It has been said that the time to commence the training of a child is when its grandmother is an infant. The rule is a good one, and Stephen Kutesoff SNEED owes much to its application. His good training reaches father back that the limits of this sketch permit us to go.
Stephen was born 6 Oct 1841, in Granville County, North Carolina, under the roof of the ancestral mansion, "Montpelier," where his forefathers had lived since 1760. His father was Richard SNEED, a physician, respected by all and beloved by those with whom he was brought into professional contact. His mother was Lucy HENDERSON. Richard and Lucy had married in North Carolina, the native state of them both, and in 1851 removed to Kentucky, settling in the city of Henderson, where they resided until their deaths - Dr. SNEED in 1861 and Mrs. SNEED in 1868.
His paternal grandfather was Stephen SNEED, a captain under General Daniel MORGAN, commander of the famous riflemen, and at Bemis' Heights and at the Cowpens Captain SNEED dealt lusty blows for our independence.
His maternal grandfather was Leonard HENDERSON, an eminent lawyer and for many years chief justice of North Carolina, whose learning and ability were largely instrumental in formulating the jurisprudence of that state. Chief Justice HENDERSON was the son of Colonel Richard HENDERSON. Few names have more impressed themselves upon the history of Kentucky than that of Colonel HENDERSON. His ancestors were among the earliest settlers in Virginia, where he was born in 1735. Whilst a youth his parents emigrated to Granville County, North Carolina. He studied law and rose rapidly to wealth and distinction. The fertile wilderness lying between the Cumberland, Kentucky and Ohio Rivers attracted his adventurous spirit. By the Treaty of Wataga, made by him with the Cherokee nation of Indians, he, in consideration of ten thousand pounds sterling, acquired the whole of that territory, comprising what is now about one-half of the state of Kentucky. He named his empire Transylvania, called to his aid a few associates, organized a form of government, became its president, and convened a parliament at Boonesborough, of which Daniel BOONE was a member. But the Legislature of Virginia, which then embraced Kentucky, becoming jealous of Colonel HENDERSON's growing power, declared the Treaty of Wataga void, but by the same legislative act in consideration of his services to the state, granted to him and his associates a body of over two hundred thousand acres of land, embracing what is now a good part of the county and all of the city that bears his name. The rich county and the beautiful city of Henderson, with its refinement, culture and wealth, her splendid churches and schools, her prosperous manufactories, her broad streets and beautiful parks, are worthy monuments to the memory of their illustrious founder.
Young SNEED, in those early years of his life prior to the removal his parents to Kentucky, received that instruction, parental and scholastic, always bestowed upon the scions of the best southern families. After establishing their home in Henderson the boy was sent to the academy of W. H. DELANO, a successful instructor as well as accomplished linguist and a well-equipped lawyer. In his early maturity he read law for two years under the direction of Harvey YEAMAN, an association which, notwithstanding the disparity of ages of tutor and pupil, grew into a deep friendship that lasted until Mr. YEAMAN's death. Mr. SNEED never applied for admission to the bar, a profession he would have honored, and in which his subsequent career furnished proof that he would have made his way to the first ranks.
His first actual business experience was in the drug stores, then conducted by Ira DELANO and George LYNE, whence he was soon called to the position of bookkeeper, and afterwards teller of the Farmers Bank. Upon the organization of the Henderson National Bank in 1865, though a young man for such a responsibility, he was made its cashier and for several years was also its vice-president. A biography of Mr. SNEED would be, during the period of is existence, a history of this bank, which very soon after its organization took, and has ever since maintained a position among the most successful financial institutions of the state. Although having a watchful care over every detail of its business, his administration of its affairs has not been confined to mere cent per cent routine. His large and comprehensive knowledge of all that pertains to finance has given the bank a success and history that is rarely attained by those out of metropolitan environments. In the annual councils of the Union, as well as of his own state, he has long been recognized as one of the leaders, often called to serve upon their most important committees, as well as to discuss intricate and grave questions of finance.
But, arduous as Mr. SNEED's duties to his bank have been, it is greatly to his credit, as well as to the advantage of his community, that is has not absorbed all his thought and care. Not only has he found time to indulge a strong love for the best literature, until his extensive and varied reading, added to a genial and courteous disposition, has made him a most interesting and popular member of cultured society; but no useful enterprise or commendable charity of his city has ever appealed to him in vain, but has often met with the most substantial response. And with it all, though never seeking office, he always evinces and active interest in the affairs of the state and Union. During all his mature life, St. Paul's Episcopal Church has felt his helpful hand, and for many years as vestryman, at present junior warden, and not infrequently in the higher ecclesiastical courts his counsel is sought.
On 10 May 1871, at "Benvenue," the old SOAPER homestead near Henderson, where the bride had been reared amid ideal home surroundings, Stephen married Marianna, second daughter of William and Susan Henderson SOAPER. The kindest providence has smiled upon the union, but is chiefest blessing is the unbroken family circle - father, mother and six children: Susan Henderson; Lucy Henderson; Kate Soaper; Marianna Soaper; William Soaper and Stephen Kutesoff.
In 1881 the five sons and five daughters and many grandchildren of the father of Mrs. SNEED gathered around his couch. He died full of years and that respect of neighbors and affection of kindred that constitutes the highest earthly honor. One among the largest fortunes ever accumulated in Kentucky by fair dealing was the result of his business life. The mother of Mrs. SNEED (who was a mother in Israel as well) did not long survive him, having died in 1890.
Kentucky Biographies, John W. Gresham Company, 1896.
STEPHEN K. SNEED REFERENCES
1860 Census of Henderson County
Richard Sneed age 71, Page 38, House No. 353; Lucy F. age
65; Emily D. age 27; Jane H. age 22; L. H. (m) age
21; Ella age 19; Stephen age 18
1870 Census of Henderson County
Stephen Sneed age 28 (bank cashier) is listed with what appears to be a boarding house as William Ross age 44, Page 187-188, House No. 143 is listed first; other names are Reeves; Hanna; Cunningham; Lockett; Mathews; Gayler
1880 Census of Henderson County
S. K. Sneed age 38, Page 46, House No. 53; Marianna age 34; Susan age 6; Lucy age 4; Kate age 3; Marianna age 1 ALSO LISTED WITH THE FAMILY: Lettie Johnson (B) age 45 (servant); Mary Ruby (B) age 12 (servant); Mary Alves (B) age 20 (servant)
MARRIAGES IN HENDERSON COUNTY, 1806 - 1858
Bettie H. Sneed - James Alves, Jr., 15 Dec 1852, Book 001, Page
MARRIAGES IN HENDERSON COUNTY, 1858 - 1900
Stephen K. Sneed - Marianna Soaper, 10 May 1871, Book 011, Page
Richard Sneed, 28 Jun 1861, Fernwood, Age unknown, 495, 6
Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS