From the Excelsior Springs Daily Call, January 24, 1924:
Death Call J.W. Snapp
Passed Away at 8:45 Last Night One of Excelsior Springs' Pioneer and Honored Citizens
James W. Snapp, one of Excelsior Springs' pioneer and beloved citizens, died last night at 8:45.
The sad message that "Jim" Snapp was dead was received with profound sorrow by the people of Excelsior Springs.
Mr. Snapp was born in Polk county, Mo., February 2, 1852, consequently was nearing his 72nd birthday. He came to Missouri City 52 years ago and engaged in the hardware business, where he remained until 1881, at which time he came to Excelsior Springs and opened up the first hardware store, which he conducted for a number of years, afterwards engaging in the hotel business, his first real venture being when he and his former wife, who preceded him in death in April 13, 1919, purchased the Wholf Tavern, now the Royal hotel. Later they disposed of the Tavern to Mrs. L.G. Hill and immediately commenced plans for engaging in the hotel business on a larger scale. A splendid building was erected on the present site of Hotel Snapp. This building was destroyed by fire January 7, 1912.
Undismayed by the loss the work of erecting the present building was begun in the early spring following and the present building was rushed to completion.
February 24, 1922, he was married to Mrs. Osie Hamilton, his present wife who survives him, and with her husband the popularity of Hotel Snapp has in nowise been permitted to wane, but has continued to be a favorite with people from many states.
Mr. Snapp's long residence in the county together with his activities as a merchant and hotel man, has given him a wide acquaintance not only in Clay county, but among the visitors who have come to Excelsior Springs from various states.
Always public spirited, he was always ready to contribute in both purse and effort to all measures calculated to further the welfare of Excelsior Springs, having served the city as mayor and member of the first school board. For many years he has been a helpful member of the Christian church.
No children were born of either marriage, the only blood relatives being a sister, Mrs. Nannie Stapp of Kansas City, nephews Oscar Daniels, Thomas Nall and Chapman Stapp, one grand niece Martha Stapp, of Kansas City and one niece Mrs. Dell Gally, of Missouri City.
Funeral will occur tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock in the parlors of the hotel, conducted by Rev. Arthur N. Lindsay of Clinton, Mo., and Rev. J.P. (?), of Richmond. Interment will be at Crown Hill, the following acting as pall bearers:
Active F.A. Benson, W.T. McRorey, H.L. Moore, Max Meloy, W.N. Pittman and Andrew Craven.
Honorary J.M. Hart, William Clark, C.W. Fish, J.H. Pfeiffer, Dr. Ernest Lowrey, Hugh Wilhite, C.L. Craven and Judge J.M. Sandusky.
James was the son of P.K. Snapp. Snapp first married to Betty Shackelford in 1884. Betty opened a board and rooming house which she called the Kansas City House. Her place became famous for the excellent meals and the homelike hospitable atmosphere. In 1898, due to the growth of Excelsior Springs and through their own prospering in business, Snapp was able to purchase the Wholf Tavern, later the Royal Hotel. On April 13, 1919, Betty died.
James served as Mayor of Excelsior Springs and was a member of the first school board. He was a member of the Christian church, a member of the Knights of Pythias, Elks, and Modern Woodman lodges.
A sister, Mrs. Lou Mitchell, of Missouri City, preceded him in death.