From Europe to Mid-America

George Mitchell Snouffer

George Mitchell Snouffer

Male 1893 - 1987  (94 years)

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  • Name George Mitchell Snouffer  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Born 28 Jan 1893  Baltimore, Baltimore Cnty, MD Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Business - Grocery store merchant 
    Died 22 Feb 1987  Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5, 6, 7, 9
    Buried Forest Lawn Cem, Greensboro, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I2189  SnoufferCampbell
    Last Modified 31 May 2010 

    Father Richard Thomas Snouffer,   b. 25 Jan 1849, Frederick Cnty, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Apr 1924, Baltimore, Baltimore Cnty, MD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Caroline ("Carrie") Ginneman,   b. 12 Sep 1852, Ellicott City, Howard Cnty, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1932, Baltimore, Baltimore Cnty, MD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 30 Apr 1872  Middletown, Frederick Cnty, MD Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 11, 12, 13
    Family ID F598  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Minnie Matthews,   b. 23 Oct 1899, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Nov 1989, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 9 Nov 1918  Rockingham Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 10, 14
    Children 
     1. Charles Richard Snouffer,   b. 23 Jun 1920, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1989, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
    +2. Evelyn Marie Snouffer,   b. 5 Jul 1922, Baltimore, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Aug 2010, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
     3. William Winfield Snouffer,   b. 28 May 1924, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Aug 1985, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
     4. Ruby Snouffer,   b. 14 Jun 1925, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 2004, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    +5. Geraldine Snouffer,   b. 15 Jan 1928, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
     6. Gladys Virginia Snouffer,   b. 22 Jul 1932, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Jan 2001, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     7. Helen P. Snouffer,   b. 20 Apr 1934, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location
    +8. Ruth Ann Snouffer,   b. 7 Oct 1935, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Nov 2007, Titusville, Brevard Cnty, FL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     9. Esther Fay Snouffer,   b. 23 Jan 1937, Greensboro, Guilford Cnty, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
    Last Modified 8 Mar 2016 
    Family ID F786  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • The 1900 census reports "Mitchell," 7 yrs old, born in Maryland in Jan 1893, living with his parents Richard and Carrie and 6 siblings. 1900 U.S. Census, 12th Ward, Baltimore, Baltimore Cnty, MD (T 623, Roll 612, stamped p. 287).

      The following appears in WW I Military Records:
      "Snouffer, G. M. Private, Arty. [Artillery], Btry [Battery] E, 29th Div., 110th Regt. Born in Baltimore, Md., in 1893; son of R. T. and Mrs. Carey Snouffer. Husband of Mrs. Minnia [sic] Snouffer. Entered service July 25, 1917, at Greensboro, N.C. Sent to Camp McClellan, Ala. On Mexican border three months. Mustered out at Camp McClellan Dec. 15, 1918."
      (See: www.accessgenealogy.com/scripts/data/database.cgi?file=data&report=singlearticle&articleID=0016678 (accessed 23 Mar 2006).

      George's grand-daughter Kay Snouffer Emery reported that George had 9 children. (Email from waterskibelews@aol.com, 2 May 2000)
    • The 1940 census lists George M. Snouffer, 48, living with his wife Minnie, 40, and the following children: Charlie R, 20; Evelyn, 18; William, 15; Ruby, 14; Geraldine, 12; Gladys, 8; Helen, 6; Ruth Ann, 4; and Esther, 3. George and daughter Evelyn were born in Maryland; all the others, in North Carolina. George was a retail grocery merchant and his son Charlie was the shop keeper. George's brother Benjamin F Snouffer, 58, also lived in the family home, as did Minnie's father William A Matthews and her brother Marlin Matthews. 1940 U.S. Census, Hamtown, Guilford Cnty, NC (T 627, Roll 2920, stamped p. 990 B).
    • The following article appeared in the News Record [Greensboro, NC] (5 Aug 2005):

      Few Snouffers in 'Snouffer Town'
      By Jim Schlosser, Staff Writer

      GREENSBORO -- When students gathered to board school buses at old Jesse Wharton School on Pisgah Church Road, a driver would holler "Snouffer Town Bus now loading."

      Nearly all the children who jumped aboard were named Snouffer.

      They lived in what was called "Snouffer Town," a stretch of North Church Street between Charles Street and Denny Road. It was stocked with Snouffers from the 1940s through the 1980s, when numbers began declining. A house fire on July 25 [2005] drove two more Snouffers away, leaving only two.

      The Snouffer Town's patriarch was George Snouffer (pronounced "snoffer"), who died in 1987 at 94. He came from Baltimore early in the 20th century and hobbled through life on a stiff leg that the family says resulted either from an accident at Cone Mills or from childhood polio.

      Snouffer peddled goods from his car and bought acreage along both sides of the North Church Street extension. He also bought considerable property in Titusville, Fla. Snouffers still occupy the Florida land.

      In the '30s, George opened an upholstery shop and mattress company in Snouffer Town. The mattress company closed in the 1990s, but the upholstery shop continues under Sonji Snouffer Setzer, a granddaughter of George and his wife, Minnie.

      George and Minnie raised nine children in a house on Iris Place, just off Church. Not far from where the house stood, neighborhood residents enjoy a small park on land George Snouffer donated to the city.

      But the landmark most associated with the family is Snouffer's Lakes, visible from Church at the intersection with Berryman Street. George Snouffer and his son, Charlie, built the two lakes below a house dating to the late 1800s or early 1900s. Charlie and his wife, Frances, reared 11 children and at least two horses. After Charlie and Frances died, their children and grandchildren stayed in the house.

