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Joann Snowden Woodson/Snowden Farm

Snowden Farm History

Written by Joann Snowden Woodson, great granddaughter of Thomas Snowden


Thomas Snowden was born in the year 1845, on farmland of John Snowden, an early settler in the Clarksburg area, (near Kingstead Road). Little is known as to who his parents were.  However, he remained in the Clarksburg area, growing up and marrying a beautiful young lady named Lydia, who had come to the Clarksburg area riding on the cross-country Pony Express Mail carriage.

Their first son was named Marshall.  Thomas bought his farm from James Henning Purdum on February 23, 1889. Shortly thereafter his wife Lydia died.  She was buried in the church cemetery of John Wesley Methodist Church, (now recognized as Community of Faith United Methodist Church), located on Frederick Road near the area once called Rocky Hill. 

Thomas remarried to Henrietta Johnson and they had three sons, Harrison, Clifton and Franey Snowden.

Thomas became a very skilled farmer and good neighbor.  He raised cattle, hogs, chickens and excellent gardens and fruit trees.  His sons also bought land in Clarksburg and took up farming. Clifton owned over 100 acres and Franey owned acreage on Burnt Hill Road and Clarksburg Road.  

The Snowden family contributed to the farming community of Clarksburg for many years.

Franey married a woman named Medessa. They had no children, but raised quite a few foster children through the years.  Clifton and his wife Rachel also raised foster children. Franey and his wife resided in their farm home until his death.  His farm, located between Piedmont Road and Stringtown Road is pictured in the page after this article.  

Joann Woodson, the grandniece of Franey Snowden, and her family built a home on part of the Snowden property on Burnt Hill Road.  They lived there for 55 years raising three children. Joann and her husband Waverly Woodson are Clarksburg notable residents. Both spent their work years at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.  Waverly is a WWII medic hero, who saved many American soldiers on the beach at Normandy during the D-Day Invasion. You can read more about him and his troop in the book, “Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes” by Linda Hervieux.  Joann has spent her post work life giving back to the community. She was involved in many volunteer committees that were organized to help shape the future of Clarksburg as grows from a town of 3,000 residents to 40,000. She led the Clarksburg Super Seniors Program which meets once per week for 40 years.  The large groups of senior citizens who have attended this program over the years have benefitted from the activities and trips all organized and coordinated by Joann. They came to depend on her senior program for fellowship, friendship and fun. Joann faithfully attended and participated in the Clarksburg Civic Association while it was active.  As part of her outreach for that group, in 2002, she along with Tuck and Eloise Woodfield founded the Clarksburg Historical Society, Inc. Joann has held the post of president of the Clarksburg Historical Society for the past 17 years. The group provides history lessons for the local schools. They also hosted Clarksburg Heritage Day for 17 years, a day of educational family fun with an average yearly attendance of 400 people.  In 2008 Joann was recognized for her many hours of service when she received the Montgomery County, Maryland Neal Potter Path to Achievement Award.

The Snowden family has contributed to the quality of life in Clarksburg and to the lives of others in many ways.  The Snowden family is honored to have the newest Clarksburg Elementary School which opened in August 2019 named SNOWDEN FARM ELEMENTARY.

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