John Walter Scott
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Surgeon 4th KS. Infantry & Surgeon 10th KS. Infantry
History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901
JOHN WALTER SCOTT was born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, August 29, 1825. His father was Alexander McRay Scott, who was born at Alexandria, Virginia, August 19, 1800. His mother was Mary Dean, who was born in New Jersey or Pennsylvania in 1799. His paternal grandfather was John Scott, who’migrated from Belfast, Ireland, soon after the Revolution, landing first at St. Thomas, West Indies, but soon after going to Norfolk, Virginia, and thence to Alexandria. His paternal grandmother was Margaret Kenna, the daughter of an English sea captain. Nothing farther is known of the paternal line, except that "in the beginning" one "John," a ship joiner, migrated from Scotland to the ship yards at Belfast, Ireland, and was there called "John, the Scot," to differentiate him from other Johns, which name, of course, soon became John Scott, which it still remains. The John Scott who migrated to America was a shoemaker by trade. He was killed by lightning when about sixty years of age. His wife died in Indiana about 1853, of old age. Alexander Scott, the father of our subject, was a machinist and mechanic, although he always lived on a farm. He died at the age of sixty-four in Bloomington, Illinois, of cerebro spinal meningitis. His wife has previously passed away in Kentucky at the age of forty-four, of malarial fever. John W. Scott’s maternal grandfather was Samuel Dean, a Revolutionary soldier in the New Jersey line. He afterwards served under "Mad Anthony" Wayne in the Indian wars and was severely wounded in the hip, making him lame the remainder of his life. He was probably of Danish descent and was a farmer. He died at the age of eighty-six from the effect of his wounds. Nothing more is known of the family on this side.
John W. Scott was the oldest child of Alexander and Mary Dean Scott. He had three brothers, Samuel, William and Harmon, and five sisters, Martha, Mary, Jennie, Margaret and Hannah. Of this family only Margaret and Jennie now survive.
When John W. Scott was three years of age his father bought a farm adjoining the Braddock Field property, near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and there nio.st of his childhood was spent. He worked on the farm in summer and in the winter attended such schools as the uncertain condition of the country afforded, in this way acquiring the rudiments of a fair English education.
In 1840 he went with his father to Gallatin county, Kentucky, where he worked on a farm and in a saw mill for three or four years. The work proved too heavy for him and his health giving way he secured a position as private tutor in the family of Dr. William B. Chamberlain, in Warsaw, Kentucky. He taught the children of his employer the rudiments of English and received from him in return a smattering of Greek, Latin and mathematics. He afterward taught school in various portions of the county during the winters and read medicine with Dr. Chamberlain.
In 1846-7 he took a course of medical lectures at the Starling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio, and in the spring of 1847 began the practice of his profession at Hopewell, Indiana. After practicing there for two years he took another course of lectures at the above college from which he graduated in the spring of 1849, returning at once to his practice in Indiana.
December 13, 1849, he was married to Maria Protsman, the neice of his former preceptor, Dr. Chamberlain, and continued in the practice of medicine at Hopewell and Franklin, Indiana, until 1857 when he came to Kansas. He bought an original interest in the townsite of Olathe, which had just been located, and in connection with one Charles Osgood, built the first house erected on the townsite. In the fall he returned to Indiana and the following spring brought his family to Olathe. Owing to the unsettled condition of the country and the scenes of violence that were continually occurring in the town Olathe was not then a desirable place of residence, and so in June of 1858 Dr. Scott removed with his family to Allen county and took up a claim near Carlyle where he lived for the next sixteen years.
ill! the fall of 1859 he was elected to the Territorial legislature whicli met at Lecompton and afterwards adjourned to Lawrence,—the first Free State legislature. He was re-elected in 1860 and was chosen Speaker of the House, In 1861 he was elected a member of the first State legislature, and in the absence of the Speaker presided during most of the session. During this session P’ort Sunipter was fired upon, and at its close most of its members entered the Union army. Dr. Scott enlisted in the Fourth Kansas Volunteer Infantry and was elected surgeon. He served with the Fourth during the fall and winter of 1861-2, being in charge of the general hospital
at Fort Scott. When the Third and Fourth regiments were consolidated and became the 10th Kansas he became the surgeon of that regiment and served until May, 1863, when he resigned on account of the long and serious illness of his wife. In the fall of the same year, his wife’s health having been restored, he re-entered and served to the end of the war, returjiing then to his Carlyle farm.
In 1866 he was elected to the State Senate, was elected president pro tem of that body and presided during the session on account of Lieutenant Governor Greene serving as Governor, vice Governor S.J. Crawford resigned. Although always interested in politics and often actively engaged in the contests as a member of conventions and as a speaker in the campaigns, and frequenth’ mentioned as an available candidate for Congress and other high positions, he was not again a candidate for any office during the remainder of his residence in Kansas.
