In the paternal line the ancestry of Dr. A. G. Person, of Snyder, can be traced back to Thomas Person, in whose honor Person county, North Carolina, was named. He was a general in command of American forces in the Revolutionary war. His native state was Virginia and the place of his birth was probably Southampton county. He lived for many years in what was known as Dodge county, North Carolina, but this county was afterward divided into Wayne, Greene and Lenore counties. General Person continued a resident of the old North state throughout his remaining days. He was the great-grandfather of Dr. Person of this review. He had several sons, of whom Josiah Person was the next in line of direct descent to our subject. The father, Dr. A. G. Person, was born in 1816 and became a practicing physician of Fremont, Wayne county, North Carolina. He was a native of that county and made his way there throughout his entire life, passing away in July, 1856. He married Miss Arabella T. Handley, who long survived him and died in 1895 at the age of sixty-four years. In their family were six children, three sons and three daughters, but the daughters all died in infancy. The sons are: W. B., a resident of Goldsboro, Wayne county, North Carolina; Dr. J. E. Person, a practicing physician of Wayne county; and Addison Garland.
The last named was born in Nahunta, Wayne county, North Carolina, August 12, 1856, but the name of the town has since been changed to Fremont. His father having died and his mother married again he was reared principally by his guardian who sent him to school to Fremont Academy in his native state. This was after the close of the war and prior to that he had very little opportunity for obtaining an education. In 1868 or 1869 his mother and stepfather were living at Wilmington, North Carolina, and he went there and became a student in Cape Fair Military Academy, then in charge of General J. B. Coleston, afterward the general in charge of an expedition which crossed the desert of Sahara and which was sent out by the Khedive of Egypt. Charles B. Alfrend was also a professor in that institution. Dr. Person’s stepfather, William R. Bass, died in 1871. The following year Dr. Person entered Wake Forrest College, at Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he spent two years, acquiring the greater part of his literary education in that institution. He afterward engaged in teaching school during the winter of 1874 at Watery Branch schoolhouse in Wayne county and in 1875 he entered the drug store of Cod & Person (the junior partner being his brother) in Fremont, where he remained as a clerk for about twelve months. He next entered the employ of Aycock & Edgerton, general merchants of that place in the capacity of a salesman and bookkeeper, remaining with them until December, 1877.
It was on the 12th of that month that Dr. Person was married to Miss S. Fannie Wood, who was born in Guilford county, North Carolina, and was a daughter of Penuel and Calista Wood, both natives of that state. Mrs. Person’s home at the time of her marriage, however, was in Montgomery county.
After his marriage Dr. Person went to Wilson county, where he purchased a farm, which he operated for about a year. He then removed to the town of Wilson and was engaged with Branch & Hadley, general merchants from 1878 until 1883. During that time he began reading medicine in his leisure hours with the intention of becoming a member of the medical profession. He attended lectures in 1883 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, Maryland, and was graduated from that institution in 1885. Following his graduation he returned to Fremont, his old home town, opened an office for practice and remained there until December, 1889.
In that year Dr. Person came to Texas, settling first at Nixon, Guadalupe county, where he practiced until November, 1891, when he returned to Fremont, North Carolina, there remaining until February, 1893. He then again came to Texas, going to Hico, Hamilton county. In 1893, while living at Hico, Dr. Person, his wife and one of their sons, were taken ill and in order to regain their health they made their way to the prairies of Cooke county, being much benefited by the change. They afterward return to Nixon, continuing there until July, 1897, when they again went to Hico, where the following year Dr. Person formed a partnership with Professor J. H. Wysong, one of nature’s noblemen and a noted chemist of the state. This partnership was continued until October, 1899, when on account of ill health Dr. Person was again forced to leave Hico. Seeking a higher altitude and the free air of the western country he removed his family to Snyder, Texas, where he has since remained, here enjoying perfect health himself as have his entire family.
In his profession he has made continuous advancement, being an earnest student of the principles of medicine and keeping abreast of the times with all modern research. He took a post graduate course at the New Orleans Polyclinic in 1903, pursuing special lines of study concerning the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. He has built up a good paying practice receiving a patronage from some of the best families in this section of the state. He was first licensed to practice medicine by the state board of medical examiners of North Carolina in May, 1885, was elected a member of the board of health of Wayne county in September of the same year and was chosen president of that board in 1889. He was a member of the Caldwell county, Texas, Medical Society from 1894 until 1899 and he was licensed to practice by the fifth district board in 1898 and afterward by the state board of medical examiners in 1902. He was one of the organizers of the Southwest Medical Society of El Paso in 1901, in 1902, he became county health officer of Scurry county, while since 1902 he has also been president of the board of health of Snyder. He joined the State Medical Association of Texas in April, 1903, at San Antonio and the American Medical Association at New Orleans in May, 1903. He was also one of the organizers of the Mitchell, Scurry, Kent and Dickens Counties Association in 1903 and is at president of the county organization. He was a member of the house of delegates to the State Medical Association, which authorized the publication of its proceedings in journal form, known as the Texas State Journal, at present published in Fort Worth.
Dr. and Mrs. Person are well known socially and have a large circle of warm friends. They are the parents of four living children, Affleta Belle, Fay Burkhead, Addison Garland and Benjamin Vale. They have also lost one son, the eldest of their children Edgar Bascom Person, who died in Wilson, North Carolina, in 1880, at the age of one year and ten months.
Dr. Person has not only been actively interested in the progress of the medical fraternity but has also been instrumental in the promotion of various enterprises for the general good. He was a prime factor in the organization of the Snyder independent school district in 1900 and for some years was one of its trustees. As a result of the united forces on the part of enterprising citizens of this place a handsome school building was erected and this is now one of the best schools in the state. Dr. Person is an Odd Fellow, having been made a member of the order in Enterprise lodge, No. 44, at Wilson, North Carolina, in 1880. He was one of the organizers of the lodge in Snyder, being appointed special district deputy grand master for the purpose of organizing Snyder lodge, No. 485, which lodge has since had a prosperous existence. He is a devoted member of the Methodist church, with which he has affiliated since 1877, when he joined the denomination at Fremont, North Carolina, having, however, made a profession of religion some years before. He has since been actively interested in religious work and it has been a matter of earnest endeavor to exemplify his belief in his daily life.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 407-409.