Dr. Andrew J. Snelson, who has been actively and successfully engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in northeastern Oklahoma during the past two decades, has continuously maintained an office in Checotah since 1908 and is numbered among the leading representatives of the profession here. His birth occurred in Johnson County, Arkansas, on the 1st of January, 1862, his parents being John and Cynthia S. (Davis) Snelson, both of whom were natives of Overton county, Tennessee. The father enlisted for service in the Confederate army at the time of the Civil war and was killed in battle at Camden, Arkansas, when but twenty-two years of age, the engagement in which he was fatally, wounded being known as the Saline fight. The mother of the Doctor long survived her husband, passing away on the 5th of August, 1907, when sixty-four years of age.
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Andrew J. Snelson, who was the only child born to his parents, obtained his education in the public schools of his native-county and when a youth of eighteen began teaching school there, continuing to follow the profession in Johnson county, Arkansas, for a period of nineteen years.
He won an enviable reputation as an educator one who had the ability to impart clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired. Desiring to take up the medical profession, however, he pursued the necessary course of study in the University of Arkansas and in 1900 came to the Indian Territory and located for practice at Wister, in Le Flore county, where he remained until 1902. In the latter year he removed to Checotah, McIntosh County, but after a short time made his way to Oktaha, in Muskogee County, where he engaged in the practice of medicine for a period of six years or until after Oklahoma attained statehood. He built the first residence in Oktaha and was the first mayor of the town, while in 1907 he was elected to the legislature from Muskogee County, giving thoughtful and earnest consideration to all the vital questions which came up for settlement. On the 27th of August, 1908, he returned to Checotah, where he has since devoted his attention to the profession of medicine and surgery and has built up a practice of extensive and gratifying proportions. He belongs to the Southern Medical Association and enjoys a most enviable reputation as a practitioner of pronounced skill and superior ability.
On the 25th of February, 1885, Dr. Snelson was united in marriage to Miss Frankie Laster, a daughter of Robert F. and Margaret (Hyten) Laster, who were natives of Tennessee and of West Virginia respectively. Robert F. Laster removed to Arkansas in 1836 and followed farming in that state until the time of the outbreak of the Civill war, when he joined the Confederate forces. He served with the rank of First Lieutenant and was killed in the same engagement which claimed the life of John Snelson, the father of Dr. Snelson. Mrs. Margaret Laster departed this life in 1886. Dr. and Mrs. Snelson, have become parents of nine sons, as follows: Arthur, who passed away July 2, 1892; Airy Laster, who is an accountant; Robert M., a druggist of Okmulgee; Grover M., who is a tailor residing at Morris, Oklahoma; Fay, deceased; Lawrence W., living in Muskogee; Rowling Page, who resides at Morris, Oklahoma; and Charles Herman and Andrew Paul, both at home.
Dr. Snelson has always given hi, political allegiance to the Democratic Party and has served as health officer of Checotah for eight years. He is a Royal Arch Mason and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian Church at Checotah, in which he has served as elder for a number of years. He has won a host of friends during the period of his residence in Checotah and his record forms an integral chapter in the annals of northeastern Oklahoma.