The Crowley Ridge Chronicle

Excerpts from an article on The Snowdens in The Crowley Ridge Chronicle (date unknown, estimated circa early 1970’s):

Dreamy summer afternoon at the main house, as seen coming in from the lake.

After Bob Snowden came home from serving in WWI, he went to Horseshoe to learn farming and “while there he boarded with a middle-aged couple. The wife was 60 and the husband 55 years of age. When it was time for Bob to leave and return to Knoxville for his wedding, he gave his landlady a box of candy for her kindness to him. The husband was the jealous type, and Bob found this description would have been an understatement as he mounted his horse to leave, for the man jumped him with a monkey wrench. He managed to get the man into the water, however, knowing that he was afraid of water, and he “just held his head under for a few minutes to cool him off.” At this moment the wife came running out yelling, “If you’ll drown him I’ll give you my last $50.00!”

And this was just the beginning of Bob’s troubles. He had to go overland to Bruins Landing to catch the mail boat so that he could get across the Mississippi River and catch the train for Memphis. As luck would have it there was a “flu” epidemic which complicated matters, since the boatman was sick, and this particular day became the first in about 50 years that the boat did not run. All young Bob could do was secure a boat himself, and row it across the river. He got a boat, jumped in with his suitcase and dog, and long came two men, the Baddour brothers, walking up with packs on their backs. The brothers explained that they had to get across, too, so they all rowed and landed the craft on a sandbar at the south end of the island instead of the north end. This meant that Bob was forced to swim about 200 yards. Although he lost his dog, he did manage to float his suitcase along with him. And even after reaching the other side, he still had to run a mile and a half to catch the train through Memphis and on to Knoxville, and made it to the wedding on time. (The Baddour brothers spent the night on the island.)

Grace recalled that neither she nor Bob knew one thing about living in the country. “I just assumed we would have milk, butter and eggs,” she said. “We would have starved had it not been for two dear neighbors, Dr. Burch and Mr. Gordon, who kept us supplied with food until we could get our own cows and chickens.”

Grace Snowden Reflects on Life in the Junior League

Originally published:  The Junior League’s Sustainer Spotlight

Grace Snowden Reflects on Life in the Junior League

by Susan Robinson

Mrs. Robert B. Snowden enjoys reading through “Good Abode” where “Ashlar Hall”, one of the Snowden family homes, is featured.

“I’ve been a member of the Memphis League since the 1920’s”, says Grace Snowden proudly. “In 1923 we held our first follies. Bob, my husband, was in it and so were the husbands of the other members. We made $10,000.00 – second only to the New York League. Of course this was the first time our League had gone to the public for fundraising. It was quite a success!

“There were so few members in the Junior League then that everyone worked on all of our projects.” Mrs. Snowden has spent many volunteer hours serving as President of the Crippled Children’s Hospital Board, President of the Art Academy Board, a member of the Salvation Army Board and the Board of the Memphis Garden Club.

She was born Grace Mountcastle in Knoxville, Tennessee and moved to Memphis with her husband, Robert Bogardus Snowden. They lived at 1397 Central, “Ashlar Hall”, with his parents and the children. Between the house in Memphis and the plantation at Horseshoe, where she still resides, her young married life was exciting. “There were no roads to the plantation in the twenties so we had to ride down the Mississippi River in a boat to get there, and Ashlar Hall, a funny looking old house, was big enough for all of us. “ The house was designed by her husband’s father, an architecture student at Princeton and built in 1896.

At 85, Mrs. Snowden is a Sustaining member of our League. Along with Harriet Van Vleet, Lucia Vinton, Estelle Wardle and Octavia Evans, our founding members, Mrs. Snowden is here with us to share her memories of our League’s first years. How fortunate we are to have these members to remind us of the graciousness and wisdom of our League’s beginnings.