Name: Benjamin Merriweather SNEAD
Birth: ABT. 1845 in Virginia
Death: 3 APR 1899 in Doaksville, Choctaw Co., OK, Old Ervin-Snead place
Ben and Amanda had five children, but first Amanda died and then Ben died, leaving the children orphans. Tom and Ben were very close,
and Tom took responsibility for the children (after his sister refused, saying she wanted nothing to do with little savages). Tom married Eugia, who took Ben's children in and raised them as her own. My grandfather, one of Ben's children, loved Eugia dearly. Tom died, but I don't know when. Eugia and Tom had children, too. Beverly Brown email@example.com
Ben was raised in Paris, Texas
1896 Choctaw Census
451-13 SNEAD, Ben M. 50 M White, Married Since 1875 Towson/Intermarried
429-308 SNEAD, Amanda 37 W 3/4 Thomas K 10 M, Edward P. 8 M, Susan J. 6 F, Roberta 4 F, Johny 1 M, Towson/By Blood
Ben and Amanda are the parents of the children Aunt Eugia took to raise. Edward P. was my grandfather. (Beverly Brown)
The children are Thomas Kendrick (and the family called him Kendrick), Edward Paul, Susan Jane, Roberta (the family called her Bert) and John Yates.
Kendrick's mother was Ben's first wife and Amanda's sister. Amanda's Choctaw name was Amanda Apeha. Her father was originally A-pe-ha (pronounced ah PAY ha), but at some point they were also required to take English names, so A-pe-ha took the name William, and became William Apeha (so I guess he just kind of took an English name), and Amanda took his first name for her last name and became Amanda Williams.
The original enrollees did get was a land allotment. Ben deeded his over to Eugia to thank her for the care she had given him and his siblings. It might be the same land where Nadine and Wyndle David have their house. Nadine is the daughter of Eugia's son Clyde. Ben and Amanda's graves are in the pasture behind Nadine's house. There are no markers at the grave site. Nothing to see of Ben and Amanda's graves.
Ben Snead was something of a hellion. One time he was somewhere down on the Mississippi River, riding through a little town on his horse. He saw a drunk coming butt-backward out of a saloon, like in the movies, and Ben, prankster that he was, pulled his gun out and filled the drunk's rear end full of buckshot. The sheriff didn't think that was so funny, so he threw Ben in jail. Ben sent word to his father, John Yates Snead, who was a riverboat captain. John Yates came on his riverboat to wherever it was Ben was being held and broke Ben out of jail in the middle of the night.
Ben had pretty bad luck with his wives. The first was apparently a white woman with whom he had several children. They all died, probably from an epidemic of some kind, and they are reportedly buried in Paris, TX in the same cemetery with John Yates Snead and his wife, Lemira Lambert.
Next, Ben married Sallie. My grandfather (Ed Snead) said Sallie and Amanda were half-sisters, sharing the same mother (Sukie Bohanan), but not the same father. Amanda's father was Apeha, who later took the English name of William Apeha. However, confusingly, on Sallie and Ben's son Thomas Kendrick's death certificate, Sallie's name is listed as Sallie Apeha.
Amanda had another half-sister, Sarah Stephen. Sarah and Amanda were half-sisters on their father's side, both being Apeha's daughters. Sarah's mother's name is, according to family tradition, Hoblatona. I've found Sarah in the Dawes Rolls, the only of the three sisters to survive long enough to be enrolled, and, confusingly, she listed her parents as Sukie and Apeha. Sarah died without any heirs, so her property came to Amanda's children. Ed Snead filled out the paperwork as to who Sarah's heirs were, and he made a conscious decision to include Kendrick, even though Kendrick was not blood kin to Sarah, because no difference had ever been made between the siblings, as far as who was half and who was full, and Granddad said there was no way he would allow any difference to be made as long as he had to power to prevent it. I feel sure Sallie and Amanda weren't full sisters, since whether or not Kendrick was entitled to inherit from Sarah
wouldn't have been an issue if they had been.
I happened upon the document in the McCurtain County courthouse where Kendrick sold the portion of Sarah's land he inherited.
I wonder if the reason all three sisters seem to have listed their mother as Sukey (when she was the mother of only Sallie and Amanda) and their father as Apeha (when he was the father of only Sarah and Amanda) had something to do with Choctaw culture. If the three sisters were living in a family unit with Sukey and Apeha, they may have all chosen to ignore actual parentage in favor of the de facto family unit.
And then Ben outlived Amanda, so as I say, he didn't have much luck with his wives.
Their son, Edward Paul, then married a beauty, Cleda Brisbin, and they had their only son, Arthur B. Unfortunately an infection took her
life 3 days after delivery, after which Arthur B. was farmed-out (literally) to Susan Ellison, brother of Edward Paul.
Cleda was a beauty. I've seen her picture. I believe she was a music teacher at Armstrong Academy where all the Snead brothers went to school. Ed taught there for a while, and that's when he met Cleda. When Arthur was a boy, he would go to Cleda's parents' house, maybe in Kansas or Nebraska, in the summer time. He said they were farmers and they made him work really hard when he went there. They didn't like it when Ed remarried; they thought he was disrespecting Cleda's memory and that he should remain a widower the rest of his live, even though he was a young man, not quite 30, when Cleda died.
Lera, Aunt Eugia's youngest daughter, says she remembers when Cleda died and for a time there was discussion about Eugia taking Arthur to raise. Lera said she was too little to realize what a sad situation it was, and she was excited to think they might get a baby at her house. Aunt Suzie had a baby just a little older than Arthur she was breast-feeding, so it made sense for Suzie to take him instead, so that's where he went. Of course there was no formula back then, so a baby's chances of survival were much better if he could be breast-fed.
I'm sure Ed remembered back to when his own mother, Amanda, died, leaving little baby Henry. A neighbor woman took him to try to raise him, but there were no nursing mothers around to wet-nurse him, and Henry died.
Edward Paul then married Opal, who gave birth to Amelia, Paul, and Robert, all half-brothers and sisters to Arthur B.
When Ed and Opal married, about six years after Cleda died, he told Suzie he wouldn't take Arthur from her, since she had had him all his life, but she told him Arthur's place was with his family and so he came to live with Ed and Opal. Arthur said it was very hard on him to leave the only home and the only mother he had ever known. Of course, they never lived very far away, and Suzie's children were more like siblings to Arthur than cousins.
Aunt Suzie never wanted her children to shorten Arthur's name to "Art", so instead they all called him "Arthur Brisbin" or "Arthur B." or "Sy."
Arthur died in April 1999, at 81 years of age. He was a dear, gentle man, like his father before him.
By the way, for those of you who get the Bishinik newspaper from the Choctaw Nation, last month's issue had a picture of the Armstrong Academy football team of 19?? I don't have it in front of me, but maybe 1919. John Yates Snead, the youngest of Amanda and Ben's children to survive, is in the front row; one of Aunt Suzie's daughters, Geneva, submitted the picture to the paper.