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 William Kester Snyder

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William Kester Snyder

  • Birth 15 Apr 1870 Litchfield, Montgomery County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 27 Feb 1950 Ashland, Clark County, Kansas, USA
  • Burial Bucklin, Ford County, Kansas, USA
  • Memorial ID 57052098

William Kester Snyder was the son of Daniel Snyder and Mary "Letitia" Keister / Kester. He married Della Amanda Martin, daughter of Ambrose M. Martin and Mary Ross Duncan, on 24 Jan 1891 in Lexington, Clark County, Kansas.

William was known to family and friends as "Will". Conflicting records show that he was born 15 April 1868. The family story reveals he gave his birth as 1868 so he would appear closer to the age of his wife, Della. Other records indicate his sister, Alice, was born in 1868, proving his birth was in 1870.

Will was a member of the Masonic Order, being raised 14 January 1919, Master in 1923, Royal Arch Mason, and exalted 24 April 1925. History shows he installed the first telephone system in Ashland, Kansas. Around 1890, he moved to the small community of Lexington, in Ford County, where he worked for the town merchant, Ben Stephens. This is where he met his wife, Della. In 1891, soon after they were married, Will and Della purchased a farm 12 miles south of Bucklin, which became known as the "Snyder place".

Della preceded him in death on 13 Dec 1926. In 1950, due to ill health, he went to live with his daughter, Edna and her family in Ashland, Kansas. He died in the Ashland Hospital. Surviving were four sons; Kester Ulm Snyder, Lowe Ross Snyder, William Daniel Snyder, Dell Gordon Snyder and three daughters; Mabel Glenn Snyder, Edna Snyder, Ethyl Lillian Snyder.

Funeral services were held 1 March 1950 at the Presbyterian Church in Bucklin. The Rev. C. P. Dukelow, W. H. Shattuck, (both of Ashland) and Ellis Barker of Bucklin were in charge of the service. The Masonic Lodge conducted his burial service.


Will was a pioneer with his parents. I know quite well what that meant. You who are sixty or seventy or more know. The younger folks of this day know little and appreciate less the hazards rendered and the sacrifices made by the settlers of 1885 and 1886. For a home… a soddy, three feet in the ground, four and a half above, a dirt floor, packing box and homemade furniture. no running water… no telephones, no radio, no electric lights, no now taken-for-granted modern conveniences… no roads, no swift moving motor cars, no hospitals, town and doctor many hours away, no power machinery to farm the stubborn sod… no seeds or plants adapted to the semi-arid west. And… there weren't any Triple A or P. M A. payments and subsidies or government aid when crops failed and prices collapsed, and droughts blasted and blizzards swept the plains. Life was by present standards, meager and bare and harsh.

Will was a farmer… and along with his farming always managed to stop his work to sharpen a shear for a neighbor, help him with his crops or his fences or his stock… and many times at the expense of his own welfare. In fact some folks who were close to him said that his philosophy seemed to be '"to live in a house by the side of a road and be a friend to man."

Will was very mechanically inclined. When the Ashland telephone system was projected, Will was the one who built it. He was not a graduate of Massachusetts Tech, but he had an intuitive understanding which enabled him to install the switch board and make it work. It is possible that he might have progressed more in a material way had he pursued such business as his life's work.

As Will approached the end of nearly eighty-two years and was close to his passing, he thought with pride of his children and grandchildren, and in his own words "loved them everyone."

Family Members


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  • Created by: Kathye Snyder-Knight
  • Added: 14 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 57052098
  • Kathye Snyder-Knight
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Kester Snyder (15 Apr 1870–27 Feb 1950), Find A Grave Memorial no. 57052098, citing Bucklin Cemetery, Bucklin, Ford County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Kathye Snyder-Knight (contributor 47097245) .