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Rachel Snowden (Larrison)

Also Known As: "First Woman Pioneer in Omaha"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Kentucky, United States
Death: Died in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, United States
Place of Burial: Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Larrison and Rachel Larrison
Wife of William P. Snowden
Sister of Minerva Barnes; Rebecca Caroline Barnes; Ezekiel Larrison; Melissa Barnes and ?? Womack

Occupation: Hotel & tavern keeper
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rachel Snowden

The Rachel Snowden Corral, a non profit "dedicated to fun and scholarship related to the American West," is named for the first woman pioneer of Omaha, Nebraska - Rachel Snowden.

Rachel Snowden

  • 1860 United States Federal Census
  • Birth: Circa 1831 - Kentucky, United States
  • Residence: 1860 - First Ward Omaha City, Douglas, Nebraska, USA
  • Husband (implied): William Snowden
  • Children (implied): Nancy J Snowden, Mary E Snowden, George F Snowden, Hellen M Snowden

From "She stayed". Rachel Snowden - First Woman Pioneer in Omaha

Rachel stayed.  She stayed through the good times and bad, reportedly a hard-working, kindly, and caring wife, mother and citizen.

Rachel Snowden (1831-1898) came to Omaha on July 11, 1854.  She was 23, and the 'city' had a population of two adults, Rachel and her husband, William, and their three young girls.

Eventually, they had seven children, six who survived to adulthood.

When the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 opened the Territory of Nebraska for settlement, the Council Bluffs and Nebraska Ferry Company needed someone to establish its 'town site claim' on the other side of the Missouri River in present day Omaha, Nebraska.  William and Rachel Snowden were employed to manage the claim house, which they cheerfully named the 'St. Nicholas Hotel.'  It was a log cabin near present day 12th and Jackson Streets, consisting of one main room and an attached kitchen.  They hosted travelers and provided temporary living quarters for early settlers.  The first church service was held there, using Rachel's brass kettle as a call-to-meeting bell.  They also hosted dances and public meetings.

William, who in his long life became known as 'Uncle Billy,' held a series of public jobs, including sheriff and marshal.  He also worked as a carpenter, auctioneer, and doorkeeper in the new territorial Capitol.  He was not , by nature, a moneymaker.  During these years Omaha's economy experienced many ups and downs.  Through it all, Rachel stayed.  She stayed through the good times and bad, reportedly a hard-working, kindly, and caring wife, mother and citizen.  She died at age 67, and is buried at Prospect Hill, Omaha's early cemetery. 

Sources

  1. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 Name: William Snowdon Marriage Date: 9 Sep 1847 Marriage County: Buchanan Spouse Name: Racheal Larison

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Rachel Snowden's Timeline

1831
December 21, 1831
Kentucky, United States
1898
December 17, 1898
Age 66
Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, United States
1898
Age 66
Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, United States