One of the representative families of Montague county, whose residence has been maintained herein since its advent thither a third of a century ago, is that represented by Dr. Sneed Strong, of Bowie, the subject of this biographical review. The year 1873 marked its entrance to the county, and the worthy head of the family chose for the site of his new home a tract of wild land eight miles east of Montague, w here for seven years the family domicile was maintained. For two generations this worthy sire confined his labors to the varied industries of the farm, training his children to love labor for the pleasure of its fruits and watching them pass form his dominions to assume honorable stations in different walks of life and himself finally retiring to the quiet of urban life with the weight of years and filled with a consciousness of having performed a modest part in the reduction and improvement of a new country and in creating and stabilizing its social fabric.
This well known family, headed by James A. Strong, the father of our subject, came to Texas from Morgan county, Missouri, where Mr. Strong had lived since 1831 and where the first forty-five years of his life had been passed. He was born in Tennessee September 20, 1828, and farm life in Missouri, where his father settled so early, and four years of frontier experience in the gold fields of California occupied his previous to his advent to the Lone Star state. His parents, Martin and Margaret Strong, were of the pioneers to Morgan county, Missouri, where they died, the father in 1898 at the age of ninety years. Of their other children, William was killed as a Confederate soldier during the war; Benjamin resides in Morgan county, Missouri; Francis M., of the same county; Levi is a resident of Idaho; Mary married Bryant Cox and died with issue in Morgan county, Missouri; Rebecca became the wife of John Hatcher and lives in Arkansas, and Harvey died in McDonald county, Missouri.
The childhood advantages of James A. Strong were of necessity meager, and the necessity and value of labor were the chief elements of his education. When he assumed his station in life he chose the vocation of his fathers. He was allured to the Pacific coast states in 1854 by the prospects of a “lucky strike” in some unsearched locality and he joined the line of march to the occident, crossing the plains and reaching his destination after some months of weary plodding and successfully passing through two thousand miles of forbidding and hostile country. Upon his return in 1858 he chose the water route, and made the trip across the isthmus to Key West and New York and home again just as the rumblings of a fratricidal war were beginning to be heard. When the struggle between the two sections of our country came on his sympathies were with the south, and while his age precluded the possibility of active service on his part he became a militiaman and rendered what service he could in preserving order at home. His wife was Mary J. Pittman, a Kentucky lady, whose mother, Abigail Pittman, settled in Morgan county, Missouri, also a pioneer. The issue of their marriage was: James M., who owns a cotton gin in Quanah, Texas; William M., of Bowie, Texas; Sterling P., well known in Bowie and a real estate and loan broker; Maggie, wife of T. J. Williams, of Plainview, Texas; Dr. Sneed, our subject, born March 27, 1865; Laura, wife of S. J. Brown, of Dye, Texas, and now deceased, and Walter C., clerk of the court of civil appeals of Texas at Fort Worth. Mrs. Strong, the mother of Dr. Strong was born in 1829, and died January 26, 1905. Her brothers and sisters were: Jefferson Williams’ wife, Clara, who died in Arkansas; Sarah, wife of Jacob Kingery, of Claremont, Texas; Rachel, who married F. M. Bandy, of San Saba county, Texas; Catherine; Mrs. John Melton of Tuscumbia, Missouri.
Dr. Sneed Strong’s birth occurred in Morgan county, Missouri. The first eighteen years of his life were entirely rural and this environment contributed to a strong body and a strong brain. Leaving his father’s farm of a half section near Montague, he entered his brother’s store at Montague as a dry goods clerk, where he served two years. The county clerk’s office at Montague then knew him as an assistant for eighteen months, during which era he employed himself with reading medical works. A course of lectures followed his retirement form the court house and the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis provided his tuition. As a further aid to his ambition he took a clerkship in the comptroller’s office in Austin and spent a year and a half there, and with the funds thus secured he resumed his professional studies in St. Louis and graduated from the Missouri Medical College April 1, 1891. From his graduation till January 1, 1904, he practiced his profession in Stoneburg, in the county where he had been reared, and on the latter date he took up his residence and his work in Bowie. January 1, 1905, he associated himself with Dr. George W. Yeakley, and the firm of Strong & Yeakley began its successful career. In the practice Dr. Strong represents the Old School of physicians and his familiarity with the latest achievement in medical science and his wholesome grasp of the science itself renders him a formidable antagonist of disease. He is a member of the Montague County Medical and the Northwest Texas Medical Associations and of the Texas State Medical Association.
January 14, 1893, Dr. Strong married Miss Lee Benefield, a daughter of a farmer, J. P. Benefield, who came to Texas form Louisiana. The children of this marriage are Gervais B. and Joy. In politics the Strongs are Democrats. In the early eighties James A., the father, became an adherent of the Greenback faith and made the race for tax collector on that ticket, but since the passing of the reform era and the final settlement into their natural places of all political elements father and sons are united on one party and its principles. Among the standard fraternities the Doctor is a Royal Arch Mason.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 108-109.