There existed in Colorado, one half of my grandparents on my dad's side of the family. She was the daughter of a single mother, and somehow she was to get to Tacoma, Washington in order to meet my grandfather. Well along comes a Samuel Mahar and with his wandering, adventurous spirit married my greatgrandmother and sired two girls. Sometime along 1898 there was a gold rush in Alaska, and you guessed it Sam took off for the riches of the strike, which were not his to gain so, he came back to Tacoma and as the story goes sent a message to his wife to pack up the girls, there were three, and head to Tacoma via the train. Well it seems they arrived at the train depot before he did and they had to wait at the station, in a strange town, for him. Well to make this story a shorter one, My grandfather was living in Tacoma at the time and the rest of this story is, well ........... Thanks Sam!
When Samuel Mahar wed Carrie Smith Reeves, each had children from previous marriages. With Carrie, there was Walter (nephew & half son) and Jessie. With Sam there was Hattie and Lota his daugters and Robert Irwin his son. Carrie was widowed by a Thomas B. Reeves and Sam was a widower have lost his wife Mary Ella Beggs.
Sam and Carrie married and had two daugthers Lilian and Evelyn, both my grand aunts whom I have specific memory of even upon this writing. Eventually Sam and Carrie settled in Tacoma, Washington with three girls, Jessie, Lilian, and Evelyn. Sam's children were old enough to stay behind in Colorado with relatives as well as Walter Reeves, Jessie's half-brother. The Samuel Mahar family settled into a home at 1111 North Fife Street.
It was from here that Jessie Reeves grew into the teenager who attended Stadium High School (Statium is a historical interest), attended church at 6th Avenue Baptist in Tacoma, and subsequently met the man who was to become her husband for life, one Harry Arthur Snyder. It was also from here that Lilian and Evelyn spent their early years, where one would go on to graduate from Stadium High School while the other would move on to Puyallup High School, out in the Valley. When Jessie and Harry were married, they were able to move into a house on South Oakes, in Tacoma, which Sam helped Harry build for their home.
Sometime in the neighborhood of 1915, as the story goes, Sam and Carrie purchased a small acerage in McMillin, Washington which in essence was up rive from Tacoma. It seems that Sam was into something differenc again, and was set to take advantage of the Land Bank offerings. It was this small farm traded for the South Oakes residence, that brought Harry and Jessie to McMillin sometime in the early 1920's. This small acreage was part of the Federal Land Bank provisioning of land to the citizens of the United States as the country was formin. It existed on the east side of the Puyallup river, at the union of the Puallup and Carbonado Rivers, which would also play a big part in the life of the Harry Snyder Family. This farm was the center point of my dad's growth in his teenage and early twenties, and the site of the B.Z.R. ranch (chickens). which was the joint effort of one Jessie R. Snyder and her mother Carrie S. Mahar. Part of this farm washed away in one of the floods of the early century as there were no organized flood management projects in place such as "Mud Mountain Dam" for controlled water release, or dikes and levees along the river to hold the water in the channel.
My Aunt Carol tells of an endearing memory in that one of her favorite recollection is of Grandpa Mahar sitting on the back porch at the farm and peeling an apple in a spiral means as to produce one long peel. He then would slice a piece off and with the words "girlie, would you like a bite of apple?" offer it to my Aunt Carol.
The photo at the left, is one of the last in the collection it is a part of. It appears to have been taken sometime around 1934, and is one of the last known taken of Sam before his passing. At this time, about 1935, the Sam Mahars were living in Tacoma, at 6431 So. Oakes which was Jessie and Harry's first home in 1908 and subsequently traded to Sam Mahar for the farm at McMillin. This photo could have been taken at the Jessie Snyder residence on the hill, just east of Woodbine Cemetary, where the family moved following Harry's death and the loss of the McMillin acreage.
I suppose the story that was influential in my life as well as those 1st cousins of mine, is the one which found the Sam Mahars and Harry Snyders taking a trip to Prineville, Oregon, for the sole purpose of staying there and setting up a ranch, sheep most likely as that was in Sam's background. Althouth the trek in 1910, was taken by one Jessie Snyder who was pregnant with her first child and her husband of two years. I suppose Lilie and Evelyn were with them also as this was to be a permanent move. Upon arrival at the crest of the hill overlooking the valley at Prineville, Sam turned to Harry and said, "This is not for us" or words to that effect as the story goes, and they turned around and returned to Tacoma. If they had settled in the Prineville area, the Harry Snyder, Casper Neher, and Charles Tweed lineages would most likely be non-existant and yours truly (me) is greatful for that. Oh the fortunes of God's Planning.