"William Snook, the great-great-grandfather of Samuel S. [sic] Snook, was the great-grandson [sic - son or grandson] of the pioneer ancestor of the Snook family, who emigated to this country from Germany. He married and raised a family.
"Matthias Snook, son of William Snook, married Christina Kleckman [sic - Maria Christina Kleckner], and had a number of children.
"Levi Snook, son of Matthias and Christina (Kleckman [sic]) Snook, was a farmer in Center [sic - Centre] county, Pennsylvania, where his death occurred in 1877 [sic - 1889]. He was a strong supporter of the Union party. He married Sophia Kleckmer [sic - Margaretha Wolfart(h)], and raised a family of children: 1. Matilda, married John Frazin. 2. Rueben [sic] W., of whom later 3. Jacob W., married a Miss Stover. 4. Elizabeth, married George Walford. 5. Kate, married John Rute. 6. Matthias, unmarried, was killed during the Civil war. 7. Elias W., married Rinda Reid, 8. Amelia, married Charles Bierly. 9. Barbara, married Nathaniel Courier. 10. Levi W., married a Miss Berry.
"Reuben W. Snook, eldest [sic - third] child of Levi and Sophia (Kleckmer) [sic - Margaretha Wolfart(h)], was born in Center [sic] county, 1833. He followed the occupation of farming in Clinton county, Pennsylvania, for about ten years, then removed to Bellefonte, Center [sic] county, Pennsylvania, residing there for about five years, and is at present (1906) living in retirement in Forsythe, Rosebud county, Montana. He is a member of the German Reformed church. He married Mary Walker, daughter of Daniel and Mary [sic - Hannah] (Erhardt) Walker. Daniel Walker was a farmer and mill owner, and one of the largest landholders in Myles [sic - Miles] township. He had children: Samuel, Jerry, Jonathan and two daughters. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben W. Snook were 1. Samuel A., of whom later 2. Emma, married Amos Fehl. 3. Ellen, married Ira Brungard. 4. Rebecca, married George Westaby. 5. Sadie, married James Kenealy. 6. Annie, married a Mr. Armstrong. 7. William. 8. John. 9. Edward. 10. Howard. 11. Elizabeth. 12 Maggie. [Correction: some of these children were not Mary Walker Snook's, but were instead Reuben's through his second wife, Elizabeth Nearhood. There are also children missing from this list.]
"Samuel A. Snooks [sic], first son and eldest child of Reuben W. and Mary (Walker) Snook, was born in Myles [sic] township, Center [sic] county, Pennyslvania, May 23, 1859. He was educated in the public schools of Bellefonte, where he was apt and studious. He then served a three years' apprenticeship to the wire drawing trade, and then held a positon of clerk in the Cambria County Bank of Johnstown; was with Bantly Fronheiser for three years, and then in the hardware business with John Dibert until 1889, when the flood of May 31, of that year, destroyed the building. Mr. Snook established a hardware store at No. 514 Main street, in 1899, and has conducted this very successfully up to the present time (1906). He is highly respected and esteemed by a large circle of friends and business acquaintances. He is a member and trustee of the United Brethern church, and a stanch supporter of the Republican party. He is a member of Johnstown Council, No. 401, Royal Arcanum.
"He married, April 10, 1889, Annia G. Shaffer, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Kantner) Shaffer, who had six children: Sarah, John E., Mary, Catherine, of Allentown, Annie and Margarett. Samuel Shaffer was a salesman. The children of Samuel A. and Annia G. (Shaffer) Snook are: Earl, born February 9, 1890. Clyde, October 11, 1892. Mary E., November 27, 1894. Robert W., October 3, 1898. John S., February 5, 1901."
Samuel Austin SNOOK was the brother of my children's 3rd-great-grandmother, Rebecca Catherine (SNOOK) WESTABY. There is a great deal of genealogy in this biography, some of it correct, some of it definitely not so. While transcribing this biography, not only did the genealogical errors make me cringe, but so did the obvious and numerous spelling and punctuation errors. Of great interest to me, however, is the note that Samuel's business was destroyed by the Johnstown Flood of 1889. This was one of the worst disasters in history of the United States in which 2,209 people were killed from the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River bursting, causing 20 million tons of Lake Conemaugh to cascade down the river. It damaged or destroyed five towns, killed 99 complete families, and caused $17 million dollars (the equivalent of over $407 million dollars today) of damage. To date, only the Galveston Hurricane of 1901 and the attacks of 9/11 in 2001 produced more casualties. Several movies and numerous books, including one written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, have featured this disaster.
This biographical sketch was taken from Volume III of the History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania with Genealogical Memoirs, by Henry Wilson Storey, published by The Lewis Publishing Company of New York and Chicago, 1907. Samuel's sketch was found on pages 626 and 627. This county history, transcribed and with images, can be found at the Cambria County, Pennsylvania GenWeb site.