Lewiston for “his wife’s health. In the following April he came to his present location in Melrose and is now completing one of the finest mills on the reservation, which is fitted with all the latest and best machinery and equipped with a fine dry kiln, the only one in the county.

In 1883 Mr. Snyder married Miss Elvira, daughter of A. R. and Mary Gerald. The father, a native of Iowa, was a merchant. He served in the Civil war under Captain Donaldson. The mother was the daughter of Major Armstrong, an old English soldier who settled in Manitoba in 1847. Mrs. Snyder was born in Winnipeg and has one brother, Mortimer, in Moscow, and two sisters, Jennie McKenzie and Lucy Kingly, both in Moscow. Mr. Snyder has the following brothers and sisters, Robert, in Michigan; Alma Milne, in Montreal. To this worthy couple have been born the following named children, Wilmer G., Howard, Myrtle, and Raymond.

Mrs. Snyder is a member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Snyder is a member of the A. O. U. W., while in politics he is a Republican. Mr. Snyder is a progressive, intelligent and substantial citizen, a man always allied on the side of progress and up building. He had four cousins in the Civil war, two of whom were killed.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903