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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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SNOWBALL, ROBERT ARCHIBALD, businessman, farmer, and horticulturist; mayor of Chatham, 1909-11; b. Chatham, 17 Mar 1875, s/o Jabez Bunting Snowball and Margaret Ellen Archibald; m. 1901, Margaret M. McIntyre, of Montreal; d. Chatham, 8 Jul 1949.

After finishing his secondary education at Mount Allison Academy and Bishop's College School, R. Archibald ("Archie") Snowball became a partner, in 1893, in J. B. Snowball & Co. From 1900 onward he was a company director, and he succeeded his half-brother William B. Snowball as president in 1925. By then, however, the company was no longer profitable. Because of a depressed lumber market, the sawmill had been closed in 1923, and between 1925 and 1929 the business was phased out entirely. The sawmill was dismantled by the International Paper Co., which was to replace it with a modern mill but never did so.

Snowball was an early motoring enthusiast, paying around $2,000 for an 18-horsepower Reo motor car in 1906. This was manufactured in Lansing, Michigan, and was the first car registered to a Chatham owner. He had a 35-horsepower vehicle in 1909, with which he set a new record when he drove from Fredericton to Chatham in four hours and thirty-seven minutes.

Snowball owned a livestock farm and maintained a showplace home and property. In 1921 he established Miramichi Nurseries on the lot next door to his home, "complete with a fish pond and sundial." For many years he played an important role in the Miramichi Exhibition Association.

Snowball was a town councillor and mayor of Chatham for two years. In 1925 he was among the first directors of the Miramichi Golf and Country Club. He was later president of the Chatham Curling Club. He was elected to the presidency of the Highland Society for 1947. He was survived in 1949 by his wife, Margaret M. McIntyre, and a son.


[b] census [m] Advocate 30 Oct 1901 [d] Leader 15 Jul 1949 / Commercial World 14 Jul 1949; Fraser (C); Hist. Highland Soc.; JLA 1908 (public works report re. registered automobiles); Leader 9 Oct 1959, 28 May 1975; Martin; MacMillan; PMC; World 14 Nov 1906, 21 Sep 1907