      People from all over paid to fish at Snouffer's Lakes. "They would either walk up here and pay, or we'd go down there and ask for the money," says Candy Snouffer Dickson, 32, Charlie Snouffer's granddaughter, who lived in the house until she was 25.

      The house now stands charred. The recent fire that started in a window air-conditioning unit drove Rita Dickson and her son, Charles, from the house. They now live in an apartment elsewhere.

      Their departure leaves only Sonji Snouffer Setzer and her mother, Helen Snouffer, in what used to be called Snouffer Town.

      Maybe it's for the best. Even though the family can count many successful members, others have been haunted by tragedy and trouble, with the fire the latest incident.

      The bad times started in 1986, when Charlie Snouffer's nephew, Bill Snouffer Jr., was charged with leading a local cocaine ring. Bill taught kung fu from a Church Street building and was a bodyguard for celebrities who came to the Greensboro Coliseum.

      Because the Snouffer case implicated several coliseum officials, news coverage of his arrest and trial was extensive. He avoided a possible life sentence by cooperating with authorities. He got 18 years. "It hurt our reputation,'' Candy Dickson says. "People would ask, 'Are you kin to Bill?' and I just wanted to say no." Snouffer served seven years and returned to Church Street. He was killed in a car accident during a snowstorm in 2002.

      Charlie Snouffer died in 1989, two weeks after the death of his mother, Minnie. Family members think grief caused Charlie's fatal heart attack. He adored his mother and went to see her daily. "He was her baby, and she catered to him," Sonji Setzer says.

      In 1993, a troubled teenager visited one of Candy Dickson's brothers at the old homeplace. In an upstairs room, he showed off a gun. The weapon accidentially discharged. The bullet went through the floor and killed Candy Dickson's aunt, Cathy Snouffer Frey, 37, who had been talking to her sister, Rita Dickson.

      This year, on June 19, Jared Setzer, 23, Sonji Snouffer Setzer's son, was shot dead at his home on Church Street after an altercation concerning a woman. The killer later committed suicide.

      Even the horses might have been victims of the Snouffer curse. Candy Dickson says she was told that, years ago, one fell in the lake and drowned. Another was killed when it wandered onto Church Street.

      For years, a beautiful lawn sloped from the house to the edge of the lakes. After Charlie Snouffer's death, the lake's banks became overgrown. Weeds have replaced grass between the house and lakes. "Charlie loved those ponds,'' Sonji Setzer says. "They were his life. He'd give mattress sets to those who caught the biggest fish.''

      Dickson says that, even if the house hadn't burned, it was doomed.

      A new road to a planned subdivision was set to go through it. Another subdivision on former Snouffer property already has some houses occupied.
      "It's hard to see ... all this go," says Candy Dickson. "But you have to move on."

      Sonji Setzer misses the togetherness the family once enjoyed when Church Street was more rural and peaceful. "I hate Church Street," she says. "Traffic is bad, and Greenbriar and Berryman are drug hills." The two streets, built off Church in the 1960s, have been the scene of narcotic dealings and other crimes.

      Make Sonji Setzer and her mother a good offer for their house and upholstery building, Setzer says, and the last two Snouffers in Snouffer Town will be gone.

      (See: www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050808/NEWSREC0101/508080307/1005/NEWSREC02010301 [accessed 5 Apr 2006].)

  • Sources 
    1. [S979] NC Census 1940, Guilford|, Guilford County, North Carolina, 1940 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C. ), (T627, Roll 2920, p. 990 B).

    2. [S40] Obituary|, Anonymous, "Obituary", (Faye E Snouffer; 26 Apr 1973).

    3. [S103] FindaGrave|, FindaGrave.com, (www.FindAGrave.com), 34670439.

    4. [S40] Obituary|, Anonymous, "Obituary", (William W Snouffer; 10 Aug 1985).

    5. [S207] Schlosser|, Jim Schlosser, "Few Snouffers in 'Snouffer Town'", (News-Record, Greensboro, NC : 8 Aug 2005).

    6. [S281] Social Security|, U.S. Social Security Admin., Social Security Death Index, (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693).

    7. [S211] Barbara Hacker|, Barbara Hacker, (Reports to Wm.C.Snouffer : Jun 2000; Feb. 2004; Mar 2005; June 2007).

    8. [s559] MD Census 1900, Balt|, Maryland, Baltimore, 1900 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C.), (T623, Roll 612, p. 287) (Reliability: 2).

    9. [S132] Tombstone|, Tombstone.

    10. [S68] Gervaise|, Gervaise Dynes-Wolak, "Snouffer2.ftw" and subsequent Email reports to Wm. C. Snouffer, (Gervaise Dynes-Wolak, Email: ten8ious@msn.com).

    11. [S174] Death Certificate|, Death Certificate, Baltimore, MD # D 85504.

    12. [S175] Hoover, Susan|, Susan Brown & David Hoover, Email Reports: "Ginneman.txt"; "Gertrude.pdf"; "BFSnouffer.pdf", (Susan & David Hoover, Email: Toky@aol.com : 12 May 2004; and subsequent Email reports).

    13. [s559] MD Census 1900, Balt|, Maryland, Baltimore, 1900 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C.), (T623, Roll 612, p. 287).

    14. [S981] NC Marriage Records|, North Carolina, North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2004, (North Carolina Registers of Deeds, NC State Archives, Raleigh, NC; online database, http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60548).