Bertha Isch Snyder 102, Educator, Antique Collector and Philanthropist
February 8, 1880 - October 20, 1982
Bertha I. Snyder was born in St. Imier, Switzerland, a daughter of John A. and Lucia Broz Isch. In 1885 she came to America with her parents and took up residence in Chenoa, IL. Five years later the family settled in Metamora. Educated in Metamora Schools, she graduated from Metamora High School with the class of 1897.
She married Simeon M. Snyder on June 27, 1900 at the home of her parents who were living in the home now known as the Adali Stevenson I Home. One daughter, Helen Grant (1978) and her husband (1953) preceded her in death. At the time of her death, she left her $2 million estate to the Village of Metamora. Her will cited that the funds go toward good local medical and health services and as a way to encourage more doctors to practice in the community. The Metamora Foundation was established to distribute the funds for the good of the community. Some of the money was used to relocate the Lee Log Cabin to Black Partridge Park, Metamora Medical Center-The Bertha Snyder Memorial, Snyder Village Health Center, Snyder Village Retirement Community Cottages and Apartments and the Marvin E. Smith La Loge Assisted Living. The Foundation also assisted the Metamora Association For Historic Preservation in purchasing the Adali Stevenson I home.
Mrs. Snyder was a naturalist with an interest in gardening and flowers. Trees that lie east of the high school were planted by the Snyders. In their travels they became avid rock collectors and they regularly contributed to Eureka and Monmouth Colleges from their extensive collection. She taught all elementary grades in a country schoolhouse two miles south of Metamora. Mrs. Snyder, a very petite lady, was remembered as always properly dressed with her hair and nails done. On her way to the Post Office she was known to be carrying a basket. She never went anywhere without a hat, even to work in her garden.