Charles H. Snow (1877-1967) was born in Lake County, California in 1877, the son of George and Annie Snow, who had come to the frontier from Missouri. Snow moved to Napa with his family in 1910. His early years were spent in mining camps throughout the west, British Columbia and South America. He married Halla Nunley, and had a daughter, Thelma.
Snow became a prolific writer of western stories, most of them published in England; only 35 of his 465 novels have been published in the United States. Blinded in 1914, at the age of 37 in a mining accident, he was not hampered by his handicap and often produced a complete novel in ten days. "Judge" Snow, who was a justice of the Peace for four years during the 1920s in Napa, California, started seriously writing in 1922 when he published his first story, "Stub - the Thoroughbred Throwback." He drew much of his material for western tales from his experiences living in mining camps that were often located in cattle country. In addition, he also wrote many short stories and magazine articles and served as Napa correspondent for two metropolitan newspapers.
Snow recorded his stories and his daughter would transcribe and type up the manuscripts, and make editorial changes if necessary. Virtually all of his novels have been published without changes by editors or publishers. Snow also wrote under the following pseudonyms: Ranger Lee, Wade Smith, Allen Forrest, Russ Hardy, Gary Marshall, Robert Cole, Charles Ballew, Chester Wills, H.C. Averill, James Dillard, and John Harlow. Many of his books have been translated to other languages and many were chosen for Armed Services Editions during the war period. The Library of Congress has recorded eight of his novels to be available to the blind.
In 1955, Snow was elected honorary president of the Western Writers Association. He was working on a new book when he died in 1967 at the age of 90.
The collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, published works, recordings, transcriptions and a photograph.
The manuscripts are organized alphabetically by title and titles include the pseudonym used. A few entries include edited versions.
The 1967 addenda includes additional manuscripts that also include references to pseudonyms used, as well as a poetry manuscript. Also included is correspondence with Curtis Brown, Ltd. from 1943-1965, with over 506 letters accounted for. There are folders of miscellaneous correspondence that is organized alphabetically by name or organization title. Published works include fifteen books by Snow and two Polish novels. Miscellaneous files contain recordings, transcriptions, and a photograph of Snow.
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[Identification of item], Charles H. Snow papers, Ax 298, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.