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Robert Snowden
1809–August 25, 1890
Last week The Express announced the death of Robert Snowden of Bowen's Prairie on the 25th ult. The demise of this man demands something more than a passing comment. The illness of the editor prevented our obtaining the particulars of his life in time for that issue. Since then the Cascade Pioneer has come to hand which contains a biographical sketch which was dictated by Mr. Snowden himself a number of years ago. That sketch says:
"And who does not know "Bob" Snowden? We might truly answer every man, woman and child in two counties. Robert Snowden was born in the county Monaghan, Ireland, in the year 1809; left Belfast for America on the 9th day of May 1829, and landed at St. Johns New Brunswick, on the 11th of June, and remained there until October, and from thence went to Philadelphia, and lived in that city for seven years, during which time he married Mary Boyd. From Philadelphia he came west to Dubuque, and engaged in mining and smelting; in 1839 he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, and purchased a farm on Farm creek in Richland township, Jones County and afterwards with his brother George purchased a farm on Johns creek, in Whitewater township, Dubuque county, upon which he resided for a number of years, afterwards leased the farm and became a resident of Cascade. In 1867 he sold his farm to Anton Koop and Nicholas Knapper, and purchased a farm in Richland township, upon which he now lives. Mr. Snowden claims to be the oldest settler in Richmond township -- excepting Barrett Whittemore. "Bob is comfortably fixed and takes the world easy.
We may add that since that sketch was first written Mr. Snowden moved into the village of Bowen's Prairie where he spent his declining days.
For fifty years Robert Snowden was a prominent citizen of Jones and Dubuque counties. Being a man of firm and unyielding convictions he naturally took an ardent interest in politics. He was an uncompromising republican after the birth of that party and was always prominent in the county conventions. Being of a disputatious nature he made the copperheads in the neighborhood of Cascade, during the war, as uncomfortable as it were possible to make them feel. "Bob" Snowden was truly loyal and he never feared to enter the most exclusive of copperhead circles with his patriotic talk.
It is well known that the first indictment found by the first court held in Jones county was that of the United States vs. Robt. Snowden for assault and with intent to commit great bodily injury. This indictment was found March 22d, 1841. Mr. Snowden was tried at the following term of court and as the trial developed the fact that Mr. Snowden had given the prosecuting witness a sound and much need thrashing because he had insulted one of Mr. Snowden's lady friends he was triumphantly vindicated with a verdict of "not guilty."
Mr. Snowden stood always ready to strike a wrong, and with his convictions once formed he never advocated any compromises of any form.
His heart was full of sympathy for the weak and unfortunate.
The deceased is survived by his widow with whom he lived almost, if now quite, sixty years. No children were ever born unto them. He had been patiently waiting for death for nearly a year and welcomed its coming. He was buried at Cascade last Wednesday with Masonic honors by his brethren of Burns Lodge 173 A. F.&A.M. of Monticello.

Transcribed by: Janet A. Brandt
Source: Monticello Express, September 4, 1890

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Last updated on Friday, 16-Apr-2021 16:55:54 MST