Monte Person always wanted to be a cowboy. He and his three siblings were raised at the family farm on Sierra Ave between Maple Ave and Chestnut Ave. They attended Fresno schools. Monte graduated from Hoover High School in 1966. He adopted his parent’s ethics of hard work and community service.
His mother Lorraine (1923-2015) taught elementary school for 37 years. Among her many community services: advocate for seniors, one of the Fresno’s Top Ten Professional Business Women in 2006, and volunteering at the San Joaquin River Parkway. The pond at the Hallowell Education Center near the river is named in her honor. In the 1950’s, she was a part time reporter (Clovis news) for the Fresno Bee.
His father Merle was a Fresno County Sheriff. Monte shared his life’s dream of being a rancher where he raised horses and cattle with his father. His father’s reply, “You had better find a damn good job to pay for it.”
Monte began riding at age five and believes he has ridden in most of the following Clovis Rodeo parades. In 1955, his father, brother, and sister received “Best Dressed Family” in the parade.
He remembers his “ride into town” on his pony, to buy a cold soda at Weldon’s Clovis Dray & Ice (Third and Clovis Ave). Pioneer Luther Weldon was Clovis Mayor from 1940-1948 and his son John, was Clovis Mayor from 1956-1958.
He is a strong protector of Clovis’ rich heritage.
We quote portions of the letter he wrote in support of preserving the 1914 Carnegie Library:
“Now my son and I help organize and ride in the parade, still by horseback. Last year (2019) as we were riding down the parade route, I had a bout of nostalgia when we got to the Chamber of Commerce building, I told my son that it used to be the Carnegie Library. Probably one of the most important things I learned there was to sit still and be quiet, at a young age, for extended periods of time while my mother was doing research for her Masters.
I understand that the Chamber needs to grow, but we cannot tear down such an important part of Clovis history. If there is a problem, there is a solution. We just have to figure out one that will work for everyone.”
Monte graduated from Fresno State in 1970 as an Ag Business Major with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He graduated from the University of Pacific Dental School in 1974 and established (continues there) his practice at 5678 N. Palm Ave in Fresno.
He fondly remembers Mary Krause as the leader of the Dry Creek 4-H. He began showing cows at ten and a few years later leased land to grow cattle feed.
In 1976, he selected the French Limousin breed for his herd. They were a rather new breed of cattle that are golden red to brown in color, block build, adapt well to diverse climate and are known for their ease of calving. They are raised on his 40 acres of permanent pasture in Clovis and 500 acres of mountain land in the foothills.
He has served on many youth related Ag boards: Board of Junior Achievement for the Valley, Ag Advisory Committee for Reedley College and Clovis Unified School District, Junior Livestock Auction Committee at the Fresno Fair.
Monte boasts that he is a loyal customer for over 60 years at: Mac’s Tires, Jensen & Pilegard, Linenbachs Auto and Foster Freeze (all on Clovis Ave).
Monte continues to enjoy his “cowboy life”, especially at branding time. He is excellent role model for our youth.
He and his family are part of our rich heritage.