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.