Luana Harvey Scott
HARVEY, TRUMAN, SCOTT, ERNST
Posted By: Bev Bernhard
Date: 7/6/2007 at 15:52:14
About the Old News
By Bev Bernhard
While proof-reading the This Week in History article last week, my eye caught the line “Miss Luana Scott, the lady after whom our town was named” and wondered who this lady was, so I went hunting.
Luana, was born Luana Harvey, on May 8, 1828, in Alburgh, Grand Isle County, VT. Her father, David Harvey, was the proprietor of the ferry that ran from Alburgh to North Hero in Vermont. He was a local judge in the county involved with litigation surrounding land titles during the time when the states of New York and Vermont were trying to sort out where the state line was. From 1849-1850 he served as a representative in the Vermont Legislature. It was also known that he had a very large hernia. Back in Vermont, it was a favorite quip of the tavern keeper to introduce him as their “busted-justice.”
Luana was raised on her father’s farm. It is said that she had an excellent education. Her mother, whose name is unknown, died when Luana was quite young. Her father married Hannah Truman in 1836 when Luana was 8 years old.
On July 29, 1848, Luana married William S. Scott, also from Vermont, who came to Iowa with his father John Scott in 1846.
According to Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties (1894) “William S. Scott remained with his father until the spring after he had attained his majority, when he started for Clayton County, Iowa, and walked from Chicago to Dubuque. His first summer in this locality was spent in Garnavillo Township, where he worked by the day, receiving seventy-five cents for his services in the harvest field, and in the winter received from fifty to seventy-five cents for splitting rails. In the fall of 1846 he enlisted in Captain Parker's Cavalry, for the Mexican War, and for his faithful services at that time is now drawing a pension. On his return he was foreman of construction on the Ogdensburg Railroad for two years.”
The Mexican-American War was fought between 1846 and 1848, so he probably returned to Vermont to marry Luana.
It took a bit of digging, but I was able to find out a little about the Ogdensburg Railroad. It was actually known as the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railway and the total length of the entire line at completion in 1852 was seventy-seven and a half miles with almost all of it in Jefferson County, NY. No doubt, William gained his surveying skills at this time.
The year after they were married, they purchased a tract of land in Farmersburg Township. For a year and a-half they operated that farm while the estate of Luana’s father was settled. In 1854, they settled in Monona Township, where they remained and ran a very successful farming operation. William owned six hundred acres of land, and the town of Luana was surveyed and laid out by him on this land which he named in honor of his wife.
In the 1870 census William is listed as a retired farmer with real estate holdings valued at $27,000 and a personal estate of $11,000. Luana is keeping house with three children at home. Other hints from that census show that William and Luana’s daughter Julia, age 20, is the wife of Alpheus Ernst (probably also known as Hugh) with a 6 month old baby named Minnie.
William S. Scott and Luther Nichols were the organizers of the Luana school district. He was an active Republican and was for twenty-seven years the Township Treasurer, and for ten years served as Justice of the Peace. For a period of two years he was a member of the Board of Supervisors, and was a Mason. In 1880 he was elected as a delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
At her death, December 4, 1893, Luana was survived by two children, four others having previously passed away during her lifetime. She is buried next to her husband in the Luana City Cemetery with only “Mother” and “Father” Scott to mark their grave. The spire style tombstone belonging to Hugh Ernst has the name Scott on the other side.
Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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