Jump to Navigation

Snyder-Rockwell collection

Date: 1779-1948 (bulk 1862-1918)

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Ms. Coll. 783

Unit ID: 47105

Restrictions: None

Biographical sketch: Julia Marshall (Snyder) Rockwell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1850 to George Snyder and Mary Love (Scott) Snyder. She was the granddaughter of Gustavus H. Scott and Elizabeth D. (Marshall) Scott. Mrs. Rockwell came to Kansas when she was a teenager on the Kansas Pacific Railroad to stay for a while with her Uncle David Scott, at one time a quartermaster for the Union Army, who lived in Ogden near Fort Riley with his wife. Mrs. Rockwell's memoirs describe her childhood in Philadelphia, the plains of Kansas, the early settlements, the Pacific Railroad, buffalo hunts, the soldiers at Fort Riley, Tom & George Custer, and Chapman & Junction City, Kansas. Mrs. Rockwell loved her time in Kansas and wrote admiringly of the natural beauty of the great plains of Kansas and the fun and friendships she and her family had with the officers and soldiers of the Fort. Mrs. Rockwell’s mother’s family came from a line of distinguished military men from Virginia. Her father was a businessman who had a general store, hotel, and ran a post office in Chapman with his family. She had a sister named Anna Finlaw who was married to Dr. William Finlaw, a pioneer physician, and they made their home in Santa Rosa, California. Mrs. Rockwell also had two brothers, George E. Snyder of Chicago, Illinois, and James Evans Snyder of Chapman.

Julia Marshall Snyder married Captain Bertrand Rockwell in Junction City, Kansas, in 1870. They had five daughters: Bertha Venanzi of Assisi, Italy; Mrs. I. T. Cameron of Kansas City; Mrs. Francis H. Cosby of Redwood, California; Mrs. James R. Edwards of San Francisco, California; and Mrs. Ingrahm D.Hook of Kansas City. Mrs. Rockwell died in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1947. She was a member of the Daughters of the Revolution and the Dames of the Loyal Legion.

Captain Bertrand Rockwell was born in Warsaw, Illinois, in 1844 to George Rockwell and Catharine Cole (Westlake) Rockwell. Captain Rockwell had three sisters, Susan Albers, Annie Chaffee (married to General A.R. Chaffee), Kate Clarke, and two brothers, George A. Rockwell and Thomas Hawley Rockwell. Bertrand Rockwell enlisted as a private in the Civil War in July 23, 1862 in Company C of the 34th Iowa Infantry. His father, George Rockwell, served in the Missouri Calvary. Before the war his father was a businessman in Warsaw, Illinois and was one of the leaders in the war against the Mormons to drive them out of Illinois. Bertrand Rockwell was an established businessman in Junction City when he married Julia Marshall Snyder in 1870. Mr. Rockwell and his wife were residents of KC, MO since 1905 where he died April 15th, 1930. Captain Rockwell was a strong supporter of Fort Riley and men in the military. He was a distinguished and active member of the Loyal Legion in Kansas City, MO.

George Snyder, father to Mrs. Rockwell, was a businessman who at one time owned a hotel and store and ran the post office in Chapman, KS. He was born in Philadelphia in 1816 and married Mary Scott in 1844 in Crawfordsville, Indiana and had four children, two boys and two girls. He was a merchant in both Philadelphia and Indiana before moving to Kansas. According to a statement in his correspondence collection, he served as a clerk in a Quartermaster’s department for one year in Fort Riley. From his correspondence and other personal papers and a couple of his drawings it is evident that Mr. Snyder enjoyed writing poetry and was an amateur artist. It is also apparent from his correspondence with family members that he was very close to both the Snyder and Scott families. Julia Rockwell writes fondly of her father and his playfulness with his daughters. It is not known when he passed away.

David Scott, Uncle to Julia (Snyder) Rockwell, served during the Civil War as a 1st Lieutenant in the Sixteenth Regiment of Infantry in 1847, and then Assistant Quarter Master of Volunteers with the rank of Captain in 1864. When he lost his position as Assistant Quarter Master he retired in Ogden near Fort Riley where he opened his house to those posted at Fort Riley. After a visit to Washington to inquire about opening a Sutlership, Mr. Scott and his wife brought their young niece Julia with them to Kansas so that she could be a companion for Mrs. Scott.

Abstract: The collection contains personal correspondence & memoirs of the Snyder & Rockwell families, diaries & journals, and newspaper & journal articles about Kansas & Missouri from 1779 through 1948. Captain Bertrand Rockwell and his wife Julia appear to be the main collectors of this history. There are several collections of personal correspondence from different members of the Snyder family but only a clipping about Captain Rockwell’s father and his Civil War journal.

Space Required/Quantity: 2.50 cubic feet

Title (Main title): Snyder-Rockwell collection

Titles (Other):

  • Mary Rockwell Hook family material.
  • Rockwell-Snyder collection
  • Collection

Scope and Content


Locator Contents
036-09-08-01 to 036-09-08-03  Papers 
108-05-04-02  Photographs 

Index Terms


    Rockwell family
    Snyder family
    Chapman (Kan.)
    Fort Riley (Kan.)
    Great Plains
    Junction City (Kan.)
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
    Custer, George A. (George Armstrong), 1839-1876
    Custer, Thomas Ward, 1845-1876
    Rockwell, Bertrand, 1844-1930
    Rockwell, Julia Marshall Snyder, 1850-1947
    American bison -- Kansas
    Fashion -- France
    Grasshoppers -- Kansas
    Indians of North America -- Kansas

Creators and Contributors

Additional Information for Researchers

Restrictions: None