John Scott was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, on April 14, 1824. He was
the son of John Scott and Eliza Skelly. On January 18, 1849, he married Selina Bell of Orange County, New York. Selina died on August 1, 1854. On January 18, 1858, near Jefferson County, Ohio, he married Annie Crabb. She was born in 1832, the
daughter of Abram Crabb and Mary Shane and died January 26, 1862. On November 24, 1863, he married Mary Sophia Wright of Freeport, Illinois.
Mary was born in 1839, the daughter of Orestes H. Wright and Mary M. Atkinson.
At age 16, Scott began teaching. In 1843, he and a friend explored the settled portion of Iowa Territory. After John’s return to Ohio, he studied and taught law. He was admitted to the bar in Ohio. That fall, he moved to Shelby County, Kentucky, where he taught. In May 1846, he joined the Army for the Mexican War. On January 23, 1847, he was captured by 3,000 Mexican Cavalry and marched 600 miles
into Mexico. He was liberated in October at Tampico.
On his return to Kentucky, he married Selina. He became principal of New Bath Seminary at Owensville, Kentucky. In 1852, he bought and published the Kentucky Whig at Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. Two years later he resumed teaching. In
August 1854, while he was selecting land in Iowa, Selina died of cholera leaving an infant son. For two years, he was employed visiting Masonic Lodges. In
1856, he moved to Nevada and purchased land that was later platted as Scott’s addition in Nevada. He opened an office for law and land business. He married Annie in 1858. In 1859, he was elected to the state senate.
In May 1861, he entered service as Captain of Company E, 3rd Iowa Volunteer Infantry. In June, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel. In 1862, Annie died at her father’s home in Ohio leaving two children. In August 1862, he was made
Colonel of the 32nd Iowa Infantry.
In November 1863, he married his third wife, Mary Wright. He would later say she was not only skilled in care of the home, but in use of the pen and brush.
In 1867, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. In 1869, he was appointed
assessor of internal revenue and in 1886 he was elected to the state senate.
Colonel Scott was well known for his breeding stock of shorthorn cattle and Shetland ponies. He was president of the Iowa Stock Breeder’s Association. He was also President of the State Agricultural Society. He shipped Shetland ponies by
the carload each year. On July 4, 1876, Colonel John Scott delivered the
In 1895, after 20 years of research, he published Hugh Scott, an Immigrant of 1670 and his Descendants. In 1896, he published Story of the 32nd Iowa Infantry Volunteers. In May 1898, he and Mary moved to Des Moines. John died September
23, 1903, in Des Moines, survived by his wife Mary.
Pioneer Families >