Nuggets of History: The story of Dr. George Ulysses and Annie Snapp, Part 2


Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part series about Dr. George Ulysses and Annie Snapp. Part 1 can be found in the Jan. 20 issue of The Sentinel.

Annie and Robert had two sons, Ulysses (1866-1887) and Lewis (1868-1930). Although a divorce record was not located, Reames remarried in 1893.

Annie and Dr. Snapp likely met in Ohio, where the towns in which they lived were around 25 miles apart. They may have met through Annie’s father, Levi, who was a physician and dentist, although not of electric medicine. 

Arriving in Oregon, Dr. Snapp was first at Willamina, which lies between Salem and Lincoln City, but George and Annie soon arrived in Cottage Grove, where he became an active member of the community.

On their return from Ohio in March 1895, George and Annie were able to marry when Dr. Snapp’s first wife, Effie, filed for divorce in April, citing willful absence and gross neglect. She remarried the same month to Lewis Irvine Overholser and remained in Ohio until her death in 1931. Mildred grew up in Jackson, Ohio and appears living with her maternal grandparents in the 1900 Federal Census. In the same census, Effie and Lewis Overholser were farming in Germantown, Ohio, about 120 miles away from Millie.

The Snapps purchased land on which to build a house on their return as the Cottage Grove “Echo-Leader” noted in its Aug. 3, 1895, edition: “Dr. Snapp has built a handsome and useful barn on his lots in Cottage Grove. We learn that he will soon erect a nice residence on the same lots and make other nice improvements.” 

The house at 1104 West Main St. remains, selling last year for $326,000. 

The Snapps lived in Cottage Grove when the town was split. In 1893, the portion east of the Coast Fork of the Willamette River became East Cottage Grove, then renamed Lemati in 1895. Dr. Snapp was elected councilman on his side of the river in July 1895 and again in 1899 when the two sides were rejoined as Cottage Grove.

While living on Wall St. (now West Main St.), Dr. Snapp appeared to have a busy practice, treating patients suffering the ailments one would expect in that time. The local newspapers reported Dr. Snapp treating a dislocated shoulder from a fall from a hay loft, three broken ribs after a fall from a barn loft, a broken leg after jumping from a load of hay, a broken arm when the roof on an outbuilding collapsed, fingers smashed at a lumber mill, a broken leg suffered at a lumber mill, a child burned, a child bitten by a spider and a shooting accident. 

Dr. Snapp himself was not immune from injury as the Jan. 4, 1896, issue of the “Eugene City Guard” reported: “Dr. Snapp met with quite a severe accident last Tuesday evening. He had been called out to the country to see a patient, and while there, was called back in great haste to see a little child who was thought to be dying. He was riding rapidly and reigned up on approaching the bridge but as the horse stepped on the approach, it slipped and fell, (Dr. Snapp) catching his leg under it, breaking one bone of the fibula, about the lower third, and dislocating the tibia at the ankle joint. Dr. McKenney, of Eugene, came up on the local and dressed the limb, and the doctor is now resting as well as could be expected under the circumstances, but he will likely keep his bed for the next month or two.”

Although there were likely other doctors in Cottage Grove, Dr. Snapp waited on Dr. McKenney, who was also an Eclectic physician. 

By 1899, the Snapps were on the move again. They sold their residence on Wall St. in March and moved to a residence next to the doctor’s office on Main St. But the couple soon left Cottage Grove for another extended trip to the East. Annie Snapp returned in February of 1900 and Dr. Snapp followed a month later. While gone, Dr. Snapp took a postgraduate course at the Eclectic Medical Institute in Cincinnati. 

Upon their return, the Snapps built another new home, this one on property they purchased from the Methodist Church. The Aug. 3 1900, issue of the “Bohemia Nugget” reported: “Dr. Snapp has only recently completed a handsome two-story residence, foundation 20 x 27, valued at $600.” It appears the residence was on the south side of Main St. where the IOOF Building is now. 

As was custom for the day, newspapers were wont to print any tidbit about anyone in town. The local papers included items about Dr. Snapp such as having grown a French beard on his return from Ohio in 1900, having received two alligators shipped from Florida, his having two Belgian hare in a wire cage in his front yard and that he had received a “seven-dollar gold nugget from a friend in Dawson (Yukon), which he has mounted, making a beautiful watch charm.”

The following year, Dr. Snapp left Cottage Grove for good, landing first in Ukiah in Eastern Oregon. We do not know the date Dr. Snapp and Annie divorced – she was living alone in Baker City according to 1905 and 1908 city directories. She married Lucius Waterman on Oct. 14, 1908 in Jackson County. She died March 23, 1912 in Amity and is buried in Amity Cemetery.

Dr. Snapp also remarried, wedding Minnie Sipe Stephens in Walla Walla, Wash. in July 1913, although he was living in Oregon. They had a son, Paul Snapp, who was born in Metolius in 1916 and died in 2003.

He reconnected with his daughter Millie and she was living with him in 1910 in Milton-Freewater, near the border across from Walla Walla. She died the same year at age 18 and is buried at the Milton-Freewater IOOF Cemetery. The large granite marker has her name as well as that of her father, obviously he intended to be buried with his daughter.

Between his time in Cottage Grove and his death, Dr. Snapp continued to be on the move. The Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929 lists Dr. Snapp as having his practice in Freewater (1912), Long Creek (1913), Metolius (1917), Independence (1924), West Timber (1924) and Salem (1926), where he died Oct. 20, 1928 at the age of 64. His cause of death was listed as apoplexy (stroke). Instead of being interred with Millie or any of his three wives, Dr. Snapp is buried alone in St. Barbara Cemetery in Salem.

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