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WILLIAM MARION (BILL) SNIDER FAMILY
William Marion (Bill) Snider, son of Mike and Veronica (Grudziecki) Snider, was born on May 27, 1911 in Robertson County, Texas on the C.M. Campbell farm near Wooten Wells.
Bill grew up on the farm in Robertson County where he plowed the fields with mule teams alongside his older brother, John, his father, Mike, and sisters, Willie and Connie.
Like his brothers and his father, Bill enjoyed fishing and hunting and did so at every opportunity. As teenagers, Bill and John would put on their Sunday best clothes and walk about three miles through the woods just to go dancing on Saturday night. The trip back in pitch darkness was even more exciting and the boys would run most of the way thinking they were being followed by ghosts.
(A few years ago, I visited the old Snider homeplace near Wooten Wells and found the old overgrown cemetery that the Snider kids had to pass in the 20's and 30's. It's still a scary place.)
In his early 20's, Bill courted Rosie Helen Sopchak and they were married on November 27, 1933. Shortly thereafter, the newly weds moved to Harrah, Oklahoma (where Bill's sister, Willie and his brother-in-law, Kie Storemski, lived). Bill found work in the oil fields and the family remained in Oklahoma for four years before returning to the Bremond area.
On June 21, 1934, Bill and Rosie's first child, Grady John, was born in Harrah, Oklahoma. After struggling with the dust storms and depression-torn economy for another three years, Bill and Rosie decided to move back to Bremond. The timing was right. Willie and Bill's younger sister, Connie, were getting married in a few days and they all wanted to make it to the wedding.
For a while, Bill and Rosie stayed with Bill's parents until they could get a place of their own. Later, they moved to the Averette place across the road from where Bill's two sisters, Connie and Willie and their husbands, farmed the Kirkpatrick place. Another of Bill's brothers, Bruno, and his wife, Verna, also lived nearby. During this time, his son, Grady attended school at St. Mary's Catholic School in Bremond where all classes were taught in Polish.
During this period of time, the Snider families conversed primarily in Polish so their oldest children spoke fluent Polish. Later, the families moved away from predominantly Polish communities and switched over to English with occasional conversations in Polish.
In the early 40's, Bill didn't own a tractor and plowed the fields with teams of mules. His wife, Rosie, and his six year old son, Grady, shared in the plowing work. They also raised livestock and a large garden which provided most of the food requirements for the family. Rosie would get together with her sisters-in-law, Connie and Willie, and can sauerkraut, corn, beets, pickles, and tomatoes for the coming year.
Like the other members of the Mike Snider family, Rosie and Bill attended Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bremond every Sunday. Then it was time to visit relatives or have the relatives over for Sunday dinner. Dominoes was a big part of their way of life.
From this farm midway between Bremond and Reagan, Bill moved his family to Wallis, Texas where he farmed a year before moving to Rosenberg. After the Snider's left the Averette place, Bill's sister, Christine and her husband, Frank Knapik, moved there to begin sharecropping.
Bill and Rosie raised cotton, corn, and maize. Like many Polish families, they also raised a garden, kept a milk cow and raised poultry and hogs for food.
On one of the farms, the girls remember their dad and brother, Grady, plowing in a nearby field. Their job was to take them fresh cold water. To get to the field, they had to pass over a creaky old bridge and recall singing, "Little Brown Jug" as they hopped and skipped along the trail.
In the early 50's, Bill leased a farm outside Beasley (near Rosenberg). During this time, his brother Bruno was having family problems so Bill took in his children, Joanne and Frankie. They went to school in Beasley and took their First Holy Communion while staying with Bill and Rosie.
All total, Bill and Rosie had eight children including:
Grady John - Born June 21, 1934 in Harrah, Oklahoma
Evelyn Marie- Born May 12, 1939 in Bremond, Texas
Dorothy Louise- Born November 7, 1940 in Bremond, Texas
Augustine (Auggie) JoAnn- Born December 10, 1942 in Bremond
James (Jimmy) Lee- Born February 1, 1948 in Rosenberg, Texas (Died of Leukemia on October 9, 1952)
Rosemary Kathryn- Born on May 27, 1950 in Beasley, Texas
(her dad's birthday)
Richard William- Born June 27, 1953 in Richmond, Texas
Tommy Wayne- Born December 26, 1954 in Richmond, Texas
Most of Bill and Rosie's children attended Beasley Elementary School and Lamar Jr. and Sr. High in Rosenberg. The kids helped with working the fields and taking care of the farm animals.
Bill was a good-natured, jovial, family man who enjoyed kids. You always had to be on the lookout because you didn't know what trick he might pull on you.
In the early 50's, Bill raised a bumper crop of cotton and field hands were scarce that year so he arranged to get his brother-in-law, Kie, his son, Dan, and his nephews, Leonard and Dan Kubiak to come out and help with the harvest. At the same time, Rosie arranged to have two of her nieces, Delores and Barbara Sopchak, come down from Houston to help out.
