John Snippen

Mr. and Mrs. John Snippen

John Snippen was born on December 1, 1880 at Cyrus, Minnesota. His mother was Mrs. Ingri Snippen.

Emma Lunden was born in Norway on September 14, 1877. She came with her parents to Wisconsin when she was ten years old, and later to Minnesota. She married John Snippen in Glenwood, Minnesota on December 31, 1901.

Along with Ole Rostad, and Peter and Lars Kolden, John Snippen moved to Roseglen to file on homesteads. They remained a month, building their shacks, and then moved back to Minnesota for the winter.

On May 17, 1903, Mrs. Snippen, Mrs. Peter Kolden and daughter Lillie, Mrs. John Lunde, Mrs. John Hill and some of her family, left Hancock, Minnesota for Minot, North Dakota by passenger train, while the men rode on immigrant cars, one for each, bringing cattle, horses, and household furnishings.

When the Snippens arrived at their homestead, they found that their shack had blown down, so they lived in a tent until they were able to build a 12x12 shack, which gave them roomf or a bed, dining room table, stove, two trunks, and six or seven sacks of oats, to be used for seed, stored under the bed.

On September 12th of that year, they were faced with a large snowstorm and blizzard, which killed several head of livestock.

On a Monday in November of that year, Mrs. Snippen’s mother, who had arrived shortly before, passed away suddenly, also during a blizzard. Due to weather conditions, Henry Snippens (who was staying at John’s) was unable to notify the other relatives until late the next day. Henry and Hans left for Underwood to get a casket on Wednesday, and didn’t get back until Saturday evening. As there was no cemetery yet, she was buried on the Snippen homestead, with Pastor Hestenes officiating.

The Snippens were charter members of Immanuel Lutheran Church, which they helped organize in 1903. Church services were held in various homes, and later in school houses.

During the spring of 1904, the Roseglen store and post office were opened. In order for the community to get a post office, a petition had to be sent to Washington, D.C. In order to get signatures for this petition, John walked through snow knee-deep, and sometimes waist-deep, to scattered neighbors.

Pat Glennon, a horse rancher who had come to the community from Iowa in the 1880s, and who lived a quarter mile north of the Snippens, helped in forming a name for the township.

Several names were suggested, including Glenwood, Rosedale, and Glen Rose. They finally decided to use the latter, but to reverse it to Roseglen.

In order to be sworn in as postmaster and assistant postmaster, the Snippens had to go to the Oscar post office, which was about half way between Roselgen and Ryder, a distance they traveled in a team of horses and wagon. At that time, the path was difficult because the snow was beginning to melt, and the drifts were still deep.

For a year, their mail came through the Oscar post office. A carrier from Minot brought it to Oscar, where the Snippens would pick it up and bring it to the Roseglen post office, which, at that time, consisted of a few shelves behind the door of their 12x14 shack. To begin with, mail was picked up only once a week, and neighbors would sometimes help out, picking the mail up at Oscar. John Hill made several of these trips.

The following year, a carrier by the name of Ed Fredeen started out from Ryder, then to Minot, to pick up the mail. The following day, he would come back as far as Ryder, and the following day to Roseglen, so it still took about a week to get a delivery.

About 1906, the mail began coming through twice a week. The Snippens started the Roseglen store in July of 1904, housed in an addition they built onto their shack. It was small, only about 14x16. Sod covered the lower half, while the top half was covered with tar paper.

Groceries were brought from Minot, which was a three-day trip, with two teams used to haul the wagon. There were no roads, only trails, at that time. In the spring, the creeks would overflow, and new trails would have to be found.

The groceries consisted only of a few staples, chiefly flour, sugar, unground coffee, and yeast. Sardines and crackers were major items for the bachelors, and cookies were also important. Plug tobacco was very important, and it came in large plugs that had to be cut with a butcher knife and sold for ten cents a cut. Kerosene, used in lanterns, came in five-gallon cans.

Mrs. Snippen was the chief bread maker and butter maker for the bachelors in the community. Lacking a scale to weigh the butter, she tried to make sure they got a good measure for a pound.

In 1909, a new store was built just west of the old house and store. Before the merchandise was moved in, Mr. and Mrs. Hans Lunden were married in that building. The Snippens operated the store until the summer of 1916 when it was sold to Andy Anderson and Steve Olsen. In 1917, the store and post office were moved to the present site of Roseglen.

The Snippens lived in the Roseglen community until 1941, when they moved to Ryder, and then to Minot in 1947. Emma passed away in August of 1960, and John followed in November of the same year.

Mr. and Mrs. Snippen’s children were: Irene (Mrs. Carl Nelson), Myrtle, Julia (Mrs. Floyd Hill), Lawrence, and Maurice.