By: Melissa Keen
Hill View Manor has a long history. Our building is celebrating its 95th birthday this year. Before it was Hill View, it was the Lawrence County Home for the Aged, the Lawrence County Poor Farm, and was part of the farmland prior to the building that was worked by one of the original poor farms, located just down the road, behind where Shenango High School currently stands. That’s over 150 years of recorded history, which means countless stories to be told, and countless souls that passed through. We are uncovering more information every day, hoping to share those stories and remember the people who called this area home.
One of our more recent discoveries was a gentleman by the name of Taylor “Arthur” Snead. Two of our staff members- Sue Vesch and Ken Azzarello- were investigating on the 2nd floor in what we have discovered was the old TB ward. They kept hearing a soft voice through the Spirit Box. It was a gentle voice with a slight accent and could be difficult to hear over the louder voices. Ken told the man he could hear him and asked what was his name. The voice clearly said Mr. Arthur Snead. When repeated back to Mr. Snead, he replied yes! Sue immediately dove into research and found Mr. Snead’s obituary. He was a resident of the original poor farm and passed away in 1919, and was buried in the Hill View Manor Cemetery.
We have continued to communicate with Mr. Snead and he has told us that he worked this land and loved it, which is why he is here. He is so pleased that we are saying his name and remembering him and his life. He can be found on the 1st and 2nd floor. He still communicates quietly, and often only for a few brief minutes. But we are so happy to be sharing his name and story, and we hope to continue to learn more about him.