Stamford Loses an Icon

By Callie Metler-Smith

 

Chances are if you were born in Stamford you were delivered by Dr. Tony Selmon. In fact you would be hard pressed to find anyone over 35 that lived in Stamford that wasn't seen at one time by Dr. Selmon in his 36 years as a General Practitioner and OB/GYN doctor. Stamford suffered a great loss to the community Monday, January 16, when Dr. Selmon passed away at the local hospital that he worked at for so long.

Tony Selmon was born to John and Emma Selmon on February 1, 1917 in Spur, Texas. His father, “Scandelous" John, was a career cowboy who started out as a ranch hand on the Spur Ranch. When the Swenson Brothers bought the ranch he was working on, he just stayed on with them and in 1919 he moved with his wife and two-year-old Tony out to the old headquarters located on the Flat Top Ranch. Thus began young Tony's induction to the cowboy way and he remembers fondly his dad loading into his model T a black with white face Shetland pony he named "Jug" to serve as Tony's first introduction to horses.

When he got old enough he started to school at Tuxedo, and the next year his parents got a small apartment in Stamford so he could start 2nd grade in town. The family lived in town during the week, but many weekends were spent out at the ranch home about 12 miles outside of town.  Selmon enjoyed school and played football, injuring his left knee one of the years he played. Stamford High School only went to the 11th grade then, and he graduated from school in 1935.

From that point he did a little of everything, working with his father on the ranch and then moving to Burkburnett where he dug ditches for the gas company there. Less than a year after moving there though, he moved back to the ranch and worked as a ranch hand until he entered commercial college in Ft Worth and studied bookkeeping. After completing the course, he was hired at Hardey Motor Company, which was located right off the east side of the square in Stamford.

About this time, Selmon began courting his wife, Maxine Roland. She was going to school to be a teacher, and one day he picked up her psychology textbook and became interested in it. He decided he wanted to be a psychiatrist, but in order to do that he would have to get his medical degree. He enrolled in Texas Tech's pre-med program and after graduation was accepted to Galveston's medical school where he acheived his medical degree.

He hadn't been in medical school very long when after a long day of studying, he turned on the radio to hear of the bombing of a place called Pearl Harbor. He remarked that he had never heard of Pearl Harbor before that date, but it was not a place he would soon forget.

Selmon enlisted in the United States Navy, but was allowed to finish medical school. He graduated in 1944 and was sent to a Naval hospital in San Diego to do his internship. The San Diego hospital was huge having at any one time more than 10,000 patients. Wounded or sick soldiers, both Navy and Army, were brought in by the shiploads to this hospital.

After completion of his internship, he was sent to Washington where he was tapped to go to China. While he was awaiting orders, he was reassigned to San Fransico where he worked on one of two barracks barges. These barracks barges were about the length of a football field and three stories tall. Tugboats would pull them to provide support for ships. Selmon relates that his barge was pulled by tug boat from San Fransico to Pearl Harbor. He said the boat moved around 4 miles an hour, and it took them 2 weeks to get there. By the time he reached Pearl Harbor in 1945 the war in Europe was over.

After staying in Hawaii for two weeks, his unit moved on to the South Pacific and reached just east of the international dateline. He said that at night they traveled with complete darkness with ships all around them. One night all the lights were turned on and the cannon went off in celebration as the word spread that the Japanese had surrendered. Selmon stayed in the South Pacific for another 7 to 8 months.  He hurt his knee again while playing tennis and was put in sick bay and moved to Hawaii and then on to Corpus Christi in 1946. He was then discharged and came back to Stamford where he joined the other practicing doctors, Dr. E.P. Bunkley and Ike Hudson. He practiced in Stamford a total of 38 years before retiring at the age of 66.

He came home to more than just a medical practice. Tony and Maxine were married on June 11, 1943 and his daughter Tee was born on January 23, 1945. His two sons John Richard and Matthew Roland were born in his next few years home.

Dr. Selmon was called back into the military in 1953 where he served again as a doctor on a Navy ship that carried troops and dependents back and forth to Japan. The round trip took around a month, and the ship carried about 2,500 people at a time. He made six trips with his ship. Following his discharge, he joined the Naval Reserves and served many years as a reservist until he retired.

After retiring from his medical practice, he enjoyed spending time with his wife and woodworking. His wife, Maxine, passed away after 68 years of marriage in 2011. Nowadays he spends his time watching a lot of TV. He says he mostly watches the news.

Tee went on to be a doctor in the Air Force, and she trained at the Mayo Clinic to be an orthopedic surgeon. When she got out of the military, she had a private practice in Wisconsin where she still lives.

John went to Texas Tech and did a lot of flying and gave flying lessons in California. He now lives in Los Angeles where he works for Boeing. He has two children.

