SNYDER, John, D., justice of the peace, Berrysburg, Pa., was born in Lykens township, Dauphin county, Pa., December 9, 1827. The great-grandfather came from Germany and settled in Lancaster county before the Revolutionary war. Leonard Snyder, the grandfather, was one of the first settlers in Lykens township. He was a farmer, and a soldier in the war of the Revolution. He was married, in Lykens Valley, to Amanda Sholt, a native of the valley, and their children were: John, Samuel, and Elizabeth. The grandfather was a Democrat in politics and took and active part in township matters. He and his family were members of the German Reformed church. They were pioneers, and experienced the hardships and enjoyed the advantages of pioneer life.
John, the father, was born in Lykens township in 1794, and obtained a fairly good education in the subscription schools of the township. He was prominent in the advocacy of the public school system, and worked night and day to secure its adoption by the state. He was a farmer and stock raiser, and cultivated a farm of one hundred and fifty acres, which he greatly improved. He married Anna May Wert, who was born in Lykens Valley in 1799. Their children were: Jacob, John. Leonard, Emanuel, and one child who died in infancy. The mother died in 1835, and he married Elizabeth Enterline, widow of George Lark, of Lykens Valley, by whom he had one child, who died in infancy. He died on the homestead in 1849. In political views he was a Democrat, and took and active part in his party’s measures. His religious fellowship was in the German Reformed church. His wife died it Berrysburg, in 1869.
John D. attended the subscription schools taught at the Hoffman church during the winter months. He also attended the public school at Berrysburg for a short time. He worked on the homestead at farming until he was sixteen years old, when he came to Berrysburg and learned the trade of Iron moulder, in the foundry of Shaffer & Wenrich, where he worked two years. The firm then sold out, and he went to Pittsburgh, where he worked on year in the foundry, and the returned to Berrysburg and engaged in business for himself. He and his brother bought the foundry and operated it a year and a half, after which he bought his brothers interest, and continued to run the business alone for upwards of fifty years, which he has made very successful, manufacturing stoves, plows, and other articles. He also owns a farm in the township. He built the first brick house in Berrysburg, at a cost of $9,000. Through unwise indorsement he lost his handsome accumulations made by many years of hard work, his losses aggregating $14,000. He was married, in Lykens Valley, in 1849, to Hannah Lark, born in the valley, December 26, 1827. Their children are: Jennie, Mary, Rachel, Joseph, Arthur L., John T., Elizabeth, and Edwin, the last tow deceased. Mr. Snyder is a Republican in politics, and for thirty-five years has been justice of the peace, always being re-elected by good majorities. He is a just and judicious officer, and his ruling are seldom reversed in the higher courts. In 1872 he was elected associate judge of the county, and served for five years. He has solemnized many marriages in the town and township. Mr. Snyder is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he holds the office of trustee, and is also the superintendent of the Sunday-school. He has been a lay delegate to the conference. In fraternity circles he is a prominent as a member of the Masonic order, and of Millersburg Lodge, No. 360, I.O.O.F.
Historical Review of Dauphin County