Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Laura (Mrs. Samuel B.) Sneath, 1853- 1937
By Lindsay M. Roschel, independent scholar
Activist, President, Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs, 1902-1904; Second Vice-President, General Federation of Women's Clubs, unknown date; First Vice-President, General Federation of Women's Clubs, c. 1913-1915
Laura Stephenson Sneath was born in Martinsburg, Ohio to William Stephenson and Mary Anderson. She was the second wife of Samuel B. Sneath (1828-1915), whom she married on November 5, 1879 in Findlay, Ohio. They had a daughter, Marion Lee, in 1884, and a son Richard in 1889, who died in 1894. In her early years, Laura graduated high school and was tutored by college professors. She passed the State Board Exam, and received a three-year certificate at the age of 20 years old.
Mrs. Sneath was an active supporter of women's suffrage, and a philanthropist in the Tiffin, Ohio community, where she resided with her husband. She helped to establish the City Library, and was a member of its board of trustees for 30 years. She developed playgrounds and public parks, and was a Presbyterian missionary. She was also a member of the Colonial Dames of America, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Additionally, Mrs. Sneath was elected to the board of the Interstate Trust & Banking Company of New Orleans in 1917 following the death of her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Sneath spent their winters in New Orleans, and Mr. Sneath was prominent in the early Interstate Trust organization.
Mrs. Sneath was elected President of the Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs in 1902, and was the Second Vice-President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs prior to her election to the post of First Vice-President in c. 1913. Mrs. Sneath ran for the presidency of the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1916 against Mrs. Joseph Evans Cowles; however, she was unsuccessful. In an interview for the Fort Wayne Daily News, Mrs. Sneath stated "The only honor in holding office is in service well rendered. My first desire is for a good federation—a united womanhood that may achieve only the best results. I believe in plenty of money for publicity and in a conservative investment of the endowment fund."
The Ladies' Home Journal 32 (January 1915).
"Laura A. Stephenson Sneath." Findlay Republican Courier (Findlay, OH), March 9, 1937, 5.
"Sneath, Laura Stephenson." In Woman's Who's who of America, edited by John William Leonard, 764-65. New York: American Commonwealth Company, 1914. [LINK]
United Press. "Battle Royal Is On." The Fort Wayne Daily News (Fort Wayne, IN), May 23, 1916, 11.