JOHN B. BLANTON, M. D. For forty years the late Dr. Blanton, of Chico, maintained the dignity and honor of the medical profession. For more than thirty years he practiced among the people of Wise county, where he laid down his life, and both as a physician and a citizen he won the friendship and merited the praise of a wide constituency and acquitted himself as becomes a gentleman and a man. Coming from a family of doctors, as he did, he was peculiarly and especially fitted and equipped by nature to battle with disease and to encourage the afflicted, and when he was taken away his roof alone did not cover the house of mourning.
Murray county, Kentucky, gave Dr. Blanton birth February 24, 1839. Dr. Jacob Blanton, his father, was a Virginia man and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, taking up active church work when he abandoned medicine and closing his life in Clay county, Texas, in the ministry in 1879. He was born in 1808 and studied medicine thoroughly, graduating from two colleges of the craft and pursued his profession with much success. He moved into Kentucky when it was new and before the rebellion settled in Arkansas. For his wife he chose Sarah Donnell, who bore him three children, namely: Mary, the wife of John D. Smyth, of Parker county, Texas; James W., who died at Chico, and the subject of this sketch.
John B. Blanton acquired a liberal scholastic education, and the foundation for a professional career was well laid before he began his preparation regularly for the work. He took lectures in the Virginia College of Medicine of Medicine at Richmond and graduated in 1860. He has hardly begun his career when the war came on and he was made a surgeon in the Confederate service. General Cabell, of Dallas, was his commanding officer and he was also attached to the army of General Lee. After the war he located at Clifton, Texas, and, in 1874, he came to Wise county and established himself at Aurora. After practicing there a few years he removed to Decatur, and in 1880, came to Chico, where his death occurred April 25, 1904. In 1869 the Doctor took a course of lectures at Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, taking diploma from the institution. He served many years as a member of the Board of Medical Examiners for Wise county, and was recognized everywhere as authority on matters pertaining to his profession. He took no leading interest in politics, as doctors sometimes do, but held to the principles of Democracy with an abiding faith. The emoluments from his practice were considerable and he amassed property in real estate to provide comfortably for his family when he should be taken away. He encouraged his two sons to take up medicine as their life work and saw them strongly equipped and engaged in successful practice before his death.
Dr. Blanton first married Miss Frusie Peek, at Clarksville, Texas, but she passed away without issue. In 1867 he married Mattie J. Clark in Coryell county. She was a daughter of William D. Clark who settled there in 1855 from Bedford county, Tennessee, and died in 1893. Mr. Clark married Eliza R. Kelton, who passed away in 1896, the mother of James L., of Hico, Texas; Mrs. Dr. Blanton; Thomas, deceased; William, of Marlin, Texas; Anna, wife of William Kincaid, of Buffalo Gap, Texas; Newton, of Waco; Samuel, of Hico, and Finis, of Merkel, Texas. Four children were born to Dr. and Mrs. Blanton, viz.: Della, widow of Walter Tadlock, of Chico; Dr. William P., of Crafton, a graduate of Louisville Medical College, and married to Piety Borden, with children, J. Burgess, B. F. and Pancoast; Emma, who married E. A. Wells, of Wellington, Collingsworth county, Texas, and has issue, Ruth, Blanton, Morris and Eddie; Dr. John J., the youngest, was born in Wise county, Texas, in 1876, and graduated from the University of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1900. He succeeded to the practice of his able and worthy father and is already referred to as a foremost practitioner of Chico. He married Miss Cue McCurdy in 1901.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 550-551.