Almost from his first location in the state Dr. Scott had interested himself actively in the various projects looking to the building of railroads into this section of the State. Among the numerous meetings and conventions held in the interest of these projects the most important was a convention held at Topeka in the year 1859. The purpose of this convention was to agree upon a system of railroads upon which the State would go to Congress, asking for land grants to aid in the building of the roads, and the chief contest was between the proposed line from Leavenworth south (now the Southern Kansas) and the proposed line then designated as the Border Tier road (now the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis.) The committee appointed to draft outlines of the system of roads decided in favor of the Border Tier, leaving out the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston, as it was then and for many years afterward called. As a dissenting member of this committee Dr. Scott made a minority report in favor of the L- L. and G. , and succeeded in carrying it through the convention, thus securing the grant of land which made possible the building of that road. When the company was organized he became one of the directors, and when the road was finally built, in 1869, he was appointed Land Commissioner. He remained in that capacity eight years, during which time he was the chief
agent in securing the railroad title to the land to which it was entitled and in disposing of the lands to settlers. During most of this time also he was a member of the State Board of Agriculture, taking an active and efficient part in organizing and conducting the State Fairs which were a feature of those early years. From 1873 to 1879 he served as Regent of the State University, helping ta lay the foundations of that great institution. Alter closing his connection with the railroad he returned to lola, thefamily having removed from the Carlyle farm to that place in 1874, and in 1876 engaged in the drug business, purchasing the stock of John Francis. In 1883, without solicitation on his part, he was appointed agent for the Ponca, Pawnee and Otoe Indians taking charge of the Agency January 1, 1884. He served in this position until October, 1885, when he resigned and returned to lola to resume the conduct of his drug business. He conducted this business until 1891, when he sold it to J. H. Campbell in order to accept an appointment as Inspector for the Bureau of Animal Industry. He was assigned to duty at Kansas City and served until 1893, when heresigned. Desiring to retire from active business he went with his wife and daughter Belle, then constituting his family, to Clifton, Oklahoma, to visit his oldest son, who had taken a claim there. The climate and country pleased him so well that when the Oklahoma school lands were thrown open he leased a quarter section and with the energy which always characterized him proceeded to improve it, as if he were in his youth instead of in his seventieth year. He lived there quietly and happily until the fall of 1898 when his neighbors, almost without lespect to party, although he was still an ardent Republican, as he had been since the organization of that party, insisted that he serve as their candidate for the Territorial legislature. He reluctantly consented, and was elected, although the district contained a largely adverse party majority. He was not in his usual health when the .session opened early in January, 1899, and in going to the Capitol he suffered some exposure which brought on an attack of pneumonia which resulted in his death, which occurred January 19, 1899. In honor of his memory the legislature adjourned and a committee of its members was appointed to accompany the remains to lola where they were interred. A further and most touching proof of the respect and affection in which he was held by his colleagues was given by the fact that during the entire remainder of the session his chair on the floor of the house remained draped, and every morning there was on his desk a bouquet of fresh flowers. And so he died as he had lived, honored and beloved by all who knew him, a man who loved his family with a rare devotion, who was an important and influential factor in the development of two new States, who served his
State and his country, in office and out of it, in peace and in war, with great ability and with incorruptible integrity, and who in all the relations of life was worthy of love and honor.
Maria Protsman, wife of John W. Scott, was born on a farm nine miles north of Vevay, Indiana, July 19, 1829. Her father, William Protsman, was born in Danville, Kentucky, February 5, 1801, and came to Indiana in 18 14 where he worked with his father at farming and wagon making.
He opened a large farm near Vevay and reared children as follows: Flora, Maria, Emarine, Isaac, Ellen, Adelia, Charles, Fannie, William, Alexander of whom Flora, Maria, Emarine, Charles, William and Alexander still survive. William Protsman died in 1866. His father was John Protsman, who emigrated from Germany with his father’s family about the year 1769. iln the family there were four brothers and two sisters. As a mere boy John Protsnian served as a teamster during the Revolutionary war. In 1792 he was married in Philadelpliia to Nancy B. Reckwor and soon aiterwards moved to Ohio, going from there to Kentucky and finally to Vevay,
Indiana, where he died at the age of seventy-eight. He was a carpenter and farmer. His children were David, Samuel, John, William, Nancy B.., and Elizabeth. Nancy Recknor, wife of John Protsman, was also of German descent, her father and mother emigrating from Germany a little
before the Revolutionary war. Her father was a soldier and was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill. Her mother died the year following at Philadelphia, and the two children, Nancy B, and John, were taken and reared by their grandmother. When they were grown John went to the South and
that was the last known of him. Polly Campbell Protsman, the mother of Maria Protsman Scott, was born in Kentucky April 9, 1809, and died at Vevay, Indiana, in 1890. Her father was William Campbell, who was born in South Carolina in August, 1776. Her mother, Polly Brown, was born in Kentucky, June 17, 1783, and was married to William Campbell June 17, 1800. William Campbell died February 4, 1832, leaving a family of nine children, as follows: Jeannette, Jemima, Elizabeth, Susan, Polly, Samuel, James, and William. Polly, his wife, died in 1868, at the age of eighty-five years.
The children of John W. and Maria P. Scott were: William Alexander, born September 29, 1S50; Walter Winfield, born September 4, 1853; Clara Belle, born September 14, 1855, Angelo Cyrus, born September 25, 1857; Charles Frederick, born September 7, i860; Emma Louisa, born April 23, 1865, died September 4, 1879; Susie Flora, born April 6, 1867, died September 1, 1873; Effie June (Mrs. E. C. Franklin) born August 4, 1871.