We are called upon to chronical the death, at 5:3O yesterday morning, of another old and respected citizen of Centralia, Dr. R. H. SCOTT in the 65th year of his age. Dr. SCOTT was born in New Madrid county, Missouri, in the year 1822, where his parents resided until he was eight years old at which time the family removed to the Valley of the Arkansas River, about seventy-five miles above Little Rock. Here he commenced the study, and in due time, the practice of medicine. Remaining here about sixteen years, he removed to Northern Louisiana. From thence, in 1847, he removed to Hopkins county, Texas, where he was married in the latter part of that year to Miss Mary Agnes SMITH of that county. By this marriage he had seven children, three boys and four girls.
Dr. SCOTT continued the practice of medicine in Texas until the year 1863, when his strong Union sentiments and fidelity to the cause of the government drove him as a fugitive from that state. His popularity among all classes, even among the rebel soldiery, was such that he could and did say what he pleased against the Confederacy, and until it became known that he was aiding in the escape of Union men to the Federal lines to save their lives, he was not molested. He first took through to Springfield, Missouri, Mr. SHEPHERD and a Mr. HUMPHREY of Michigan. Returning, he took through forty Union men whom he kept concealed in a small ravine on his place until they were gathered together and a favorable start was offered. After this the capture of some troops by the rebels disclosed the fact that he was aiding in the escape of Union men and this sealed his doom. He was luckily warned by the wife of a rebel soldier that they intended to hang him, a fact which was not unexpected if discovered in his Union work. The Doctor did not need a second warning, so taking his horse he started for the North. The scenes and incidents of his trip to this place were of a thrilling and humorous nature, as told by the Doctor in his life, nor were the dangers passed through, nor the ruses adopted to avoid detection and capture simple and few. His life hung on his skill in evading the bloodhounds and his relentless pursuers. His son W.W. SCOTT says he well remembers when eight men with a bloodhound in charge came up to their door and asked pleasantly if the Doctor was at home; they said that some charges had been made that he had been secreting some Union soldiers, etc. and that they wanted him to come and stand a trial on the charges. The Doctor was then about sixty miles on his road, knowing well what a bloodhound and trial meant with a body of men who carried a handy rope or so along with them. Mrs. SCOTT told them he was around somewhere, and they were thus thrown off their guard and hunted in the neighborhood, instead of putting the bloodhounds on the trail. But as all know the Doctor got through safe, and in the following summer his family followed him to Illinois and eventually to Centralia, where he has since resided.
The Doctor was of a genial, social turn of mind, and became known throughout the entire county and was liked by all for his sterling honesty of purpose and freedom of expression. He was generous and hospitable in the full sense of the term, and in his family relations, loved and was loved in return, as few men are. It is said that he never inflicted corporeal punishment on one of his children during his whole lifetime. The Doctor never took any active part in politics. He held the office of Assessor one term in this township and was a member of the Board of Education of this city at the time of his death.
Source: Centralia Sentinel, issue of Nov 18, 1886
Submitted by Misty Flannigan [email protected]