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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Snow, Ernest Ansel

by William S. Powell, 1994

4 Oct. 1850–20 Mar. 1922

See also: Snow, William Henry

Ernest Ansel Snow, lumberman and furniture manufacturer, was born in Ferrisburg, Vt., the son of William Henry and Lydia Jane Cramer Snow. He moved to North Carolina with his family in 1867. At Cornell University he took the mechanical arts course and became a salesman for his father's lumber business. He also helped his father establish a spoke and handle factory in 1871, and beginning in 1874 he worked for seven years as a contractor in High Point. In 1881 the family formed the Snow Lumber Company, and late in the decade Ernest was working as a salesman of lumber to furniture manufacturers in Baltimore.

It occurred to Snow that the manufacturing ought to take place nearer the source of raw materials, and, returning to High Point, he enlisted the support of John H. Tate and Thomas F. Wrenn in February 1889 to form the High Point Furniture Company. It was an immediate success, and in 1893 Snow sold his interests and joined five other partners in establishing the Eagle Furniture Company, all the while continuing his lumber business. By 1919 he was president of the Shipman Organ Company and of the Southern Chair Company, vice-president of the North Carolina Wheel Company, and secretary-treasurer of the Snow Lumber Company.

In 1876 Snow married Naomi Alice English, the daughter of a High Point merchant, and they became the parents of seven daughters and four sons, the first of whom, a son, died as an infant: Mabel Jane (1877), Bertha Augusta (1879), William Ernest (1881), Helen May (1883), Winifred Alice (1886), Josie Elfleda (1888), Ruby Constance (1890), Roy Ansel (1892), Rodney English (1894), and Dorothy Dewey (1898). He was a Mason and an elder in the Presbyterian church.


Greensboro Daily News, 21 Mar. 1922.

High Point Enterprise, 16 Oct. 1988 (portrait).

High Point, North Carolina, City Directory, 1919 (1918).

Holt McPherson, High Pointers of High Point (1975).

Prominent People of North Carolina (1906).

David N. Thomas, "Early History of the North Carolina Furniture Industry, 1880–1921" (Ph.D. diss., University of North Carolina, 1964).

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