Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bertrande Harry Snell (1882-1949)

Telegrapher, Poet, Newspaper Columnist
Born June 6, 1882, Fort Plain, New York
Died June 26, 1949, Syracuse, New York

Bertrande Harry "Bert" Snell was born on June 6, 1882, in Fort Plain, New York, to Jacob and Mary Snell. He graduated from Parish High School in 1898 at age sixteen and went to work as a Morse code telegrapher the following year. Snell worked for railroads in Pennsylvania for many years before moving to Syracuse, New York, in 1917. He spent the rest of his working life with Western Union in Syracuse.

Snell was a poet and had his verse in various newspapers over the years. He wrote three poems published in Weird Tales, "Starkey Strang" (Aug. 1926), "Vampire" (June 1929), and "In the Valley" (Dec. 1929). I wonder if Snell knew Lee Brown Coye (1907-1981), who also lived in Syracuse for many years and who was also a railroad enthusiast.

Bertrande H. Snell started as a columnist with The Post-Standard of Syracuse on January 13, 1945. His popular column was called "Just Around the Corner," and he kept it up until his death. Snell's last column was in the typewriter when he had a stroke in June 1949. Taken to the hospital, Snell died on June 26, 1949, and was buried at Pleasant Lawn Cemetery, in Parish, New York. He was sixty-seven years old.

Bertrande Harry Snell's Poems in Weird Tales
"Starkey Strang" (Aug. 1926)
"Vampire" (June 1929)
"In the Valley" (Dec. 1929). 

Further Reading
"Biographical Sketch of Bertrande H.  Snell, Parish, Oswego Co., NY" by Richard Palmer at the following URL:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyoswego/biographies/snellpt1.html

In the centennial year of the American entry into the Great War, here is a poem from Betrande Harry Snell.

And for Easter, a poem on life and death, from 1916.

Snell also wrote an acrostic poem to a fellow poet, "To Mahlon Leonard Fisher," dated May 9, 1914.

Original text copyright 2017 Terence E. Hanley

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