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The Centennial History of Hurricane: Meet Some of Hurricane’s Oldest Families

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 210th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Debra Dittmar

In 1941 Charles Snyder moved his family to 3429 Teays Valley Road, a 12 acre farm with an 8 room house, large barn and out buildings. They came from Mammouth, where the Snyder men had been coal miners. Charles had been seriously injured in 1937 in a mine accident and his handicap led to the family’s relocation to Hurricane. Charles, who was born in Fairmont, married Pearl Carver of Fayetteville. They had six children between 1916 and 1936: Albert, Mattie, Robert, Page, Virginia and Donald. When the family moved to Hurricane, Robert and Page were in the U.S. Army. Albert remained a coal miner. Virginia and Donald began school at Hurricane Jr. High and Elementary.

Charles, walking on crutches, and with the help of the family, farmed a bit and raised chickens; reportedly he had some 3,000 chickens at various stages which were sold for food. As WW ll ended, the family enlarged with Robert and Page and a son-in-law, Donald Young, coming home; they, by now, had wives and children too. The old farmhouse bulged but as jobs were found and new starts were made, things came back to normal.

Again, with the help of his family, Charles built a small store building and opened a general merchandise store in 1948. It was an interesting endeavor. Charles obtained a license to operate the store and with $400 cash borrowed a car and drove to Huntington to a wholesale food store. The wholesalers broke cases of a variety of food and he brought it home and stocked the shelves. With the help of a friend and meat supplier, Mack Meats of Huntington, Charles was able to buy a meat case, slicer and scales. Ziegenfelders ice cream put in a freezer and stocked it. The Mootz Bread Company of Huntington supplied a fancy bread rack and kept it stocked. Roy Roberts of Hamlin, a traveling candy wholesaler, stocked some shelves with candy. Charles was in store business. The store was an easy stop for many and the good people’s business helped keep the Snyders going.

Albert married Gracie Shamblin of Mammouth and they had three daughters: Peggy, Giera-jean and Betty. After Gracie’s death, Albert married Ada Kirby of Ward and they had five sons: Albert Jr., Russell, Larry, Jim and Paul. Albert and much of his family live in and around Nitro.

Mattie married Donald Young of Mammouth and they had four children: Eugene “Sonny”, Bobby, Donna and Janet. Much of her family is in and around Hurricane.

Robert married Mary Henson of Hugheston and they had two children: Bobby and Steve. At the time of his death, he lived in Texas.

Page married Katherine Bartin of Hugheston and they had five children: Regina, Bobby, Norma, Judy and Brenda. Page resides in Ohio.

Virginia married Ralph Collins of Milton. They bought the old Booth home alongside Hurricane Creek where it crosses under Route 34. They had three children: Shelia, Deborah and David. Virginia and much of her family reside in North Carolina.

Donald finished Hurricane High School in 1955. He married Linda Guthrie of St. Albans and they had a daughter, Debra Lynn. Donald later married Sharon MacAulay of Barre, VT, and they have a son, Charles. They live in Brattleboro, VT.

Charles and Pearl continued to live in the old home place until their death in 1965 and 1967. The home is still owned by the family.


A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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