Stories: A. J. Snyder

That’s when the Snyder brothers went back into the cement business, in a crude way. They could market whatever cement they produced but, by this time, they were broke. They had no more money in the bank and the banks wouldn’t lend them any money. But they struggled along. Then, in quick succession, the two brothers died. Andrew, the hero of our story, at that time was twenty-one years of age. He wanted to continue in the cement business in the worst way. But the estate fell into the hands of his Aunt Minnie. Aunt Min was a businesswoman; she knew the cement business. Andrew’s mother was a homebody; she didn’t know anything about the cement business. All she was interested in was putting food on the table and keeping a good house. So Andrew went to Aunt Min and asked if he couldn’t have the cement business. She said, “No! If the Consolidated Rosendale Cement Company couldn’t make a go of it, how can you? It’s a dead industry. We’re going to sell out, pick up our marbles, and go elsewhere.”   Well, Aunt Min had a little difficulty in settling the estate and the only way she could solve that problem was to have an auction sale of the property on the courthouse steps. Andrew, by the way, had been given eleven thousand dollars, cash, from his father as a direct inheritance. The day of auction came along but Andrew, being on the outs with Aunt Min, couldn’t go to the auction sale. So he prevailed on a newly-arrived immigrant, by the name of Sandy, to go to the auction sale to see if he could bid on the property. The auction sale started and everyone was surprised to see this stranger in town bidding on this pile of Rosendale cement rock. They thought he was a kook! But when he pulled out a big wad of ten dollar bills from his pocket they realized that they had someone to deal with. The bidding continued and he was the successful bidder. And no one was more upset than Aunt Min when she found out that, indeed, her nephew had bought the property.

So now Andrew was in the cement business. But, true to Aunt Min’s word, the banks wouldn’t lend Andrew a dime. He had to turn to farming to pay the taxes and keep food on the table. And he had a couple of neighbor farmers by the name of Struber to help him out in his crude manufacture of cement. But he had such great faith in Rosendale cement that every year he would send out a brochure to all the cement dealers in the country that he could get on his mailing list, extolling the virtues of Rosendale cement.