Samuel Sussman Snow
Values Codes I- E – H -L
Samuel Sussman Snow (Snoek or Snook) was born in 1818 in Demmin, New Prussia. His father was a rabbi.
Samuel Snow began to study medicine in France.
Along the way . . . .
Then, in 1836, at the age of 18, he journeyed to America.
In 1837, he arrived in New York City, where he completed his degree in medicine.
In 1849, Snow was naturalized as an American citizen.
He then headed West where, Samuel Snow became a fur trader in St. Croix County, Wisconsin.
Snow and his wife soon left St. Croix for Council Bluffs, Iowa where he purchased a ranch of 160 acres – standard land grant size.
Samuel and Pauline Snow did not acclimate well to the cold weather in Iowa, so in 1850, they set out for California via covered wagon.
Due to his education and experience working with Indians, Samuel became the leader of this wagon train expedition.
The California Gold Country
Three months after leaving Iowa, the Snows arrived in Pleasant Valley, California.
Snow took squatters’ rights on Sacramento land that would eventually be the site of the state capitol.
Then, alone, he went to Placerville to provide for the family.
Moving to nearby Dogtown, Samuel Snow opened a tent store for the miners.
His wife and son joined him there.
Paulina Snow ran a restaurant.
In 1851, Samuel Snow bought a ranch in Iowaville, California. His brand was a Double S.
He ran a hotel, bowling alley and store.
He also bought a profitable mine that produced gold for the Snow family until they sold it, almost 100 years later, in 1946.
By 1860, Snow considered his profession to be that of a “ditch agent,” meaning that he had the authority to work with the allotment and distribution of water to farmers.
Dr. Snow continued his medical practice in the local area with his neighbors, local miners and Indians.
Dr. Snow was a trustee of the Placerville Hebrew Benevolent Society.He helped with the purchase of a cemetery in 1854 as well as the purchase of a lot for a synagogue to be built in 1878.
Pauline Snow was Catholic by birth, but seems to have adopted her husband’s religion in that they raised their children as Jews.
Despite a lack of available Jewish education, the Snow children maintained a Jewish identity.
Samuel Snow married Paulina Fink (1827-1882) in New York.
They had 9 children: Emanuel (1850-1925), Joseph (1851-1926), Jacob (1853-1939), Benjamin (b.1856), Caroline (AKA Carrie)(1858-1949), Herman (1861-1932), Emily (1864-1891), Jennie (1867-1867).and Charles (1868-1932).
Carrie married Rabbi Herman Davidson, of Congregation Ryhim Ahoovim in Stockton, California. For further information, please see JMAW’s Herman Davidson exhibit.
Samuel Sussman Snow died in 1892.
Paulina Sussman died in 1882
Both are buried at the Jewish Pioneer Cemetery in Placerville, California.
Snows Road, running from Newtown to Camino in El Dorado County, is named for the Snow family.
For more information see the following issue of Western States Jewish History:
- Clar, Reva. Samuel Sussman Snow: A Pioneer Finds El Dorado. Western States Jewish History. October 1970. v.3 n.1
and . . .
- Roots & Gold Dust Genealogical Society Newsletter, Jan 2012. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cargdgs/newsletter1201.pdf
Samantha Silver is our curator for this Dr. Samuel Sussman Snow Exhibit.