The Snyder Store Played a Prominent Part in the Early History of Niobrara County

Last updated: August 14, 2017

The Lusk Herald
May 28, 1936

Even an incomplete history of Lusk and Niobrara county, such as this edition, would fail of its purpose if no mention was made of the late H. C. Snyder and the old Snyder store, which served the people of Eastern Wyoming for so many years.

Harry Snyder came up the Texas Trail in company with the later Senator John B. Kendrick in 1879, and the two were intimate friends as long as they lived. After serving many years as foreman of the old LZ ranch Mr. Snyder afterward embarked in the sheep and cattle business.

About 1895 he came to Lusk and went into the mercantile business by buying out the Barron Mercantile Co., and old-established business in the town. Ral Collins had previously bought out Baker Bros. store, the pioneer establishment of Lusk. Later the two stores combined and operated under the name of Snyder & Collins. Within a few years Mr. Snyder bought out the interest of Mr. Collins in the store and operated the store under the name of H.C. Snyder & Co., his partner in the business being Walter Buck of Kansas City.

Some years later the late Martin C. Agnew, who had in the meantime married Mr. Snyder's eldest daughter, Nellie Snyder, bought out the interest of Mr. Buck in the business. Some time later, Ralph I. Olinger who had also become a son-in-law of Mr. Snyder, he marrying Miss Vira Snyder, acquired an interest in the establishment.

Mr. Snyder was one of the pioneer mayors of Lusk and to his foresight and progressiveness may of the improvements we enjoy today are the product of his ingenuity. He also represented the county in the State Legislature, and was chairman of the committee of Lusk citizens who made the successful fight for the creation of Niobrara County in 1911 and the naming of Lusk as the county seat. At the time of his death in 1916 he was the nominee of the Democratic party for State Senator, and had he lived would have been elected without a doubt.

After Mr. Snyder's death, Mr. Agnew was manager until his death in 1920. Later S. Harvey Keefer became interested in the store after Mrs. Snyder's death in 1925, but he disposed of his interests to the Snyder family and Ralph Olinger was manager until the business was liquidated in the fall of 1932. Mr. and Mrs. Olinger now own and operate a successful ready to wear establishment in Newcastle.

For many years the Snyder store was located on the lots now occupied by the Hiway Super Service Station, but in 1919 they built the new store now occupied by the Midwest Hardware Co. and the Golden Rule store.

Many men and women who afterward became successful in the business world received their first business training in the Snyder store. Among those who readily come to mind are: Pat Costlow, Chris Joss, Miss Agnes Johnson, Miss Mabel Vollmer, Homer Hughes, Harry Hargraves, Charley Scace, D. D. Caley, Andrew Anderson, Lee Miller, Al Guibault, Otto Klemke, Roy Beard, George Glinther, Lee Miller, Frank Knittle, L. L. Archer, Boyd Burrowes, H. L. Joiner, C. C. Browning, Lynn McKinnis, Dudley Fields, Lee A. Wood, Joe McFarlane, and perhaps as many more equally well known if they could all be remembered.

Historical Search

Type your search terms into the box below and his 'Search!' to begin searching the historical archives.

Historical Links

Debbie Sturman, Director
425 South Main Street, P O Box 510
Lusk, WY 82225-0510
Phone: 307-334-3490
© 2020, Niobrara County Library