Olie Fielding Snedigar (December 30, 1882 - January 15, 1954) ...
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Olie Fielding Snedigar, son of Emeline California Dotson and Thomas Fielding Snedigar, was born Dec. 30, 1882, near Oakdale, California. He received his early schooling at Langworth, went through Oakdale High School, and was gradated from the University of California in 1906, with a major in law. An outstanding athlete, he played football in 1903, 1904, and 1905, and was a track star in I904, 1905, and 1906, serving as team captain during his last years. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1906, and for two years held the elective post of Graduate Manager of the Associated Students.
From 1903 to 1909 he practiced law in Oakland, and in the latter year he was appointed Chief Assistant Probation Officer in Alameda County, California. When Christopher Ruess, who had headed the department resigned in 1916, Mr. Snedigar became Chief Probation Officer. He held that position for 36 years.
At the time he entered County service there were four members of the Probation Office Staff. When he retired on December 31, 1952, the Department, which included the Juvenile and Adult Divisions, Juvenile Hall, and the Alameda County Boys' Camp had 249 employees. He was known affectionately to his staff as "the Chief".
His career was closely linked with the California Probation and Parole Association, which he helped found shortly after joining the Alameda Probation Department. In 1919 he was elected its president. After a reorganization in 1939, he again became president. He served for a third term in 1947, and throughout his long professional career he assumed an active role in its program to increase and improve child welfare services, to raise qualifications for those seeking employment in the correctional field, and to liberalize legislation pertaining to minors.
Many well-deserved honors were paid Mr. Snedigar, among them having the Alameda County's shelter care facility for dependent children named Snedigar Cottage for him.
During World War I, he enlisted in the Y.M.C.A. for service in France. He was then 35 years old and had some hesitation as to his fitness. An old clipping from that time recounts that he tested himself by going to Golden Gate Park and making a running broad jump which measured 221/2 feet. The clipping went on to tell again of the athletic record he had established as a student at U. C. It said that besides his accomplishments on the football field, he was holder of the American Championship of the javelin throw, holder of the Coast record for the broad jump; joint-holder of the Coast 100-yard dash record.
The article continued; "In 1914 he was the winner of the all-round championship for the Olympic Club. On April 6, 1917, he entered the field and track meet representing the Olympic Club against Stanford and won the running broad jump and the javelin throw; placed second in the discus throw; and third in the shotput throw."
Olie Fielding Snedigar died January 15, 1954, at his home in Oakland, California.
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