Matthew is a cardiologist who practices in Austin. He has two boys and two girls.

 

A few years ago during an interview with the Stamford, Dr. Selmon reflected on his life and joked that he had delivered a lot of babies. He also said the best thing about being a doctor was helping people. He was one of the three doctors that built the Stamford Health Clinic that still stands beside the hospital today. There is no doubt that Dr. Tony Selmon has been a true asset to the town of Stamford. He died just prior to his 100th birthday.

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Comments: 29
  • #1

    Jean Gray Kee (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 10:27)

    You are a very special person to so many of us! You will be truly missed. Hope most of us whom you delivered have made you proud to be a doctor! Thanks for all you have done for Stamford!. May God bless and comfort your family!

  • #2

    Debby High Brooks (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 11:38)

    Precious man. Thanks for all the care and attention to earaches and tonsillitis in such a kind and patient manner always. A true gem who will be missed and loved.

  • #3

    Jamie Wheatley Evans (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 11:43)

    My Condolences to the family, Dr. Selmon delived me and was my Pediatric Doctor. He was surely an Icon and such a Blessing to so many.

    Rest In Peace, Dr. Selmon

  • #4

    Aline Gray Olson (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 12:12)

    Dr Selmon delivered me and our oldest son. Michael he was both our pedicatric dr. Always loved seeing him around the post office and grocery store. Always remembered you and ask how is the family.. RIP DR SELMON. Prays to your family.

  • #5

    Linda Jones Krause (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 12:36)

    Thoughts and prayers for the Selmon family from one of those many Stamford babies he delivered. February 12, 1955

  • #6

    patsy bivins (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 13:01)

    he delivered me in 1047 and delivered my daughter in 1973. a great man

  • #7

    Susie Dowdy Horton (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 13:31)

    I had the pleasure of working with DR Selmon in 1965 a wonderful man and a. Great. Physician. Sue

  • #8

    Steve Livengood (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 15:05)

    I worked at the hospital in Stamford from 1969 to 1972 during the summers and Christmas breaks. I was Premed at the time. The doctors were Dr. Pryor, Dr. Bunkley, and Dr. Selmon. Of the three, Dr. Tony Selmon was by far the most friendly and easy going. He delivered my wife Siri in 1952 and then our oldest son in 1976. Stamford missed a great doctor when he retired and it was great to see him about in town. Blessings to Tee and the boys. I surely heard a lot about Tee while I was working from the lab and xray and nurses and staff... and John B. Martin Administrator. I was a great group of people to work for!!

  • #9

    Patsy Schroeder (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 15:25)

    God bless Dr. Selmon. What a wonderful caring doctor and man. I will always be grateful to him. He delivered my two children. After my second child was born I had a serious postpartum depression, Dr. Selmon was so kind and compassionate. He got the help I needed with Dr. Martin in Abilene. I will always be grateful to him and he will always have a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my children. My children are ages 57 and 61. Rest In Peace Dr. Selmon, a job well done.

  • #10

    Teresa Griggs Demory (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 15:32)

    He made house calls when I was so sick with Scarlet Fever and he was such a great doctor and precious man. He will be missed. My heartfelt sympathy to the family.

  • #11

    Lynn reid (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 16:05)

    So sorry to hear, prayers for family,may he rest in peace.

  • #12

    Debra Greene (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 16:12)

    Dr. Selmon delivered my oldest daughter and he was her pediatric doctor. I remember D'Ann having Reys syndrome when she was 15 months old. He wasn't sure she would live through the night, but he saved her life. I am grateful for the things he did for her. Thank you Dr. Selmon, you will be missed by many people. RIP.

  • #13

    Billy Dennis (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 17:18)

    Dr. Sermon was a jewel of a man. He was one of the kindest souls I have ever known. He and Mrs. Selmon raised some of the finest children that have ever walked the Earth. They shared their compassion for people with their children and their legacy continues through them. Heaven has gained another angel. Rest high on that mountain Dr. Selmon.

  • #14

    REBA DAVIS (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 17:21)

    When I graduated H S in Lueders, Texas in 1949, I went up to Stamford, 14 miles up ;the road and went work with fellow class mates at the Stamford Memorial Hospital. Dr. Selmon had not been there very long and I at 17 knew nothing. But as the days went on I sensed a very deep thinking, caring, and giving man in Dr. Selmon. As time went on I was never disappointed in his demeanor, his character, his calm and on point dealing with everyone in the hospital and especially his patients. I never witnessed him making a difference in any patient of his. Color made no difference, status made no difference, he was a genuine caring person to all people. I have thought of him almost everyday, as later in life when I went to church with the Selmon's, he made me a small cutting board, that I have and use almost daily. He was for me a true and great man!