When we arrived at the farm, there was cotton as far as the eye could see. That night, sleeping arrangements were made which was no easy matter because of the number of people involved. The adults and the girls were bedded down inside and some of the boys bedded down on the porch and underneath the big cottonwood tree. It was a hot summer and the outside sleeping quarters were actually the best. It was a lot of fun to sleep outdoors with the wind gently rustling the leaves of the giant cottonwood tree.
Morning came early on Bill's farm as we soon learned. About 4:30a.m., we were awakened by the aroma of bacon and eggs and voices coming from the kitchen. However, hardly anybody stirred. It was just too early and we were still tired from the trip.
Then came Uncle Bill's booming first call for breakfast. Some of the kids got up; others just rolled over and went back to sleep. A few minutes later, we were awakened with a dipper of cold water in the face to see Uncle Bill's smiling face. Nobody had trouble getting up after that.
Bill's cotton crop was good that year and there was plenty of work ahead. Everyone worked hard in the fields from daylight to dark most of the summer.
However, when it rained, it was time to play. On one such occasion, Grady took the older boys dove hunting, then drove into town and bought some beer. On other rainy days, the kids scattered out to go skinny dipping in the nearby ponds or sit out the rain in the hay loft.
One Saturday, all the men and boys packed up several seines and took off on a fishing trip. Bill knew of a shallow lake that to his knowledge had never gone dry. The pond was about the size of a football field and located in the middle of the woods. We tied several seining nets together and soon started seining for fish. Never had we seen so many fish at one time. We caught everything from catfish to alligator gars, buffalo, carp, perch and also our share of snakes! I recall the alligator gar would tear up the nets so the men
would attempt to free them from the seine as soon as possible. After several sweeps around the pond, we filled two wash tubs with fish. I recall we spent a considerable amount of time cleaning the fish after we arrived back at the farm.
That's how the "Beasley" summer went. Lots of hard work, play and a world of memories.
Bill continued to live in the Beasley area until he died of cancer in January of 1959. He spent his last few days at the M.D. Anderson Institute in Houston and died January 8, 1959 at the age of 47. He was described by his children as a good natured, hard working person who believed in strong discipline for his children- a wonderful Christian person who was with them for only a short time. Bill was a man who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. He loved his family, the life of farming, and hunting and fishing.
At the time of Bill's death, several of his children were married or otherwise living on their own (Grady was 24 years old and married, Evelyn was 19 and working in Houston, Dorothy was 18, married, and expecting her first child). However, several smaller children still lived at home (Tommy was four, Richard was five, Rosemary was eight and Auggie was 15).
After Bill's death, the family suffered a tremendous loss and Rosie was unable to continue living on the farm. She moved to Houston, spending her summers in Bremond with Kie and Willie, canning vegetables. She also spent a lot of time vacationing with her children at every opportunity.
Rosie Helen (Sopchak) Snider, born in Sealy, Texas on October 10, 1913, was one of 13 children of Anton and Josephine (Walker) Sopchak. Antone was born in Poland and came to the U.S. at the age of six.
After her husband's death in 1959, Rosie was faced with the responsibility of raising several small children (Tommy was four, Richard was five, Rosemary was eight and Augustine was 15). With the help of her oldest children, Grady and Evelyn, all four children graduated from high school and the youngest child, Tommy Wayne, graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Civil Engineering.
Rosie was described by her children as "a very sweet and patient mother. A lady who would always do for others before she would do for herself. A lady who was a follower of Christ and spread the teachings of Christ through her works. Her greatest virtue was giving and making others happy."
After Bill's untimely death, Rosie spent several vacations with her children. One year, she accompanied Dorothy, Jim, Evelyn and Tom to San Antonio and Mexico. Another year, she went with Grady and Lillie and family to Oklahoma for a family reunion on Lillie's side of the family. Rosie enjoyed camping trips with her daughters, Evelyn and Dorothy (and their families).
In 1975, Rosie flew to Pennsylvania with Evelyn to visit Evelyn's friend, Sue Ann Bleacher who lived on a tobacco farm (this was Rosie's first plane flight and she loved it). While in Pennsylvania, she toured an Amish farm, Hershey Park, the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum and many other interesting places.
In 1977, Rosie toured Texas, New Mexico and Colorado with her daughters, Evelyn and Augustine.
Rosie thoroughly enjoyed being a "grandmother" and all of the grandchildren loved "Busha" Snider. She would always bake them cookies and buy special presents at birthdays and Christmas.
Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and Thanksgiving were special events at Rosie's home. All the kids and grandkids gathered at her home as a tradition until her illness in 1978.
In 1978, Rosie was informed she had a form of cancer. For the last five years of her life, Rosie lived in Stoneham, Texas with her oldest son, Grady, and his family.
Her first time to vote occurred in 1982 when her nephew, Dan Kubiak, was running for Land Commissioner. Needless to say, she voted for him. She died the following year on June 27, 1983 at the age of 69.
John W. Snider Family History
Willie (Snider)Storemski Family History
Connie (Snider) Kubiak Family History
William Marion (Bill) Snider Family History
Bruno Snider Family History
Christine (Snider)Knapik Family History
Louis Snider Family History
Lee Snider Family History
Over time, I intend to include family history information for all families that tie back to Tom and Jacob Snider. Bear with me, this will take some time!
For questions or comments, send me an Email
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