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Snow, Esther M. (1895-1974). Papers, 1942-2002.

Identifier: H88-0140

Scope and Contents

Personnel file (RESTRICTED), photographs, programs and correspondence from the Vienna Summer School.


  • 1942 - 2002



Esther Mac Farlane Snow was born in Yankton, South Dakota, on July 26, 1895, to Mr. and Mrs. William M. Mac Farlane. She married Wilfred Curtis Snow in 1922 and had four children: Curtis Murray, Robert W., Jean, and Janet. Esther received formal training at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. When her husband took a job in Holland, Michigan, at Hope College as the first organist in the newly built Dimnent Memorial Chapel, she accompanied him. She assisted her husband with many musical tasks, and was soon recognized as an accomplished pianist, organist, and choir director. After her husband's death in 1935, she assumed his duties at the college.

While a member of the Hope College music department, Esther taught piano, directed the Chapel Choir, and was an organist. While at the college, Esther took courses and graduated with an A.B. from Hope College in 1941. After eighteen years in the music department, Snow left the college and returned to school. After a year's leave of absence, she graduated from Michigan State University with a master's degree in German. She joined the Hope College German department in the fall of 1955 as an associate professor. While in the German department, Snow helped begin the Vienna Summer School program. She was very active in this program and accompanied students to Europe for six years until her retirement in 1965.

During her time in Holland, Michigan, Mrs. Snow was an active member of Hope Reformed Church where she was an organist and choir director for 21 years. She was also a long-time member of the Holland Century Club, the American Guild of Organists, the American Society of German teachers, and the local chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. At the time of her death she was serving as president of the local P.E.O. chapter.

Mrs. Esther Mac Farlane Snow died of cancer on February 19, 1974, in Holland Community Hospital, where she had been a patient for about a month. Surviving Mrs. Snow at the time of her death were her four children, 13 grandchildren, and her sister, Mrs. Donald Flewell.


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Instructor and professor of piano and organ, 1937-1954; director of Women’s Glee Club; assistant professor of German, 1955-1965. Collection includes her personnel file (RESTRICTED), photographs, programs and correspondence from the Vienna Summer School, and "Musikalisch Frau Schnee: A Brief Biography of the Life of Esther MacFarlane Snow," by Robert Snow, 2002.


Esther M. Snow


17 images

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Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Joint Archives of Holland Repository

Theil Research Center
9 East 10th Street
Holland Michigan 49423 United States