Community & Public Service
Gene Snowden has spent the better part of his life trying to make life better for the residents of Huntington County, whether it was in public office, working for state agencies, volunteering, or even helping people find the right place to live.
Snowden first was elected to the County Council in the 1960s, but left when he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives. He moved on to the State Senate in 1964 and held the seat for 20 years, rising to assistant president pro-tem, the second-highest ranking position in the Senate. Snowden left the Senate to become the first director of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, a consolidation of several state agencies that handled licensing for non-medical professions.
Snowden returned to politics in 1988 when he was elected Huntington County auditor. In 1992, he was elected mayor. During his term, Snowden was instrumental in the expansion of Huntington to the north, as businesses like Walmart, Bob Evans and Comfort Inn coming to town during Snowden’s administration. He also initiated a citywide cleanup and helped create a city/county computerized system to link all local agencies, including courts and the police and sheriff’s departments.
He was instrumental in getting tax credits for donations to Indiana private colleges, which had an impact on fundraising at Huntington University. Snowden served on the Huntington University Foundation board and earned the Foundation’s first Distinguished Service Award in 2002. He helped create the lake at the college, which was named Lake Snow-Tip in honor of Snowden and F.L. Tipmore.
Snowden also devoted time to working with his church, the First Church of the Nazarene, where he met his wife, Carol, and has served on the church’s board of directors. He was presented with an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, Olivet Nazarene, in 1989.
Snowden founded the Huntington Optimist Club in 1960 and has been involved with a wide ranging number of organizations, including the Police Athletic League, the Salvation Army, Huntington County Historical Society, the Boy Scouts, Huntington County Leadership, Boys & Girls Club, Historic Forks of the Wabash, Pathfinder Services, United Way, Huntington County Chamber of Commerce and Christian Literature for Africa.
Snowden was honored as Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in 2003. To honor his public service, the stretch of Indiana-224 between Huntington and Interstate-69 has been designated as the “Gene Snowden Highway