A Guide to the Ambrose L. Snavely Papers, 1903-1952 Snavely, Ambrose L. Papers Ms1989-014

A Guide to the Ambrose L. Snavely Papers, 1903-1952

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1989-014


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2013 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ambrose L. Snavely Papers, 1903-1952
Physical Characteristics
0.5 cu. ft. 1 box
Snavely, Ambrose L.
Diaries, financial records, and farm records of Ambrose L. Snavely, a farmer in Crockett (Wythe County), Virginia, during the first half of the 20th century.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Ambrose L. Snavely Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Ambrose L. Snavely Papers, Ms1989-014, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Ambrose L. Snavely Papers were purchased by Special Collections in 1989.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Ambrose L. Snavely Papers commenced and was completed in May, 2013.

Biographical Note

Ambrose Lafayette Snavely, son of Alexander S. and Ann Copenhaver Snavely, was born on September 14, 1868. He married Minnie Blanche Matney (1873-1913) in Wythe County on July 21, 1895, and the couple would have four children. Snavely remained in Wythe County, operating what was apparently a large apple orchard and livestock farm. Ambrose L. Snavely died on April 27, 1934, and was buried in Saint Pauls Lutheran Church Cemetery, Rural Retreat, Virginia.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the papers of Ambrose L. Snavely, a farmer in Crockett (Wythe County), Virginia, during the first half of the 20th century. The collection includes four small diaries, marked by Snavely as numbers 43-46. The diary entries consist largely of work records, detailing Snavely's work activities as well as the names of workers and the work they performed. Snavely also briefly notes weather conditions and occasionally mentions trips, visitors, and incidents at home and on the farm. The focus, however, is overwhelmingly on work. The collection also includes ledgers and memoranda books containing livestock purchase, sale, and breeding records; accounts with laborers; apple, poultry, and sheep transactions; and general and household financial records. Despite their arrangement, the ledgers do not always strictly track only one type of farm account. Also found within the labor accounts ledgers, for example, are pages devoted to oil purchases, haulage, and grass sold. The business seems to have been continued by one or two of Snavely's sons (A. Frank and Maury), and the 1931 poultry ledger bears the name of Mrs. Frank Snavely. A folder of loose materials at the end of the collection includes, among other items, a single letter written by Snavely to McClain Catterlin of Staunton, Indiana; and a certificate of membership for the International Corporation of Mercer Heirs.


The collection is arranged by ledger type, then chronologically, followed by a folder of loose papers.

Index Terms


  • Agriculture
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South

Contents List

Box-folder 1-1
Diaries, 1929-1931
Box-folder 1-2
Livestock and shucking records, 1903-1932
Box-folder 1-3-5
Labor accounts ledgers, 1913-1932
Box-folder 1-6
Apple accounts, 1940-1952
Box-folder 1-7
Poultry ledger, 1931
Box-folder 1-8
Sheep ledger, 1917-1952
Box-folder 1-9
General farm and household accounts ledgers, 1918-1935, n.d.
Box-folder 1-10
Correspondence and ephemera, 1932-1944