The Works Progress Administration

Biography of William M. Snoddy of El Monte California

One of the early settlers of Southern California, William M. Snoddy is remembered in the citizenship of the state and held in high esteem for the qualities of character he displayed during his residence in this section. He was born in Boone County, Missouri, in 1843, a son of John W. and Sarah (Beattie) Snoddy, both of whom were natives of the same state, later, in 1849, becoming California pioneers, settling in Los Angeles County.

William M. Snoddy was reared on the home farm until thirteen years old, when his mother died, and he then became dependent upon his own resources. He lived for a number of years with an uncle, during which time he performed many duties among which was a slave driver on his uncle’s plantation. He later became a clerk in a store in St. Joseph, Missouri, and remained in this connection until 1864 when he crossed the plains to California. He located in Sacramento for the period of one year, after which he went to San Jose and engaged in trading and farming. In 1869 he disposed of his interests in San Jose and came to El Monte.

In 1870 he purchased from the San Francisquito Ranch, a fifty-acre tract of land, located a mile and a half north of El Monte. It was then in a wild state, and he at once began improvement and cultivation which eventually placed it among the most valuable ranches in this district. He was very successful in his work, later acquiring one hundred and five acres of a additional land adjoining his original ranch. He was always active in the upbuilding and advancement of the section, giving special aid to educational affairs, assisting in the building of the Savannah school, in which he served as director for some years.

He was a staunch adherent of the Democratic principles and although never desirous of personal recognition along this line, gave his support toward party advancement. Active on his ranch throughout the last years of his life, Mr. Snoddy’s death occurred in 1905.

Mr. Snoddy married in 1873. Before their marriage, Mrs. Snoddy was Miss Samantha J. Tibbet, a native for Franklin County, Ohio, her birth having occurred in the vicinity of Columbus. Her father, Jonathan Tibbet, was born in Medina County, Ohio, December 18, 1822, a son of Jonathan and Huldah (Root) Tibbet, natives respectively of New York and Vermont, and the former of German ancestry.

In 1849 Mr. Tibbet set out for California accompanied by his family, leaving Missouri July 14 and arriving in Los Angeles February 17 of the following year. He went at once to the mines of El Dorado County and met with phenomenal success, in one day taking out as much as $8,580 in gold. He soon returned to Ohio with his family and again in 1853 the journey was made across the plains. Mr. Tibbet bringing with him a drove of sheep and cattle, and after a perilous trip over the Spanish Trail they reached Los Angeles County in safety. He then located in El Monte and engaged in farming, later removing to Compton and eventually purchasing a hundred acre ranch four miles northeast of Santa Monica, where his death occurred April 18, 1903, his wife having passed away in 1892.

Mr. and Mrs. Snoddy are the parents of three children: John B., a farmer in the vicinity of El Monte; Mary E., the wife of Andrew McClintock, of Monrovia; and Nina I., Mrs. Ashton of Santa Monica. Mrs. Snoddy died in 1923.

Source: C. D. Mayon, F. Brow, L. Stoddard, and C. Mudd; El Monte from the Pioneer Days. WPA Project No. N-5740, 1936. In record 19-187072. (California Historical Landmark No. 765: El Monte). On file at the SCCIC, CSU Fullerton.

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