Benjamin Snelling, Sr. (1791 - 1853) MP

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Birthplace: Nelson, Kentucky, United States
Death: Died in Mariposa, California, United States
Occupation: Rancher, justice of the peace, Hotel keeper
Managed by: Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Snelling, Sr.

Benjamin Snelling was born March 30, 1791 in Nelson County, Kentucky. He was the son of William Snelling and wife Sarah "Sally" Scott. He married Frances "Fannie" Burrus on September 20, 1814. The license was issued in Trigg County and the marriage took place in Christian County.

Frances Burrus was born September 8, 1797 in Orange County, Virginia. She was the daughter of Roger Tandy Burrus and wife Cynthia Mills. Her family traces its lineage back to pre-Conquest England. The family moved to Kentucky in the early 1800's.

From Christian County, Benjamin and Fannie moved to Caldwell County, Kentucky and by 1830 had moved on to Missouri. In 1836 Benjamin was one of the first justices of the peace in newly formed Johnson County. Benjamin and Fannie were founding members of High Point Baptist Church, which still exists today.

In 1849, Benjamin led a party of pioneers across the Southern Route to California. His wife Fannie, daughter Jemima and husband, son Roger and wife, widowed daughter Sarah, son William and wife, son Benjamin, son Charles, and his mother Sarah Scott Snelling were among the party. They reached California in December, 1849 and made their way to Mariposa District where thousands were mining for gold. Some time before 1851 the Snelling family owned a ranch along the Merced River. Benjamin bought a "house of entertainment" near the ranch and converted it to a hotel.

Benjamin died in Mariposa County, California, on November 29, 1858, after a short illness. He is buried on a bluff overlooking his ranch and the future town of Snelling, California. He died intestate but his probate records are found in Merced County. After his death, widow Frances returned to Missouri, along with sons Charles and Benjamin.

Children:

  • Sarah Ann SNELLING, b. ca. 1816; d. 15 Oct 1852, CA; m. 7 Sep 1836, Johnson Co., MO, David S. WHITE
  • Roger B. SNELLING, b. ca. 1818; d.s.p. ca. 1822
  • Cynthia SNELLING, b. ca. 1820
  • William S. SNELLING, b. ca. 1821; d. 23 Jan 1858
  • Charles V. SNELLING, b. ca. 1824
  • Jemima S. SNELLING, b. ca. 1826
  • Frances Rebecca SNELLING, b. ca. 1828
  • Benjamin Lafayette SNELLING, b. ca. 1830

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Benjamin Snelling, Sr.'s Timeline

1791
March 29, 1791
Nelson, Kentucky, United States
1814
September 20, 1814
Age 23
Christian, Kentucky, United States
1816
1816
Age 24
Christian, Kentucky, United States
1818
1818
Age 26
1823
1823
Age 31
1826
1826
Age 34
1827
1827
Age 35
1831
1831
Age 39
1833
1833
Age 41
1836
1836
Age 44