Personal Information Page for
Snodgrasses of High River, Alberta
At least once a year for the past 15+ years at least one member of my family has been asked the same question "Are you related to the Snodgrasses in Alberta?" Several people mentioned the Snodgrass Funeral Home in High River, and another individual even took a picture of the Bob Snodgrass Recreational Complex in the same town.
Finally this summer, when on our way to a family reunion in Saskatchewan, hubby Bob was determined that we were going to find out just who these folks were. We met Larry and Marge Snodgrass, who were very generous in sharing their genealogy with us (thus the information below.) Unfortunately though there doesn't seem to be a connection to our own family tree. Larry and Marge are interested in finding lost cousins and can be contacted at the Snodgrass Funeral Home Ltd., P.O. Box 5028, High River, Alberta Canada T1V 1M3; phone (403) 652-2222, or Fax (403) 652-7292. The following excerpts were taken from a local history book regarding the community of High River, Alberta, Canada, but I didn't manage to get the name.
In 1929 Edgar Lyle Snodgrass opened a funeral home In High River. Lyle Snodgrass was a compassionate man, a man who had grown up in the community, and, with his wife Helen and later his sons Bob and Larry developed an empathy both rare in quality and also of immeasurable value to those in distress.
What many people have not realized was that for over 30 years the Snodgrass ambulance was a free community service. It is impossible to estimate the hours, miles and comfort made available in this way in times of emergency and stress, by a highly dedicated family with the interests of their fellowman and their community at heart.
Following Lyle Snodgrass' death his wife ran the business until their two sons took over, and in 1965 the family built and dedicated a beautiful chapel in his memory. Situated on the site of the original Snodgrass Funeral Home, the majority of High River's funerals are held from this chapel.
Snodgrass Funeral Home Started in High River in 1929
Funeral service in the southwestern community of High River, famous for its Little Britches Rodeo and picturesque foothills country, began in the late 1800s with Kelly's Funeral Home, which later became the Jones Funeral Home, then Field's Funeral Home. The firm operated until 1948 and finally closed its doors.
Snodgrass Funeral Home was the second established full service funeral facility in High River, started by E. Lyle Snodgrass in October, 1929.
Snodgrass came to High River with his parents at an early age. His family moved west from Hampton, New Brunswick so the senior Snodgrass could become manager of the Lineham Lumber Mill. Young Snodgrass would spend his early years on horseback or driving a team and wagon between High River and the foothills communities to the west, where he would deliver supplies to loggers and ranchers.
In 1923, Snodgrass was offered a job at the A.M. Shaver Funeral Home (now McInnis and Holloway) in Calgary, washing and maintaining the motor fleet. Over a period of six years, he completed his training and returned to High River to start his own business. For many years, his was the only ambulance service throughout a wide territory between Calgary and Lethbridge and Snodgrass Ambulance was on call on many a charitable errand of mercy.
In 1935, Snodgrass married the former Helen V. Beagle, RN, and together they operated the funeral home as well as supplying the ambulance service. They raised three children: Donna (Mrs. Donna McPhee), Bob and Larry.
During the conduct of his business, Lyle Snodgrass became well-known for his humanity and kindness. He was active and generous in community life and left a host of friends.
He died March 10, 1960, at the age of fifty-six, and wife Helen would continue to operate the business with the help of funeral directors Frankl Donald and Les Willis.
In 1964, son Bob (Robert R. Snodgrass) completed his training at Donald's Funeral Home in Vermillion and son Larry at Cy Foster-Gooder Funeral Home in Calgary. Both boys returned to High River to help their mother in the operation of Snodgrass Funeral Home Ltd.
In 1965 they demolished the old funeral home and built a new facility and chapel on the same site.
Snodgrass Ambulance continued to operate until it was closed in 1974.
In the years that followed, Helen, Bob (wife Karen) and Larry (wife Marge)
continued to serve the communities of high River, Okotoks, Turner Valley, Millarville, Nanton, Blackie, Longview, and Cayley.
Following Bob's untimely death on May 29, 1987 at the age of forty-three, Karen sold her interest in the funeral home to Larry who, with wife Marge, continues the business.
Helen Snodgrass continues to reside in her home next to the funeral home and can be counted upon to assist with telephone answering services.
Snodgrass burials at Highwood Cemetery, High River, Alberta
baby boy --- Range E, Plot 1
baby girl --- Range E, Plot 1
Ada May (nee Jenkins) --- Range E, Plot 1
info. d.10 Sept. 1936, High River, myocarditis, bd. 13 Sept. (William
Snodgrass, High River.)
Edgar Lyle --- Range T, Plot 48
Kate Esther --- Range M, Plot 210
Otty Verne --- Range M, Plot 211
Robert Reeves --- Range T, Plot 49
William Norman --- Range E, Plot 1N