Sunday, October 21, 2012

Odbrey Miles Snow (1831-1911)

   Today's profile takes us to Norfolk, Connecticut and one of that area's more oddly named public figures, state representative Odbrey Miles Snow. Born in Waldo County, Maine on February 21, 1831, Odbrey was the first of six children born to Levi and Mary Tracy Snow. Snow was afforded limited educational advantages as a youth and married in the mid-1850s to Ms. Ruth Ridley Ginn (1839-1923), with whom he had four children. They are listed as follows: Levi Tracy Snow (1860-1949, later a Connecticut State Representative in the 1890s), Melvin Edgar (born 1865), Mary Isabel (born 1867) and Frederick Wooster (born 1874).
  The majority of Odbrey Snow's life was centered in the private sector, engaging in the granite cutting business for many years. An interesting anecdote is given in a Connecticut Legislative Souvenir about Snow's early years in granite contracting. In 1860 he journeyed south to do business when he "narrowly escaped being pressed into service in the Confederate Army." Snow is recorded as making good his escape from enemy territory with several other men "in a boat from the coast of South Carolina on the night of November 18, 1863." Shortly afterward the group was picked up by the U.S. Brig Perry and returned to friendly territory.
   During the 1870s Snow continued making his name known as a granite contractor, helping to erect "many prominent buildings in the state." In the following decade, he became the head of the granite cutting firm Snow, Wooster, and Crissey in the town of Norfolk. Snow's placement here on the site rests on his short stint in the Connecticut State House of Representatives, to which he was elected in November 1882. Official taking his seat in January of the following year, Snow was named to the committee on Roads and Bridges during his one term in the legislature. 
   Little else could be found on the life of Odbrey Miles Snow following his time in state government. It is presumed that he continued involvement as a granite cutter, but this remains uncertain. He died at his home in Norfolk on December 21, 1911 at age 80 and was interred in the Center Cemetery in Norfolk. His wife Ruth survived him by over a decade, dying in 1923 at age 84, and was also interred at the Center Cemetery. The rare print of Snow featured in his article here was located via the digital archives of the New York Public Library. This portrait was part of an article that looks to have been a portion of a Connecticut legislative manual, and most of the facts contained herein were located from the brief biography on him located there.

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