Greene County, Arkansas
Dr. George Self of Stanford
By: Lucille Robb, daughter
Transcribed by: Sandy Hardin
|Dr. George S. Self was born
October 1, 1876 near Jonesboro. His parents were Nobel and Martha
Jane Self. To them were born 10 children. With so many deaths to
feed, the "once a year" trip to town, "just to look", was the
highlight of his life.
Deprived of a house by the death of his mother, and followed shortly by the death of his father, young George was sent to live with a neighbor couple. The entire week consisted of work, with the only means of entertainment the church services on Sunday.
Tiring of the confining life he ran away, making his way to Texas, arriving there late one afternoon. Approaching a farmhouse he offered to work for the farmer in exchange for a meal. He was hired and worked for several weeks for a sum of 25 cents per day, from "sun-up-to-sundown," until he finally saved enough money to get back to Arkansas.
During this period he developed an intense desire to get an education. He entered the only available school and between making a living and going to school obtained enough education to receive a teacher's license. After a few years of saving the larger part of his salary and working after school he had enough money to attend medical school. He took his medical work in St. Louis, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky.
He arrived from school to Greene County looking for a place to practice medicine. He finally settled in the Stanford Community in 1901 and lived with Mr. and Mrs. Johnnie Witcher, and begun his life's work.
In 1903 he married Selma Boyd of Walcott, Arkansas, a daughter of Martin and Martha Jane Boyd. Her mother Martha Jane McMillion, had come from South Carolina with her parents in a covered wagon. They bought land and lived at Walcott for a while, but soon returned to South Carolina.
Dr. and Mrs. Self moved to Stanford and furnished their home at an investment of $24.00. He owned one horse which he rode to make house calls. Two years after he married, he returned to medical school.
Dr. and Mrs. Self were the parents of two daughters, Sunshine Self Tatum and Lucille Self Robb and one foster son, Morris Creel. In 1910 Dr. Self began to buy more land and eventually owned several hundred acres around Stanford. One of the things he enjoyed doing was helping a young man buy a house. He would buy the land and the man would pay him the rent on the farm until it was paid for. He was a very busy man and a great trader, but he took time to tend his cattle and a number of mules.
In 1938 he was elected Greene County Judge, serving for four years. During this tine he worked diligently to improve roads all over the county. No one was more aware of the condition of those roads than he. He was also instrumental in obtaining the consolidation of the Stanford School District. During this time he never gave up all of his medical work. He continued to go about visiting the sick and not worrying about the fees. He was often paid with chickens, dogs, hogs, cattle, and once he was given a sewing machine, and another time a man paid him with a catch of fish. Dr. Self marked the accounts off his book as paid in full.
Dr. George Self was a father, husband, confessor, advisor, neighbor, doctor and friend, and served his fellowman for more than 40 years. He passed away in 1945. Mrs. Self then carried on all the work he left behind except the medical work, and did a wonderful job. She passed away in June 1970.
Dr. and Mrs. Self are the grandparents of Regina Penry, George M. Robb, Linda McCauley and Debbie Creel; and great grandparents of Kim and Robin Robb and Tracey Penry.