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Col. John Scott (1824-1903)


Posted By: Dorian Myhre (email)
Date: 12/11/2011 at 00:28:48

From Story County Watchman March 4, 1904

Senator Ericson On Col. John Scott.

Tuesday in the senate resolutions on the life and character of Col. John Scott were read and adopted. Sen. C. J. A. Ericson of Boone was on that committee to prepare resolutions and the following taken from the "Journal of the Senate, Tuesday, February 23rd, 1904," will be of especial interest to Story county.

Senator Ericson, from the special committee appointed to prepare resolutions concerning the life and character of Col. John Scott, submitted the following report:

Mr. President.--Your special committee, appointed to prepare resolutions concerning the life and character of Col. John Scott, respectfully report as follows:

Whereas, Col. John Scott, a member of the state senate in the Eighth and Twenty-first General Assemblies and Lieutenant Governor of Iowa in the years 1868-1870, departed this life September 23rd, 1903, at his home in the city of Des Moines, Iowa, therefore, be it
Resolved, That in the death of Col. John Scott the Pioneer Lawmakers' Association lost one of its most brilliant members; the State one if its most distinguished citizens, and the nation one of its bravest defenders in its hour of need.
Resolved, That the Senate join with the citizens of the communities in which he lived for nearly half a century, in sorrow at this loss and tenders to the family and friends its sincere sympathy in their bereavement.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions suitabley engrossed be transmitted to the family of the deceased by the secretary of the Senate.


Senator Ericson in moving the adoption of the resolution spoke as follows:
Mr. President.--Although the time of the session is valuable, I feel that I must ask the indulgence of the Senate while I pay brief tribute to the memory of one of the early pioneers of Ia.

Col. John Scott was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, April 14, 1824. Like many other men who have achieved distinction his early life was passed working on a farm in the summer and attending district school in the winter, his advantages being few, but such as they were he improved them to the utmost and at the age of sixteen years he began his career as a school teacher, receiving as compensation sixteen dollars per month.

In the spring of 1843, with a friend he explored the then settled portions of Iowa territory, being the eastern part from Dubuque to Muscatine, traviling on foot and carrying a leather portmanteau with a surveyor's compass. During this trip the agencies of the Sax and Fox Indians were visited, and thwo nights spent in the building occupied by the interpreter which can still be seen from the cars of the C. B. & Q. railroad when passing Agency City.

After his return home he again began supporting himself by teaching, also studying law, and in his twenty-first year was admitted to practice on examination before the Supreme court at Ohio.

In 1846 while teaching in Shelby county, Kentucky, he enlisted in Humphrey Marshal's regiment of mounted volunteers for the Mexican war, and with his regiment was mustered at Louisville, going to Memphis by boat, from there marching overland to Camargo, Texas on the Rio Grande, January 23, 1847, in company with Cassius M. Clay of the same regiment and seventy others, he was captured by 3,000 Mexican cavalry and their imprisonment lasted until October during which time he was marched nearly 2,000 miles under guard and confined in many prisons, the most noted was that of Santiago City of Mexico.

On his return from the Mexican war he again resumed teaching, having been elected principal of the New Bath Seminary, at Owingsville, Kentucky. In 1852 he bought and published the Kentucky Whig, at Mt. Sterling. Two years laer he came to Iowa and entered some in Benton and Tama counties, and in 1856 determined to make Iowa his future home and located at Nevada, Story county, where he practiced law and was a dealer in real estate.

In 1859 he was elected to the Senate in the Eighth General Assembly form the district composed of Boone, Story, Hamilton and Hardin counties. The session of 1860 was important, including the revision of the code, also making the same comformable to the constitution which was adopted in 1857.

In the breaking out of the war in the south, Col. Scott entered the service of his country in May, 1861, as Captain of Co. E, Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was later commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel.

In August, 1862, he was commissioned Colonel of the Thirty-second Iowa infantry. The service of this regiment was highly honoarble to the command and especially distinguished itself in the Red River campaign and at the battle fought at Pleasant Hill, La., under the command of Col. Scott, April 9, 1864.

In 1867 Col. Scott was nominated and elected Lieutenant Governor of Iowa and presided over the Senate of the Twelfth General Assembly with ability and honor to himself and universal satisfaction to its members. Later he was again elected to the Senate of the Twenty-first General Assembly.

Col. Scott was a Free Mason of high degree, being a Scottish Rite 32, and having served as Grand Master of Iowa.

The offices of honor and responsibility to which he was elected are too numerous to mention here; suffice it to day, in public life Col. Scott was ever conscientious and faithful. Straight forward and direct, he sought only the right, and once thoroughly convinced wht the interests of the people demanded, nothing could swerve him from his convictions. He submitted to no dictation and acknowledged no master save duty.

Col. Scott was a resident of Nevada until a few years ago when he removed with his family to Des Moines where he lived quietly at his home until his death September 23, 1903.

His later years were spent among some of his life long friends and comrades until he entered that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns.

Extemporaneous remarks were also made by Senator Crawford.

The resolution was unanimously adopted.


Story Obituaries maintained by Mark Christian.
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