The Prairie Grove Stock Farm, comprising three hundred and twenty acres, situated on section 11, Wall township, is a fitting monument to the life of thrift and energy of the proprietor, J. H. Snelling. He is here engaged in farming and stock-raising, having for the past twelve years made a specialty of the breeding and raising of shorthorn cattle. Mr. Snelling is a native son of Illinois, his birth having occurred in La Salle county, on the 2d of March, 1846, a son of John and Rebecca (Shaver) Snelling, the former a native of West Virginia, while the birth of the latter occurred in Ohio. They became pioneer settlers of La Salle county, the year of their arrival there being 1832, and from that time until his death, which occurred in the year 1888, the father was closely identified with the agricultural interests of that section of the state. The mother, however, is still living and yet makes her home on the farm in La Salle county. Although she has reached the very advanced age of eighty-six years, she is still active and performs the major portion of her household duties. Their family numbered seven children, as follows: Nancy, the wife of Morris Weaver, of Ford county; Elizabeth and Olive, both of whom are now deceased; J. H., of this review; David, who resides in La Salle county; and George R. of Coffeyville, Kansas; and Annis, with the mother in La Salle county.
J. H. Snelling was reared to agricultural pursuits, assisting his father in the operation of the home farm during the summer seasons, while in the winter months he pursued his education in the common schools. He later went to Chicago, Illinois, where he attended a business college, from which he was graduated. Following his graduation he returned home and for two years assisted his father in the operation of the home place. He then accepted the principalship of a business college at Galesburg, Illinois, which position he filled for two years, but on account of failing health, occasioned by indoor life, he was compelled to resume farming operations, and again returned to Ford county, renting the homestead property for four years. On the expiration of that period he purchased the farm which is now his home, this place comprising three hundred and twenty acres, situated on section 11, Wall township, which is known as the Prairie Grove Stock Farm. He has improved the property with excellent farm buildings for the shelter of grain and stock and has a commodious and modern country residence, so that the place in its neat and attractive appearance constitutes one of the valuable farm properties of this section of Ford county. He is here engaged in raising various cereals best adapted to the soil and climate, while in his pastures are seen high grades of stock. He makes a specialty of breeding and raising shorthorn cattle and this branch of his business is proving a gratifying source of income to him.
Mr. Snelling was united in marriage to Miss Frances E. Spradling, the ceremony being performed on the 15th of September, 1872. She was born in La Salle county in 1851, and is one of a family of ten children. Her parents are both now deceased, the mother having lived to the advanced age of ninety years. The two sisters of Mrs. Snelling now living are: Rachel, the wife of George Debolt, a resident of La Salle county; and Elizabeth, the wife of Eugene Poller, who makes her home in Piano, Illinois.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Snelling has been blessed with three sons and one daughter: Herman, who is engaged in the implement business at Paxton, Illinois; William Roy, at home; Blanch E., who is with her parents; and John F., who is still under the parental roof. Mr. Snelling gives his political support to the men and measures of the democratic party and at one time served as supervisor of Wall township, while for fourteen years he acted as school treasurer. Although public-spirited and willing to aid in any movement calculated to benefit his home locality, he prefers to leave office-holding to others, his farming and stock-raising interests claiming his time and attention. He finds his greatest social enjoyment at his own fireside, where his family and intimate friends know him to be a delightful companion. He has worked earnestly and persistently in the acquirement of success and today he feels amply repaid for the effort he has made in life, for the Prairie Grove Stock Farm is looked upon as one of the valuable properties of Ford county.

Extracted 19 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 1, pages 382-394.

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