Bullitt County History

Linton Snapp

The following brief biographical sketch of Linton Snapp comes from The Biographical encyclopædia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century (Cincinnati, J.M. Armstrong, 1878, page 553).


Linton Snapp was born March 6, 1819, near Mt. Washington, in Bullitt County, Kentucky. His father, Lewis Snapp, came from Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1805, and settled in Bullitt County, where he followed agricultural pursuits. Linton Snapp received a good education, in the best schools of his neighborhood, and at Georgetown College. In 1843, he began merchandising, at Mt. Washington; and was there successfully engaged in that business for fourteen years. In 1857, he removed to Clinton County, Missouri, engaging for several years in successful mercantile pursuits, at Plattsburg. In 1862, he returned to Kentucky, and located at Louisville; engaged in mercantile business until 1870, when he was elected City Collector of Taxes, and has since been continued in that position, with honor to himself and great satisfaction to the people. In politics, he has always been a Democrat. He is connected with some of the popular social organizations; and, since 1839, has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church; was, for twelve years, moderator of the Church at Mt. Washington; and was long a deacon. His personal, private, and social habits have been exceptionally good; and, throughout his life, he has been distinguished as a most exemplary Christian, and one of the most earnest and valuable citizens. Mr. Snapp was married, December 19, 1844, to Miss S. R. Beauchamp, daughter of Preston Beauchamp, of Spencer County, Kentucky. She died April. 7, 1875. Of their seven children, five are now living.


Additional information about the Snapp family is described in a civil suit that occurred in the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1898. [Call et ux. v. Phelps' Adm'r et al (Court of Appeals of Kentucky, May 21, 1898.) The Southwestern Reporter, Volume 45, 1898, page 1051+] This action from the Jefferson County Circuit Court by Orrin Call and wife against the administrator of Wesley Phelps and others was an attempt to recover land once owned by the Snapp family.

The transcription of the case file is given below.

Lewis Snapp died in 1856, and by will devised all the real estate owned by him to his wife, Louisa Snapp, for and during her life, and in remainder to his four sons, Lewis Snapp, Jr., Linton Snapp, L. H. Snapp, and W. F. Snapp. This real estate consisted of three pieces of land; one containing 75 acres, one 5 acres, and one 3 1/2 acres, all situated in Jefferson county. His heirs at law, In addition to the four sons named as remainder-men, were the descendants of his sons Hardin Snapp and Warren Snapp, both of whom died before their father, and the children of his daughters, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Culp, and Mrs. Smith. W. F. Snapp died in 1856, a short time after his father, intestate, unmarried, and without issue.

Lewis Snapp, Jr., who was residing in Louisiana at the death of his father, died in that state in April, 1861, leaving surviving him a widow (the plaintiff here) and three infant children, all of whom died in infancy except his son Lusk H. Snapp. who was born in February, 1854, and died in Louisiana, where he had always resided, near the age of 26, on December 31, 1879, unmarried, and without issue. Lenaugh Helm Snapp (called L. H. Snapp) died shortly after his father, leaving surviving him his children Mary Jane Snapp, Charles Snapp, Anna Snapp, Louisa Snapp, and Kate Snapp. The fourth son, Linton Snapp, alone survives.

Louisa Snapp, the widow of Lewis Snapp, Sr., died in December, 1866. In January, 1871, an execution issued from the office of the Bullitt circuit court, directed to the sheriff of Jefferson county, in favor of James H. Johnson against one F. L. Johnson, Linton Snapp, Mary Jane Snapp, Charles Snapp, Anna Snapp, Louisa Snapp, and Kate Snapp (the latter being the children and heirs at law of L. H. Snapp, deceased), for the sum of $1,906.06, with interest from April 22, 1870, and $63.15 costs, being the amount of a judgment obtained in the Bullitt circuit court by James H. Johnson against "F. L. Johnson and Snapp," which was levied upon the interest of these parties in the two tracts of land of 5 and 3 1/2 acres, respectively, which were sold thereunder; and Wesley Phelps became the purchaser, receiving a sheriff's deed therefor on February 22, 1872. On July 9, 1870, there issued from the office of the Bullitt circuit court a venditioni exponas in favor of James H. Johnson against Louisa Snapp, the wife of Lewis Snapp, Sr., all the children of L. H. Snapp, deceased, Linton Snapp, and Amanda and Chester Snapp, directed to the sheriff of Jefferson county, and commanding him to expose to sale "the interest of the beforenamed defendants in the tract of 75 acres of land, the same land conveyed by Vacaro to Lewis Snapp, or enough to realize the sum of $1,108, with interest from the 22d day of April, 1870, and $64.75 costs, as shown by execution No. 765, of record in the office of the Bullitt circuit court." which, while in full force, came to the hands of the sheriff of Jefferson county on July 13, 1870. The land was sold, and Wesley Phelps became the purchaser at the sum of $1,260.39, and a sheriff's deed was executed to him for this property on February 22, 1872. The execution under which the two small tracts of land were sold did not purport to sell the interest of Amanda or Chester Snapp (who were supposed to be the heirs at law of Lewis Snapp, Jr.), but the latter execution did. This record is silent as to the foundation of the judgments on which these executions were issued.

