Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Masthead
Former Sheriffs of Hamilton County

The Sheriffs of Hamilton County
Portrait of Sheriff William Snow

As one drives out Snow Hill Road in Ooltewah, Tennessee they are reminded of a day when periwinkle and dogwoods covered the land and gentle hill top breezes made the area a popular resting place for weary nineteenth century travelers. It was there that the Snow Hill Plantation rested; the house of William Snow, his wife Mary, and their twelve children from about 1840 to 1870.

Godspeed’s History of Hamilton County lists William Snow as acting sheriff sometime between 1820 and 1876. However, this is unreliable information since we now know that he did not move to the area until about 1840 and then left around 1870. Therefore, most historians believe he served as sheriff sometime between 1858 until 1862.

The Civil War created a lot of unrest in Hamilton County. The Snow family, like most local families, did not escape its destruction Cannons were hauled from Chattanooga by Union soldiers to bombard the Snow Hill Plantation home. Though the Union was unsuccessful in routing the Confederacy, the Snow house bore cannon holes until its dismantling in the 1920’s.

The Civil War also affected the Snows in a more personal way than the destruction of their property In 1860, William Snow joined the Confederate Army as Captain of the 3rd Battalion of the Tennessee Cavalry. Confederate records of 1861 report that Snow was moved from the 3rd to the 2nd Battalion of the Tennessee Cavalry for a second twelve month time period.

In 1862, at 53 years of age, William Snow’s health had deteriorated so much that he resigned from the army. Always a loyal Confederate, he later allegedly formed a guerilla group known as Snow’s Scouts.

Back to Past Sheriffs