Norton Daily Telegram (Norton, Kansas), October 1915

James H. Scott was born in the state of Illinois, Oct. 14, 1837 and died at his home near Almena, Kansas, Jan. 26, 1915 having reached the age of 77 years, 3 months and 12 days.


In early life, he, with his parents, moved to Daviess County, Mo. where he grew to manhood. He was among the oldest of a large family and his father dying soon after moving to Missouri., the burden of helping rear the younger children fell heavily upon him. When the Civil War broke out, he along with one his youngest brothers, entered the service, enlisting in Company H 23 Regiment Missouri Infantry, and went to the front. He was in many bitter engagements, the worst of which was Shilo, where his brother, Levi, was killed and he was captured and taken to the Andersonville prison. How he was cruelly treated, and almost starved until "Exchanged" in about 6 months, when he returned to his company as soon as he was able, and continued to the close of the war, being honorably discharged from en. Sherman's Division. At the close of the war, he returned home and married the companion of his choice, Mary Emily Goodvin. To this union was born four sons, two of which, James William & Levi Washington remain to mourn his loss.

He removed about 1871, with his young wife and children to Gage County, Nebr., and settled on a homestead near the Big Blue River at Blue Springs, Nebraska, the pioneer life proved too hard for his young wife and she died within the first year [ 5 June, 1872] , and now lies buried in the Blue Springs, Nebraska cemetery. A few years later, he was again married, to Mrs. Mary Reynolds, and to this union, was born four boys and five girls, all of which living, except Emma, who died early in life [1872-1873], and Mrs. Isabelle Glenn, who died about a month ago. His last wife also preceded him to the other side, having died about 4 years ago. In 1892, James H. Scott, with his family, moved to Kansas, and settled on a farm in Norton County, near Almena, where he resided to the time of his death.

His life was noted for kindness, gentleness, honesty and an even temper and lovable nature, which is possessed by very few. He never made an enemy and often suffered wrong rather than contend for his rights. He early entered the Christian life, becoming a member of the Christian Church, in which faith he continued to end. All of his living children were able to attend the last, sad service. His illness was painful and long, but he bore it patiently, without murmur. The funeral services were conducted by Elder Archer, and the remains were placed beside his wife, in Mount Olive Cemetery, Norton County, Kansas. Of him it can be truthfully said, "He being dead, yet speaketh". All the children now reside in Norton County, except J.W., who lives in Geary, Okla., and L.W. who lives in Courtland, Kans.

Good bye, proud world I'm going home Thou art not my friend; I'm not thine. Too long a river ark I've roamed. Too long been tossed by the driven foam, But now proud world, I'm going home.


James and his twin sister, Isabelle, were born in McLean County, (now DeWitt County Illinois) near Waynesville to William Liddell and Nancy (Scott) Scott. He was a small child when his family moved to Mahaska County, Iowa. His father died in Iowa when he was 7 years old. His mother and brothers and sisters moved back to Illinois.

In 1855 when he was 18, the family moved to Daviess County, Missouri where many of the Scott Clan had settled.

James was 23 and his brother, Levi, 19 when they joined the Union forces in the Civil War. They enlisted in Company H, 23rd Missouri Volunteer Infantry under Captain Nathan Nichols on August 22, 1861. In September they were mustered in at St. Louis, Missouri. In December, James contracted measles and before he recovered he was called into action. As a result of complications and a cold, he was to suffer from loss of smell and lung disease.

In the holocaust of Shiloh, at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee on April 6, and 7, 1862, over 23,000 American soldiers lost their lives. One of those soldiers was Levi. James was one of the 2,200 men under the command of Benjamin M. Prentiss who survived the battle. He was captured and taken to Andersonville Prison where he nearly starved to death until he was exchanged at Montgomery, Alabama on May 28, 1862.

On December 1862, while he was absent from his company, James and his childhood sweetheart, Mary Emily Goodvin were married by his Uncle Martin Scott, Elder of the Christian Church in Daviess County, Missouri. In January he was back serving in the war. He spent 2 months in a hospital and was finally discharged on September 22, 1864.

James returned to Daviess County and sometime after the birth of their second set of twin sons, James and Levi, James and Mary Emily packed their belongings in a covered wagon and moved to Gage County, Nebraska. Here they joined his sister Isabelle and her husband, Samuel Wymore. James bought a "second-hand" homestead near the Big Blue River for $2 per acre. This was in the Blue Springs Precinct formerly Otoe Indian Reservation. From his place there was not a house in sight.The nearest neighbor lived in the neighboring town of Blue Springs, which at that time consisted of only a store and a post office.

Mary Emily died in 1872 leaving James with the 3 year old twins. In June of 1873 James and Mary Catherine Tisdell Randles were married by the Justice of the Peace, C. R. Stoddard at Blue Springs. Witness were Mary Wymore, William Cline and Nancy Wymore.

When the town of Wymore, established by Samuel Wymore, began to grow, James subdivided part of his farm into city lots. Scott's Addition to Wymore was made and recorded in 1882. He improved his farm and built a home on a bluff south of the town. Along with farming, he was into stock-raising.

In the mid 1880's James and Mary and seven children, moved to Hodgeman County, Kansas where they owned a half-section of land near Jetmore. Their son Joseph Henry was born here. James made some improvements on the farm, but they returned to Wymore in 1888.

James had seen the area where he lived in Nebraska, go from a bare prairie to a booming town of 3,000 inhabitants! One wonders if the population growth was one of the reasons that he moved his family from Wymore to Norton County, Kansas in March of 1892.

On September 26, 1892 James and Mary bought 80 acres of land in Grant Township, Section 27, from Thomas I and Bird Conarty for $200. From John and Annie Conarty they purchased 160 acres for $1500. It was also located in Grant Township on the west side of Cactus Creek. They lived near the Cactus creek in a four-room sod house that was built in the 1880's. At one time this house functioned as the post office for the Cactus Community. The east wall of the living room contained pigeonhole compartments with doors that opened from both the inside and the outside for the mail. Mary utilized these compartments to keep their butter and crocks of milk cool. This farm was to be their home for the remainder of their lives. Mary Catherine died on 11 May 1910.

James died at his home in Grant Township, Norton County, Kansas on 26 January 1915. He had suffered from cancer for the last years of his life. Services were conducted by Elder Archer. Burial was in the Mt. Olive Cemetery in Norton County, Kansas.