Dr. James E. Dodson is a physician of high standing both professionally and socially at Vernon, Wilbarger county, where he has been engaged in the active pursuit of his profession for the past fifteen years. He has spent many of the years since boyhood within the borders of this state, having been brought here over fifty years ago, but his professional work has been done in various parts of the south, and he has had a broad and useful career.
He was born in Hickman county, Tennessee, May 12, 1847, and his father, Elias Dodson, who was born near Danville, Virginia, and came to Tennessee when a young many, died in Hickman county in the same year. The father followed the occupation of farming. Dr. Dodson’s mother, Frances (Lee) Dodson, was a native of Virginia, and in 1851 moved to Corsicana, Texas, which city remained her home until her life came to its close in 1868.
From the age of four years Dr. Dodson was reared in Corsicana, Texas. When the Civil War came on he was not yet fifteen years old, but being a typical Dodson, the members of which family as a rule attained to mature physical growth in early life, and his patriotic ardor being none the less on account of his youth, he was among the early enlistments and became a boy soldier of the Confederacy. At first he was a member of Captain Melton’s company, in Colonel Bates’ regiment, in service along the Texas coast at Velasco and vicinity. In 1862 he was discharged from that service, and he then joined Company G, Waller’s battalion, Green’s brigade, in the Trans-Mississippi Department. He was in the battle at Mansfield, Louisiana, where he went down the Red river and participated in the skirmishing at Thompson’s Plantation. He was campaigning with his regiment all through Louisiana and Arkansas, and remained in military service until the army was disbanded and he was paroled at Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1865.
At the age of eighteen young Dodson returned home to take up the course of educational training and perfect himself for professional life. He finished his literary education at Franklin, Tennessee, in the private school of Pat Campbell, a well known educator, and at Professor McNutt‘s private school, also in Franklin. He obtained his medical preparation in the medical departments of the University of Nashville and of Vanderbilt University, which at the time of his graduation in 1875 were affiliated institutions, and he received his diploma from both of them and also received a gold medal in gynecology. In 1875, following his graduation, be began his practice at Lyndon, Perry county, Tennessee, where he was located for about three years, after which he continued his work in Humphrey county, of the same state. His practice in the tow counties extended from 1875 to 1885, and in the latter year he received a federal appointment during the term of President Cleveland as physician and surgeon to the Osage Indians, his headquarters being at Pawhuksa, Osage Nation, Indian Territory. He filled that position until 1889, and since then has carried on his practice at Vernon.
Dr. Dodson is very successful as a physician, and surgeon, and is an energetic, hard-working, serious-minded practitioner of the most important profession to humankind. This is shown by his large practice and his high standard throughout Northwest Texas. He is president of the Wilbarger County Medical Society, and is a member of the Texas State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. He is local surgeon for the two railroads at Vernon, the Frisco and the Fort Worth and Denver. He is also medical examiner for the leading old-line life insurance companies. He is one of the prominent Masons of this vicinity, and has attained the Knight Templar degree.
Dr. Dodson’s first wife and the mother of his children was Miss Mary B. Thomas, to whom he was married in Tennessee and who died while they were living in Osage Nation. She was the mother of the following children: Robert E., of Houston; Mrs. Fannie, wife of T. G. Lomax, Beaumont, Texas; Miss Mary B.; Dr. James E., Jr.; Miss Jessie; J. Meeks, at Beaumont, and Clabe A., at Houston. Dr. James E. Dodson, Jr., was born in Perry county, Tennessee, in 1876, received his medical education in the medical department of the Fort Worth University and is now practicing with his father.
In August, 1902, Dr. Dodson was married at Henderson, Texas, to Miss Ida Buford, who was born in Tennessee, but was reared in Henderson, being a member of the well known Buford family of that place.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 689-690.