The Valley of Heart's Delight

see 1881 bio of her husband William F Foss

Surrounded by a large circle of friends, by whom she is greatly loved for her rare qualities of mind and heart, Mrs. Sarah A. Foss maintains the Foss home at 444 Lakehouse Avenue, San Jose, which has been her home for more than a quarter of a century. A native daughter, whose father and  husband were both honored pioneers of the state, her life has been interwoven with the events and affairs of the county's history. Her father, John Snyder, was one of the county's largest and most successful ranchers and he occupied a prominent place in its affairs for many years.

Beginning his life history in Harrison, County, Ind., on February 11, 1828, John Snyder was a son of Joseph K. and Sarah (Fleming) Snyder, the former born in Philadelphia and the latter in France. The name was originally Flamande and was changed to Fleming in this country for convenience. Grandmother Sarah Flamande and her orphan sister Louise, who became Mrs. Henry Bowen, came, when young ladies, to Philadelphia with Stephen Girard, and they made their home with his family until they married. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Snyder settled in Indiana in 1821 and in 1839 they removed to what is now Tipton, Cedar, County, Iowa. In 1849, when John Snyder was twenty-one, with his father and brother-in-law, Moses Bunker, he joined a small party starting across the plains, consisting of two wagons with ox teams. One more wagon joined them at the Missouri River and the small party crossed the plains alone, suffering many hardships and privations en route. They tarried for a time at Redding Springs, now Shasta, on reaching California, and then went on to the present location of Chico. Joseph K. Snyder and Mr. Bunker soon returned to Iowa, and John Snyder remained and engaged in mining. While thus employed in Trinity County, the camp provisions ran low and Mr. Snyder was one of those chosen to go to Humboldt Bay to replenish their supplies, and he was also a member of a party to make a trail to the Salmon River from Trinity County at the time of the discovery of the Scott river. At a later period Mr. Snyder made another trip to the Scott River and took considerable gold out of Scott Bar, going from there to Sacramento. Between the years of 1850-55, he spent some time in the vicinity of San Jose, and in the redwood country, and in 1855 he came here to settle permanently.

It was in 1855 that Mr. Snyder was married to Miss Martha Kifer, born in Mr. Sterling, Ky., who came across the plains with her parents, John and Lucy (Martin) Kifer, in 1853, the family settling near Mountain View, where Mr. Kifer became a large landowner and a prominent farmer, and Kifer Road was named in his honor. Mr. Snyder farmed near Santa Clara until 1859, when he bought a farm at Mountain View and continued there until 1865. Meanwhile, however, he had bought the great ranch on Permenete Creek in 1861, which was the family home for so many years. It originally consisted of 1,160 acres and his grain crop of 1862 was the first raised in this section. His success encouraged others, and this section became famous as a grain country. He also planted a prune orchard and a vineyard and was the owner of a large tract of land in Monterey County. Mr. Snyder passed away in 1901, aged seventy-three, and Mrs. Snyder survived him until January 12, 1918, passing away at the age of eighty-one, having lived in the one house for fifty-six years.

The eldest of the family of five children of this worthy couple, Sarah Ann Snyder, now Mrs. Wm. F. Foss, of this review, was born on the Kifer Road near Santa Clara and spent her girlhood days on the great ranch of her father on Permanente Creek, attending the public school of that vicinity. At her parent's home May 22, 1884, she was married to William F. Foss, who was born at Biddeford, York County, Maine, February 11, 1849. In June, 1857, he came with his parents to California via the Isthmus of Panama, and for a year they lived in Nevada County, going from there to New York Flat near Brownsville, Yuba County, where they remained until 1870. William F. Foss attended the Normal School at San Francisco, obtsaining a certificate to teach and for a time taught in Yuba and Butte counties. Later he entered the San Jose State Normal school when it was first opened in San Jose, from which he was graduated in 1873, and for fifteen years was engaged in teaching in different counties of California, for eight years of this time he was pricipal of Mountain View school. He then engaged in the real estate business, a partner in the firm of Foss & Hicks of San Jose, and in this field he continued successfully for many years, passing away on April 30, 1918, aged sixty-nine, and upright, exemplary citizen, standing high in the esteem of the community. He was a prominent Mason, and was also well known in the ranks of the Knight of Pythias.

Mr. and Mrs. Foss were blessed by the birth  of a daughter Wilma, who is now the wife of Martin Rogers, the son of W. J. Rogers, the wealthy lumberman of San Francisco. They make their home at the Foss residence at 444 Lakehouse Avenue, which William F. Foss erected in 1893, and which has been the family home since January 1, 1894. Blessed with an abundance of this world's goods, Mrs. Foss presides over  her home with grace and dignity, dispensing the old time Californian hospitality. Cultured and refined, with her kind and generaouos spirit she radiates an atmosphere of peace and harmony far beyond its bounds. She was reared in the Episcopal faith, but for some years has been a student and adherent of Chrisitan Science.

Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 442

ED NOTE: sister to Sarah Ann Snyder-is
KENDALL, Letita Pearl Snyder