Freda Snyder

Freda Snyder was born in the late 1800’s when Medina was still a town for farming. Freda lived on the family farm in Lodi. Freda, along with her husband, Fred, ran the farmers exchange in Medina together. Freda was responsible for gathering people at the square for many business exchanges that led to the growing economy of Medina. Eventually Medina’s population grew so much that the city required it’s own hospital. Freda became a widow later on in life but she remained a powerful woman in the city of Medina

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The philanthropist Freda Snyder

The philanthropist Freda Snyder

Freda was born on October 7th, 1887, in Wadsorth Ohio. During her long life, Freda gave of herself and her purse to the community. "To work and serve my community is my life," she once said. Freda passed away at the age of 93 after lengthy illness on March 10th, 1981, at Crestview Nursing Home in Medina. Having served her community for almost 60 years, around two-thirds of her life. Both Freda and Fred are buried at Spring Grove Cemetery. (Image Courtesy of the Gazette Archive) View File Details Page

Medina Hospital

Medina Hospital

The Medina General Hospital, located on 1000 East Washington Street. Freda Snyder was one of the founders of the hospital, and worked tirelessly to make sure the hospital was stocked with the necessary equipment and maintained. Freda herself could often be found scrubbing the hospital floors, helping to keep a sterile environment. Her husband Fred also ordered coal for the hospital in its first years, without ever billing for it. (Image courtesy of Medina General Hospital) View File Details Page

Victorian House with Freda's Sheep

Victorian House with Freda's Sheep

There is an old Victorian house next to Medina General Hospital. This house used to be the hospital in Medina. When it was founded one of the hospitals main problems was that it could not afford to its utility and maintenance bills. Freda therefore came up with a creative solution to the missing money for landscaping of the hospital's grounds. She donated sheep to eat the grass and keep the hospital grounds. There are still sheep on the same piece of land today, next to the still standing Victorian House - that used to be the hospital. Those sheep are descendants from Freda's donated herd of sheep. Even years after the donation, they were known as Freda's sheep throughout the community. (Image courtesy of Sofie Christensen) View File Details Page

Shoe Donations at Griesinger's Shoe Store

Shoe Donations at Griesinger's Shoe Store

One of the remarkable things Fred and Freda Snyder did in town was opening an account at the Griesinger's Shoe Store on S. Court Street. This is while the account was for the school aged children in town, who could not afford shoes themselves. They could then go to Griesinger's, pick out a pair of shoes and charge the amount to the Snyder account. This account was open for several years, helping school children to afford shoes. The 8th building in the picture, from the left, is G. S. S. (Image Courtesy of the Medina Historical Society) View File Details Page

Farmers Exchange

Farmers Exchange

A picture of the Medina Farmers Exchange in downtown Medina. The Exchange was originally owned by Freda Snyder's husband Fred and his brother, and was frequently managed by Freda herself, considering that she was the Vice President from 1956 to 1970, so almost 15 years. The Exchange sold feed and supplies to local farmers, and was very important to Medina during the Snyder's time, while most people lived of agriculture. It was before Medina became a bedroom community. The Exchange is still open to this day and is still doing business with the people of Medina. (Image courtesy of Tyler Huffman) View File Details Page

Freda's Hat Shop

Freda's Hat Shop

In the 1940's Freda felt the urge to start a business. This was after helping at the Farmers Exchange directed by Fred for several years. She decided to open the first hat shop in Medina on South Court Street. This was satisfying a new need in the growing town, where more and more people were no longer dependent on farming. Freda's shop was a successful venture and was evetually turned into a beauty shop. The small millinery shop, was the only place outside Cleveland where a woman in the area could be be coiffed (a popular 40's hairstyle.) Pictured is a 1940's hair style, with a hat. (Image courtesy of Who Were Theyz Blog) View File Details Page

Medina United Methodist Church - MUMC

Medina United Methodist Church - MUMC

This is a picture of the old building on S. Court Street that used to house the Medina United Methodist Church until its move to Foote Road. The old church stands right across the street from the Medina Farmers Exchange, which the Snyder's owned and operated until Freda sold it in her later years. The church itself was partially funded and maintained by the Snyder's, with Freda herself being very actively involved with the church and its activities. When the church was short of staff, Freda thought nothing of getting to work - scrubbing and waxing the floors. Freda once said, when asked what was the most important thing for her, "My church." The greatest hope of her belief. After Fred's death, Freda also paid to construct a new chapel inside the church in his honor. The chapel is still there to this day and can be visited by the residents of Medina. (Image Courtesy of 1997-2014 CoStar Realty Information, Inc.) View File Details Page

Freda's Fishing Fountain

Freda's Fishing Fountain

Donated by Fred and Freda Snyder in 1930s, the fish pond and fountain with colored lights stood as a staple for the community of Medina. People would gather around the fountain to catch up with friends and enjoy the life of the historic Public Square. Freda also helped planting trees and shrubs around the square. In this time, the square was known as the uptown park. Freda and Fred had bought the fountain from the Cleceland Home and Flower Show. The fountain can no longer be found on the square, while it was situated where the Gazebo now stands. (Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Special Collections.) View File Details Page

YMCA - Young Mens Christian Association

YMCA - Young Mens Christian Association

In the middle of the 1930s, the Y-center was built in Medina. They work to build strong and caring kids, families and communities with the help of their faith. Freda was very supportive of it, stating that "our young people need it." Freda made the down payment on a home on E. Washington Street for the YMCA to be housed. She, however, didn't just give money to the project - Freda also gave her wit and time. She was President for the YW-board for two years. "My association with the 'Y' has been deeply satisfying, I love the work and I have made many lovely friends," Freda herself said about the Y-center. Today, there is no longer a Y-center in Medina County. It was sadly closed in 2012. (Image courtesy of YMCA Mamelodi) View File Details Page

Freda Snyder Recognition Day Luncheon

Freda Snyder Recognition Day Luncheon

In 1972 at the age of 83, Freda decided to step down from the Medina Community Hospital. This was marked with a luncheon, where the hospital honored the more than 30 year long and beloved trustee and member of the board. "... by the Trustees of Medina Community Hospital that we express our deep gratitude to Mrs. Snyder for her devoted service to the Hospital and do hereby appoint her a lifelong honorary member of the board with our best wisher for the years that lie ahead..." This was announced by the President of the hopital board, Charles Clark, at the luncheon. Threby making Freda a lifelong memebr of the hospitals board. (Image Courtesy of the Gazette Archive) View File Details Page

Audio

Freda Snyder's thoughts on starting her own business

Presented by Sophie Sissimus View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Ryan Weber, Sofie Christensen, Sarah Waite, Marissa Loveday, Tyler Huffman, “Freda Snyder,” Discover Medina, accessed July 24, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/71.

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