George Snook

From Curriepedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
George Snook at his daughter Anna Snook's wedding on 3 June 1914 in Port Arthur

George William Snook (6 September 1864 - 23 September 1930) was an English emigrant to Canada.

Early life

He was born on September 6, 1864, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, the son of Maria Bryant Young and John Gray Snook.

In the 1871 England census, he is 6 years old, living with his parents in Britford, Alderbury, Wiltshire, England. Also in the household are four younger siblings: Bessie, Alfred, Frank, and Henrietta.

In the 1891 Census, he is 28, unmarried, a boarder at 33 Clifford Street, in Southampton, St Mary, Hampshire, England, working as a "Corn Porter Dock", with an unrelated married couple, Edward C Moore and Henrietta Moore.

Corn Porter: "this occupation title usually refers to someone who worked at a dock. They unloaded corn from ships and moved it into storage, and vice versa."

Migration to Canada

His 1910 Empress of Ireland voyage notes that he emigrated from England in September 1889 to Newfoundland, but other sources mention his emigration in 1892. Either way, his son by Anna Parsons was born George Snook Jr. on 17 February 1892 in Fortune Bay, Newfoundland. He was not married to her when the child was born.

Daughter Anna Snook was born in Port Arthur 21 July 1893. At the time the family was living on Cumberland Street in Port Arthur, and he was occupied as an Engineer.

Sometime after this they moved to Schreiber, likely so George could take a job as a marine engineer at Isbester's Landing.

They witnessed a friends' wedding in 1899 while living in Schreiber. In the 1901 census the family of four (George, Annie, and George Jr. and Anna) are still listed as living in Schreiber, he earning $400 annually.

His brother Edward Langley Snook joined him in Canada from England in September 1905.

He and his brother Edward Langley Snook (November 1881 - 27 January 1952), visited England in 1910, returning to Canada on the Empress of Ireland, having departed Liverpool, England and arrived at St John, New Brunswick, Canada, on 19 February 1910. His profession is given as General Foreman, while his brother's is Marine Engineer. Four years later, this ship would sink on the St. Lawrence River 29 May 1914 with a loss of 1,024 lives in one of the worst disasters on the Atlantic. This information must have chilled Snook.


His obituary notes that "was formerly employed [for sixteen years] by the Public Utilities as an operator at the Current River power house." Since this was his job listed in the 1921 census, that puts his start date some time between 1905 and 1914, and his end date as sometime between 1921 and 1930. Given that his wife died in 1924 and he turned 60 that year, his likeliest work period at the Current River power house is perhaps 1908 to 1924.

He may have been present in the powerhouse on 27 May 1908 at the Paquette Dam Current River disaster. [1]. "A few more details. The dam was built the previous year 1907. CN sued the city of Port Arthur which had commissioned the dam. A Toronto engineering expert in dam construction had come up to review the dam's design and summed it up for the court like this: Mankind has been building dams for thousands of years. Every principle learned had been ignored in building this dam. CN won the lawsuit and was compensated for the death of it's employees, the wrecked train bridge at Boulevard Lake and the lost time due to the bridge being out." - [2]

Marriage and family

They had four children (two of whom made it to adulthood):

  • George Snook Jr. (1892 - 1960), born in Fortune Bay, Newfoundland
  • Anna Bryant Snook (1893 - 1989), born in Port Arthur
  • A son Albert Lester, (13 May to 16 July 1897). The death certificate notes the infant died of a cough.
  • A son strangely named H. B. Clyde, recorded as a birth in the Port Arthur records February 1899, but does not appear with their family in the next record, the 1911 census, so likely he died in infancy.

He and his wife also adopted a daughter:

Lillian appears with the family as the daughter and an 18-year-old tailoress in the 1921 census, but not in the 1911 census, as she had perhaps not yet been adopted - it's just George, Annie, their namesake children, and George Sr.'s brother Edward living together. Another reference to her is in George Jr.'s obituary, which mentions his being survived by a sister, "Mrs. Don McLeod" of Fort William. In George's 1930 obituary there is no mention of her! Perhaps he was not as close to her as his late wife was, or there had been perhaps some kind of falling out between them. She is not listed as a surviving child, or at all.

Snook's obituary mentions only George Jr. and Annie as his children, so this list is complete except for any other children who died very young.

Current River Powerhouse, 1905, where Snook likely worked

He and his wife are listed in the 1921 census as living at 230 Algoma Street, Port Arthur, with an income of $1550, living with an 18-year-old daughter called Lillian. All three are listed as methodists, he is an Engineer at a "Powerhouse", his wife has no job, and his daughter is a "Tailoress" at a "Tailor shop".

His wife died 4 February 1924.



His daughter Anna visited Friday, 16 May 1930; she "arrived Friday in Port Arthur with her [4-year-old] daughter Norma, for the purpose of being with her father, Mr. Snook who has been ill in a Port Arthur hospital." But on Wednesday 21 May, Norma died, of diptheria, in George's home at 230 South Algoma Street.

Later that year he moved to Winnipeg, or he may have simply have been visiting his daughter Anna, when he died in hospital there on 23 September 1930, at the age of 66. His body was moved the following day back to Port Arthur. He was buried 26 September 1930 at Riverside Cemetery in what is now Thunder Bay, Ontario.

George W. Snook, 65, a former resident of Port Arthur, died in hospital in Winnipeg, Tuesday. Mr. Snook was formerly employed by the Public Utilities as an operator at the Current River power house, for sixteen years. He is survived by one son, George, of Kenora; one daughter, Mrs. A. Currie, of North Transcona, Manitoba; three sisters and three brothers, in England; and one brother, E.J. Snook, of Port Arthur. The body will arrive tomorrow; and the funeral will be held Friday afternoon from 299 Arthur Street to Trinity Church. The funeral will be under the auspices of the Masons. Burial will be in the family plot at Riverside cemetery. Rev. Harry Heathfield will conduct the services.

— Port Arthur News-Chronicle, 24 September 1930

It's likely that the "E.J." was a typo, and should have been "E.L." Snook, for his brother Edward Langley Snook. Also, strangely the obituary does not mention that he is also survived by his adopted daughter, Lillian Snook, since his wife's obituary in 1924 mentioned Lillian.


Port Arthur News-Chronicle, 24 September 1930

Manitoba Consumer and Corporate Affairs; Manitoba, Canada Source Information Web: Manitoba, Death Index, 1871-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Vital Statistics. Manitoba Consumer and Corporate Affairs. accessed 6 September 2012.

Currie, Norma, age 4. 21 May 1930. Port-Arthur. 21 May 1930, p.3