Whether they grew out of liabilities of Lewis Snapp, Sr., or were liabilities contracted by his children subsequent to his death, does not appear; but it may be inferred that, as these proceedings were against all of his descendants and heirs at law, including the children and grandchildren (many of whom were infants), the basis of these judgments were really liabilities for which the estate of Lewis Snapp, Sr., was bound. That, however, is not an essential fact in the determination of this appeal. After the purchases at the execution sales, Phelps instituted an equity suit in the Louisville chancery court against the heirs at law of Lewis Snapp, Jr., whose interest he had not acquired under the execution sale of the two tracts of 5 and 3 1/2 acres, asking a sale of this property on the ground that it was insusceptible of division. In this petition the names of the children of Lewis Snapp, Jr., were given as "Chester" and "Amanda." In the course of the proceeding it appeared from the deposition of Linton Snapp, who testified to the names, residence, and occupation of the various children of his father, that the names of the children of his brother Lewis Snapp, Jr., were Lewis Snapp and Lusk H. Snapp. Thereupon the plaintiff filed an amended petition, reciting the fact that Lusk H. Snapp and Lewis Snapp, the children of Lewis Snapp, Jr, were interested in the suit, and asking a warning order, and the appointment of an attorney to correspond with them, and John C. Wharton was appointed for that purpose. This attorney subsequently filed his report in which he says that the child Lewis Snapp was dead, and that his brother, Lusk II. Snapp, was living, but "had left New Orleans, and had moved to some point on the Washeta river, whose address he could not obtain." Thereafter a judgment was entered decreeing a sale of the property, and providing that the shares of the infant defendants should remain in the hands of the purchaser as a lien on the land, bearing interest until the infants should arrive at full age, or until they should be married, or a guardian be appointed for them. Under this decree the two tracts of land containing, respectively, 5 and 3 1/2 acres, were sold, and Phelps became the purchaser at the decretal sale, which was confirmed, and a deed executed to him therefor in 1872. About the year 1875, Phelps, by executory contract, sold these two small tracts of land to the defendant G. W. Ash, and in 1882 he sold the 75-acre tract to the defendants Hayes, who have occupied and held possession of them ever since.

This suit was instituted on August 7, 1894, by the widow of Lewis Snapp, Jr., who, subsequent to his death, in 1868, married her co-plaintiff, Orrin Call, alleging the death of her first husband, and the death during infancy of all the children who survived him, except her son Lusk H. Snapp, who died in his twenty-sixth year, and claiming to be the sole heir at law of this son, and seeking to recover one-third of each of the aforesaid tracts of land, and also for rents and profits thereon.

Appellees claim to be the owners in fee simple of this land under their deeds as purchasers, and allege that appellants were devested of all right, title, and interest therein by reason of the execution and decretal sales aforesaid, and plead and rely by way of defense upon the lapse of time and the statute of limitation in bar of appelants' right to recover herein. Appellants insist that Lusk H. Snapp was not devested of title by reason either of the execution or the decretal sale; that Phelps acquired thereby only a two-thirds interest in this property, —that is, the interest of Linton Snapp and the interest of the children of L. H. Snapp, deceased; that his possession was not adverse, the legal presumption being that the entry was made for the purpose merely of taking possession of his undivided two-thirds interest; and that he became only a tenant in common with Lusk H. Snapp in the possession of this property. It cannot be disputed, as a principle of law, that the possession of one of several joint tenants is the possession of all, and that the statute, therefore, does not run in favor of one against the others unless there be an adverse holding; but one tenant may so enter and hold as to render the entry and possession adverse, and amount to an ouster of his co-tenant, and, if one is in the possession of and claims the entire property by deed, then the holding is adverse, and limitation begins to run when he so takes possession.

In this case we think there can be no question, so far as the tracts of 5 and 3 1/2 acres are concerned, that the children of Lewis Snapp, Jr., were devested of all right, title, and interest by the proceedings in the chancery court, which were concluded in 1872 by a sale of these lands on the ground that they were not susceptible of division, and the confirmation of the report of sale. That the possession of Phelps and his vendees of these tracts from that time on was adverse is beyond question. Nor can there be any doubt that the purchaser, Phelps, believed that he held the fee-simple title to the 70-acre tract under the execution sale, as it appeared that the children of Lewis Snapp, Jr., were before the court, and their interests passed upon, in the case in the Bullitt circuit court, in which the execution for $1,108 issued. Phelps, after the purchase under the execution, claimed to own all of the land, rented it out, collected the rents, improved it, and afterwards sold it, conveying the fee-simple title to the appellees Hayes; and, in our opinion, his possession was adverse, and not that of a joint tenant, from the time he took possession after the execution sale in 1872. An action for the recovery of real estate must be brought within 15 years after the right to institute it first accrued, but, if the right accrues during infancy, the infant, under the provisions of section 2506, Ky. Statue has three years after the time when such disability is removed in which to institute it. The statute of limitation began to run against Lusk H. Snapp, notwithstanding his infancy, at the death of his grandmother, at which time he was by law entitled to possession; but he had three years after he arrived at full age within which to assert his claim to the land. At his death his mother, the plaintiff here, inherited whatever interest he had in the land, but, the statute having begun to run against Lusk H. Snapp, it continued as against the plaintiff as his heir at law; and we think her claim, both as widow and heir of her son, had been barred by the lapse of time and the statute of limitation before the institution of this suit as to each of the tracts of land; wherefore the judgment is affirmed.


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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 13 Jul 2015 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/snapp.html