  • #15

    Carolyn smith (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 17:36)

    I worked with all 4 doctors in1977 and Dr Selmon was so calm and thoughtful to everyone. He delivered our youngest daughter that year, Starla. I will never forget his kindness!

  • #16

    Richie Harris Neighbors (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 19:46)

    Dr. Selmon was a gentle soul and a caring doctor. He will be remembered always for his calming spirit and evidence of his love to help people. Prayers and sympathy to all his family.

  • #17

    Vicki and Jesse Morton (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 19:55)

    My husband, Jesse Morton, Pastor of Temple Baptist Church, was delivered by Dr. Selmon 70 years ago, Thurs. January 12th, last week. He also delivered two of Jesse's brothers, Jerry William Morton, and Stanley Gene Morton. Dr. Selmon delivered three of my four children from 1964-1970. He would have delivered my fourth child if I could have managed to get home from Springfield, Mo. As far as we are concerned, he was the greatest Doctor. He always had a smile and a kind word to say! Heaven will certainly be sweeter now with this Godly man there!

  • #18

    Martha Smith Boyd (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 20:52)

    Dr. Selmon you were a real sweetheart. He delivered me in 1951. He stitched up my daughters chin back in the 80's after she fell out of a tree. He was so good to our family when my grandmother was ill. You could always count on Dr Selmon. You will be truly missed. You were one of a kind. Prayers and blessings to your family.

  • #19

    Susan McClellan Parker (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 21:55)

    I remember hearing about Dr. Selmon and my dad discussing whether or not my brother had polio in 1952. The entire Selmon family has been so good to and for Stamford. What a legacy. Thank you, Dr. Selmon.

  • #20

    Ann (Hale) Daley (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 23:08)

    Nearly 69 years (June1948) Dr.Selmon delivered me and in May 1949 he delivered my sister (Linda (Hale) Jones. Mom always spoke of him. I am praying for his family and everybody that had the blessing of knowing him. RIP Dr. Selmon now you can really rest in heaven since no one is ill. God bless you.

  • #21

    Patsy Herring (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 23:12)

    I had no idea Scandelous John was Dr Selmon's dad! I grew up in Stamford but was born in Lamesa. Dr. Selmon was so respected! Thanks for posting this.

  • #22

    Thelma Roysdon (Tuesday, 17 January 2017 23:36)

    Dr Selmon was a very special man ....He delivered all the Mullins kids and he was the only doctor that could get my mother ever went to ....he always had a smile on his face and he always had a hello to give you in passing ...he will be sorely missed

  • #23

    Kay Alvarez-Walters (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 05:19)

    Dr. Sermon delivered me, the oldest of 5; he delivered my baby brother Eric Alvarez, youngest of 5. I'm 53 and my brother was 25 when he passed away. I'll never forget seeing Dr. Selmon as he walked with his cane, making his way up mother and daddy's front porch to personally deliver his condolences. A very classy, sweet and sincere soul he was.

  • #24

    Kay Lynn Edwards Scott (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 08:10)

    Dr. Selmon also delivered me in 1946. I guess he took care of me growing up in Stamford thru 3 broken arms and asthma. He was a caring and gentle soul. He will be truly missed. We were all lucky that he chose Stamford as his home to practice medicine and rear his children. Kay Lynn Edwards Scott

  • #25

    Shirley Stephens Attaway (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 10:22)

    Dr. Selmon delivered me, as well as our firstborn precious little girl.....He was a wonderful doctor with a heart of gold!!!!

  • #26

    Mardella Marsh (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 13:27)

    Doctor Selmon delivered me and my first born (Aaron). What a blessing to have had him in our lives. Our prayers go out to the family and friends. If the world had more men like him, it would be a better place. Love you Dr. Selmon. Rest in peace.

  • #27

    Jeanetta Hull Swofford (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 13:28)

    Dr. Selmon was the BEST! He was compassionate, kind, n a caring Dr. I have no doubt he has a special place in heaven. RIP.

  • #28

    JOY WHITLEY LOWRY (Wednesday, 18 January 2017 14:31)

    What a great person. Stamford was blessed with one of the best doctors anywhere. It was a privilege to know Dr. Selmon.

  • #29

    Pat Vaden Plumlee (Thursday, 19 January 2017 14:34)

    55 years ago we adopted our oldest son, and within 7 months Dr Selmon delivered our twin boys. We got to know him quite well since we went to his office every few weeks with one sickness or another. He was always the kindest, most caring doctor that we have ever had through the years. He will always have a very special place in my heart. He and Maxine have always given so much of themselves to Stamford, and my prayers go out to the family at this time. He was loved by all who knew him and will always be fondly remembered.