Page 625-627, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Park M. Snorf, a prominent farmer of Milton township, belongs to one of the very earliest, pioneer families of Butler county. He was born near Niles, Mich., July 6, 1855, a son of Milton C., and Mary Elizabeth (Patterson) Snorf. His mother was a native of Darke county, Ohio, and a daughter of John Patterson, who was a native of Ireland and an early settler in Ohio. Milton C. Snorf was born in Darke county, Ohio, in 1830, and after reaching manhood, vent to Vigo county, Indiana, where he worked on a farm and at the carpenter trade.


When the Civil war broke out, he responded to the president's second call for troops, enlisting as a private, and was later promoted to corporal. He participated in a number of important engagements, among which was the siege of Vicksburg, and he was with Sherman on his march to Atlanta, participating in the battle of Atlanta and the march to the sea. He was in the grand review at Washington at the close of the war, after which he was discharged, having served about four years. He then returned to his wife and three children, who were at the home of her parents in Darke county, Ohio.

Shortly after the war, Mr. Snorf returned to Vigo county, Indiana, with his family, where he fitted up an emigrant wagon, and in the spring of 1867, started for Kansas, and they were on the road the greater part of that summer. They first located near Lawrence, and the following April, hit the trail again, this time with Butler county as their destination, and on April 9, 1868, they reached the northwestern part of this county. Here they filed on a claim in section 36 of the congressional township, which was later named Milton township, in his honor.

The Snorf family were the first white settlers in Milton township. The father built a one room cabin, 16x20 feet on his claim, about sixty rods west of the Whitewater river. He followed farming eight or ten years here, when he removed to Plum Grove, and clerked in a general store for Stark Spencer. In 1881, Mr. Snorf, with his family, went to Oregon, but the following year, returned to Butler county, engaging in the mercantile business in Plum Grove until the new town of Brainerd was started, when he engaged in business there. About three years later he became possessed by the spirit of adventure again, and he and his youngest son started across the plains in a prairie schooner, going to San Louis Valley, New Mexico. He took up a claim there, and after remaining about two years, returned to Butler county, and engaged in the grocery business at Whitewater, continuing in that business until his death, June 10, 1904. His wife preceded him in death a number of years, having passed away November 15, 1880. They were the parents of seven children, two of whom are now living, Park M., the subject of this sketch, being the second in order of birth.

Park M. Snorf was about thirteen years of age when the family first came to Butler county, and while yet practically a young man, he has seen Butler county developed from the wild, unbroken primitive state to its present condition. He has seen much of frontier life, not only in Butler county, but also farther west. He made the trip to Oregon with the family, and passed through a wild and uninhabited country. He spent considerable time in Cripple Creek, Colo., during the palmy days there, when the gold excitement ran high. He has had considerable experience as a hunter, and recalls having killed a buffalo just a few miles west of Newton. From 1872 to 1874, he was employed as a cowboy on a Texas cattle ranch and also herded cattle in Butler


and adjoining counties. On one of his drives, he saw a great herd of buffalo, consisting of countless thousands of these animals, in fact, buffalo could be seen as far as the vision could reach. He has frequently killed buffalo, and has had lively encounters with these animals after they had been wounded.

Mr. Snorf was married March 1, 1874, to Miss Clementine Brenner. She was born in Illinois, December 1, 1853, and is a daughter of Martin and Mary A. (Shaibles) Brenner. The mother was a native of Ohio, and the father of Pennsylvania. After their marriage in Ohio, they removed to Illinois, and, during the Civil war, came to Kansas, locating at Leavenworth. Here the father engaged in freighting between Leavenworth and Ft. Scott, Ft. Gibson, Lawrence, and other points. While on a trip to Lawrence, he was informed that Quantrill was burning the town and murdering the inhabitants, but he continued his trip, and when he reached there, he found the place in ashes, and many of the inhabitants had been killed. One of the men who escaped, rode back to Ft. Leavenworth with him, and gave him a saddle which he kept for a number of years. Shortly after the close of the war, and upon the advent of the railroads, he abandoned the freighting business, and for a few years, was a guard in the State penitentiary at Lansing. In 1872, he came to Butler county with his family, where he homesteaded and spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1914, his wife preceding him in death a number of years, she having died at Leavenworth during the Civil war.

To Mr. and Mrs. Snorf have been born the following children: Mary E., born March 18, 1875, and died July 3, 1875; Ida F., married James H. Adams, El Dorado, Kans.; Minnie Esther, married William Starkey, Findley, Kans.; M. C., resides in Butler county; Effie, married Andrew O. Clawson, resides in Butler county, and Frank M., resides at home.

P. M. Snorf is a Republican, as was his father, and he and his wife are members of the Baptist church. Mr. Snorf is one of the successful farmers and stockmen of Milton township, and the Snorf family history forms a conspicuous part of the story of Milton township and Butler county.

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