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Free Genealogy Biography of Isaac Snively,
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Isaac N. Snively, M. D.

Isaac N. Snively, M. D.. Waynesboro, is one of the lineal descendants of John Jacob Schnebele (the name being afterward changed to Snively), who emigrated from Switzerland to Lancaster County (in the then province of Pennsylvania). About the year 1707, he was naturalized in Philadelphia, October 14, 1729, in the third year of the reign of King George II, and died at the age of eighty-four years. This John Jacob Schnebele was twice married and had. two children by his first wife: Jacob, born in 1694, died August 24, 1766, and Christian, born August 15, 1731, died March 16, 1795, in his sixty-fifth year. His second marriage, which took place about 1761, was with Miss Margaret Washabaugh, who bore him eight children. His second child by this union, John Snively (grandfather of our subject) was born February 25, 1766, married a. Miss Anna Hege, October 24, 1794, and died in July, 1844, in his seventy-ninth year; his widow died August 17, 1852, in her seventy-seventh year. She was one of the descendants of Hans Haggy, who emigrated from Switzerland with his family to the American colonies with his brother-in-law, Hans Leaman, and his family, and others in the ship "James Goodwill," of which David Crocket, of Rotterdam, was captain. They landed at Philadelphia, Penn. September 29, 1727, and from there went to Rapho Township, Lancaster Co. Penn. settling near Manheim. Hans Haggy had a son, John, who was married to Elizabeth Pealman and lived near Bridgeport, this county; and their third child, who was born in 1751, and died May 13, 1815, married Maria Stouffer, who bore him four children, the eldest Anna Hege (originally spelled Haggy) being our subject's grandmother on his father's side. John Snively (subject's father) was born near Greencastle, Franklin Co. Penn. January 12, 1799, on the ancestral homestead, which was a portion of the original tract patented by John Jacob Snively in the days of the Penns, and has been handed down from father to son for over a century and a half. He (John Snively) was married to Miss Catharine, daughter of the late Jacob Keefer, from near Marion, this county, and who had moved here from Lancaster County, where Mrs. Snively was born August 22, 1802. John Snively died March 4, 1853, in his fifty-fifth year, and his widow followed him September 30, 1854. They were the parents of one daughter and six sons, of whom four sons are living: John K. a farmer; Dr. Isaac N. Dr. Samuel K. of Maryland; Dr. Andrew J.

Our subject was born near Jackson Hall, this county, February 23, 1839, and there spent his early life on his father's farm, assisting in the various farm duties during the summer months and attending the public schools during winters. At the age of fourteen, being left an orphan, he started out in quest of employment. Arriving in Chambersburg, he entered the store of Hutz & Son, acting as salesman with his cousin, John P. Keefer, who very kindly gave him access to his fine library. He soon acquired a fondness for books which disqualified him for the duties of a clerkship, and he withdrew to enter the Fayetteville Academy, then under the supervision of the Rev. Mr. Kennedy. From here he returned to Chambersburg and attended the private classical school of that, noted teacher, the late Thomas J. Harris, where for a time he also acted as assistant. He afterward taught in the public schools and took an active part in the Franklin County Teachers' Association.

In 1857 he graduated at Duff a Commercial College at Pittsburgh, Penn. In 1858, while teaching the Mt. Vernon School, near Waynesboro, Penn. he commenced the study of anatomy with Dr. Benjamin Frantz. In the spring of 1859 he became a pupil of the late Dr. John C. Richards, of Chambersburg, and graduated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Penn. in 1863.

In the same year, when the Confederate Army invaded Pennsylvania, the Doctor went to Harrisburg, and after passing the required examination before the State medical board, was commissioned by the governor of Pennsylvania as assistant surgeon, his commission bearing date June 20, 1863. He was assigned by Dr. King, surgeon-general of Pennsylvania, to do duty at Camp Curtin. He became acting surgeon of the Twentieth Pennsylvania Regiment, 20th Regiment, Col. William B. Thomas commanding.

He allowed himself to be mustered out of service with his regiment, and returned to Chambersburg, where he associated himself in the practice of his profession with his late preceptor, Dr. J.C. Richards. Besides their regular practice they had charge of the Town Hall Hospital.

September 8, 1863, the surgeon-general of Pennsylvania sent him a commission assigning him to the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 155th Regiment, then encamped at Beverly Ford, Va. Maj. Ewing commanding. He declined this, as well as a lucrative appointment on the Pacific coast in a marine hospital, preferring to continue in the practice with Dr. Richards.

December 24, 1863, he was married to Miss Alice B. daughter of the late Abraham Barr, Esq. of near Waynesboro, Penn. They moved on the Smith property on Main Street and there, July 30, 1864, they lost their all by the burning of the town by rebels. The Doctor was away at the time, and his young wife barely escaped from the flames of their burning dwelling. Left destitute, the Doctor was not discouraged, but in less than a week was found on duty in the United States General Army Hospital at Beverly, N.J. He continued here until the war was about closing, when he resigned to take the place of Dr. James Brotherton, Jr. of Waynesboro (who had lately died), and here our subject has enjoyed a lucrative practice. He was one of the founders of the present medical society of Franklin County, and of which he was president in 1874. He took an active interest in getting the railroads to Waynesboro, and was elected president of the Baltimore & Cumberland Valley Railroad in 1882, still holding this office. The Doctor has been successful, turning his attention largely to surgery, and he has but few superiors in that branch of his profession in Pennsylvania. He makes the eye a specialty, and through his professional knowledge has been able, by performing delicate operations, to restore perfect sight where his patient has been blind for several years. He is a permanent member of the American Medical Association, and a permanent member of the Pennsylvania State Medical Association. The Doctor and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. He is a Republican in politics. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. and also of the G.A.R. Captain Jno. E. Walker Post, No. 287, of which he has been surgeon for a number of years.

Source: Biographical Annals of Franklin County, Pennsylvania : containing genealogical records of representative families, including many of the early settlers, and biographical sketches of prominent citizens; Chicago. Genealogical Pub. Co.. 1905. Notes: Prepared in part by George O. Seilhamer.

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