George Lovell Sneed. When General Morgan, the noted Confederate raider, following some brilliant military maneuvers in Indiana and Ohio, was captured by Union troops, the four men who had accompanied him on the particular expedition that resulted in his capture made good their escape and their flight of 300 miles hack into Virginia is a matter of heretofore unrecorded history. One of these four men was J. H. Sneed, the father of George Lovell Sneed, county attorney of Marshall County, Oklahoma. The early part of the flight the men made mounted, but, fearing that their chance of escape would be greatly hazarded by this means of transportation, abandoned their mounts and took to the woods on foot. For weeks they journeyed through the most secluded regions, occasionally passing through gaps in the Union lines, and finally reached a detachment of the Confederate army which they joined and with which they continued fighting until the close of the great war.
Raider Sneed rode an obstreperous and contrary gray mule when the flight began. The little party approached the Ohio River at a point where no crossing was in evidence and, fearing to turn either to the right or left to find a fording place, determined to force their animals over a precipitous bluff into the water. The gray mule refused to be forced, Mr. Sneed’s persuasion being ineffective. At length he dismounted, led the mule to the bluff and with a peculiar twist of the animal’s shoulder, threw it into the water. Following his mount, both reached the opposite bank in safety. For years a stray gray mule may have wandered over the wilds of the timbered country beyond the Ohio, for in that timber the fleeing raiders bade farewell to their animals, saddles and blankets, and set out afoot for the Virginia country and safe refuge.
Another interesting fact in the career of J. H. Sneed was that he was one of the scouts who brought about the battle of Franklin, Tennessee. After this fight his wife, who had been Miss Maggie C. Wilkerson and was descended from a pioneer family of Tennessee, joined a corps of young women who volunteered to nurse the wounded soldiers and they and the surgeons converted the county courthouse at Franklin into a hospital. Once, after a fight, Raider Sneed, having heard that his brother lay dangerously wounded in the rear of the army, asked permission of his captain to visit the brother. There was promise of more fighting in a short while and the captain refused the request. A little later a messenger from the rear brought news that the raider’s brother could not live. Again he asked permission to go and again was refused Returning to his detachment, he saddled his horse and approached his captain. “Captain,” he said, “my brother is dying in the rear. You may have me shot for disobedience to your command but I am going to him.” Turning his horse, he galloped away. The brother had died before he reached his side. No word of reproof ever came to him from his superior officer.
James Sneed, who was the grandfather of J. H. Sneed, was one of three brothers from England who fought in the War of the Revolution, and subsequently became one of the pioneer settlers of Middle Tennessee. The house which he erected is still standing, the timbers fastened together with wooden pins. Beneath the surface of the soil in the yard there may still be dug up charcoal, a reminder that on this spot camped the engineers who surveyed the boundaries of the State of Tennessee.
When George Lovell Sneed had finished the branches in the common schools of Tennessee, he assisted in the further consecration of the field of Franklin by completing his literary education at Battle Ground Academy, an institution which had been erected on the spot. Afterwards he completed a course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws in the law school of Cumberland University, at Lebanon, Tennessee. The misfortunes of war had left the family in modest circumstances and his mother had died when he was only one and one-half years old. Something akin to the hardships of his forbears came to him when he found it necessary to pay his way through school by doing any sort of honorable work that he could find. At Lebanon he was made librarian of the school and to the duties of that position added those of janitor. After teaching school for a year at Ashland City, Tennessee, he began the practice of law at Lawrenceburg in partnership with State Senator L. B. White. Coming to Oklahoma in 1909, he taught a term of school at Durwood, and the next year resumed the practice of law at Madill. Soon thereafter Mr. Sneed became city attorney, and this position proved the stepping-stone to the position which he now holds and to which he was elected in 1914, although in 1912 he had been defeated for the nomination for attorney of Marshall County. Mr. Sneed has been one of the most active members of the democratic party in Marshall County. For a short time he was editor of the Marshall County News-Democrat, one of the leading organs of the party in the county, and is still a stockholder therein.
Mr. Sneed was born at Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, April 15, 1879. He was married at Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, July 20, 1910, to Miss Mary Sowell, daughter of a prominent attorney and real estate dealer of that place. To this union there have been born three sons: James Henry, George Lovell and Robert Sowell. Mr. Sneed has three brothers and two sisters living and one brother deceased: S. W. is a contractor and brick mason at St. Louis, Missouri; C. P., a merchant at Eufaula, Oklahoma; W. B., who graduated from the medical department of the University of Arkansas in the spring of 1908 and died Inter in that year; Prof. J. T., who has for several years boon a successful teacher in Southeastern Oklahoma; Mrs. J. 11. Hamilton, who is the wife of the manager of an electric light plant at Waldron, Arkansas; and Mrs. J. 11. Jones, of Brentwood, Tennessee, who is the widow of a tanner.
Mr. Sneed is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and takes an active interest in Sunday school work. He has been senior warden in the Blue Lodge of Masons and has filled all the chairs in a local Odd Fellows lodge. He is one of the county’s most enthusiastic workers in behalf of modern improvements and is particularly interested in the building of good roads. Regarding his career in Oklahoma, a friend has written of Mr. Sneed: "He is recognized as a man who is fearless in the discharge of his duty and can be depended upon at all times to uphold the law without fear or favor. He is not, however, in any sense a radical, and while serving as city attorney he made no attempt to gain notoriety at the possible expense of the people of this community, but always discharged the duties of that office in the most conservative manner, to the host interests of the people."