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The Ludington Appeal

Thursday, January 13, 1898

Page 7, Columns 1-2

SORROW PROFOUND.

Death of Harry A. Scott Deeply Mourned

By Hundreds of Citizens.

The most sorrowful thing the APPEAL has been called upon to chronicle in many a day, is the death of our late postmaster, Harry A. Scott. It occurs to us that the truth of the adage, "death loves a shining mark," has rarely been more forcibly or touchingly demonstrated than in the present instance. The sad demise has affected hundreds of people and touched them deeply.

Great was the surprise and sorrow created, when, on Sunday morning the announcement was made that Harry A. Scott had expired at 6 o'clock in the morning, after being ill but a few days with pneumonia. The whole community was deeply shocked and all flags in the city were lowered at half mast. On Tuesday afternoon many friends called at the house to view the remains for the last time before their final interment.

Harry A. Scott was born in Quebec, Canada, in the year 1842. He received but a common school education and much of his boyhood life was spent out of doors. As a young man he was employed several years by the Hudson Bay company, having charge of a fur trading station in a remote portion of the country. In 1865 he came to the states locating at Muskegon, where he engaged in the business of lumber inspecting. In 1869 he married the widow who survives him, then Miss Abbie Cudworth. They lived together at Muskegon until 1873, when they moved to Ludington and Mr. Scott established himself in business as lumber inspector. For a number of years he did all the business for the Danaher, Ward and Butters & Peters' mills. Of late years, however, he has worked for but the two last named.

Through faithful and meritorious work, Mr. Scott rose by degrees to occupy a place of great prominence and popularity among his fellow citizens. In 1881, he was elected alderman from the Fourth ward to fill the unexpired term of C. C. Rice. Serving his party efficiently in numerous minor capacities, he was elected mayor of the city in the 1889. To this trust he proved himself abundantly deserving, establishing a commendable precedent for a sound, practical and businesslike administration. All this time from the year 1885 to 1889, under President Cleveland's first term, Mr. Scott served as deputy collector of customs, at the same time continuing his business as lumber inspector, although but little of his personal attention was given to the work.

Deceased was 56 years old at the time of his death, and has always enjoyed good health. His last illness lasted but a week, starting with a severe cold and terminating with a sudden attack of pneumonia. But a few people were aware that he was sick, hence the announcement of his death occasioned great surprise. He leaves a wife and one daughter, Mary, aged eight years. The passing away of Harry Scott marks the demise of the last of the Scott family, which consisted of a large number of brothers and sisters. It is understood that he carried about $10,000 of insurance, but of this only $5,000 can be accounted for and the policies for this cannot be found.

Besides holding the offices mentioned, Mr. Scott has served as member of the School board for the past eight years, having been director for the same for the past four years. In this work he always took a great of pride, performing every minutia with promptness and precision. Ludington never had a more efficient or painstaking school officer than Harry Scott. He was universally popular with the teachers and by them he will be greatly missed. They showed their appreciation and regard for him by a beautiful floral tribute. As director, Mr. Scott was always alive to the interests of the schools. He visited the schools nearly every day of his life and whenever he saw a teacher he never failed to inquire as to her wants and welfare. By these many little courtesies he so attached himself to the teachers, that one and all they mourn his death as a personal loss.

Mr. Scott was a man high up in Masonry and was a great favorite in all the orders of which he was a member. He was a member of the Pere Marquette Lodge No. 299, of Ludington Chapter No. 92, of Apollo Comandery No. 31, a 32nd degree Mason and a member of DeWitt Clinton Consistory of Grand Rapids and also a member of the Mystic Shrine of Grand Rapids.

Four years ago deceased was appointed postmaster of Ludington by President Cleveland, and he would have completed his term of office had he lived three weeks longer. It has often been made a matter of comment that Mr. Scott made one of the best postmasters Ludington ever had. Certainly we never had one who took more pains to please the people. The remainder of his unexpired term will be looked after by Geo. N. Stray as the representative of Mr. Scott's bondsmen.

During his incumbency of the office, Mr. Scott always treated his position as a public trust and never as a personal possession. He steadily held to his post of duty like a faithful pilot to his wheel. He was always courteous and obliging; never pettish. The thousand and one annoyances incident to such a position, did not sour him in the least, nor did he become autocratic in his bearing to his patrons as is too commonly the case in long term officials. No one ever hinted that his accounts with Uncle Sam were not always found accurate when the inspector came around. He has cancelled stamps for four years and no one to our knowledge has ever had occasion to murmur at their treatment at his hands. Such a record does honor to a man, and the community, regardless of party affiliations, should congratulate themselves on having been served so faultlessly.

Had the Grim Destroyer picked his man, he could hardly have taken one who would be more missed than Harry Scott. His business was such that he was kept upon the street a great deal of the time, where he was always the central figure in every gathering, and where he always had a cheery smile and jovial word for everybody. He was cosmopolitan in his nature, mingling free with every class. The people learned to like him and regard him as their friend. He was never guilty of doing a mean thing, while on the other hand his free hearted generosity was proverbial.

Mr. Scott was a great disciplinarian. In business he was precise and exact and cautious to an exasperating degree. We have yet to learn of Harry Scott ever making a mistake in a purely business matter. He had duties to perform and he was methodical in performing them. Everything about him had to move with clock-like regularity. He was a hearty man, well met in any place, and possessed a remarkable adaptability to circumstances. Bold, blunt and almost gruff in his demeanor, he yet possessed the attributes of sociability to a marked degree. He scorned dishonesty and gloried in his integrity. In fact, his whole business career has been characterized by honorable deeds and honest motives. At the time of his death Mr. Scott was a stockholder and president of the Ludington Woodenware company, and a stockholder in the Epworth Railroad company and the Masonic Temple association.

Personally there was much about deceased to admire, and he will not soon be forgotten by his old associates in life. Prone to faults like the rest of humanity we loved him the more because he overshadowed these with redeeming traits. He certainly possessed a rare combination of qualities, which produced an undefinable something about him which everybody liked. The writer feels keenly the loss of a daily associate and a sincere friend. He was a man "loved in life-mourned in death." The city has lost a loyal citizen. The community has lost a worthy exponent. On every hand are heard condolences and sympathy for the bereaved widow, who feels deeply her sad affliction.

The funeral took place yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Congregational church. Revs. Tyler and Sturgis officiated at the services, which were conducted by the Masonic fraternity. The latter turned out in large numbers, their forces being somewhat augmented by representatives from the Pentwater lodge. The church proved entirely inadequate to accommodate the immense crowd that sought admittance. About 500 found places inside, while many more waited on the outside. The attendance of so many people on a day of such inclement weather, was indeed a touching testimonial of the love and esteem in which the deceased was held.

Some 30 or more vehicles constituted the funeral cortege which followed the remains to their final resting place. This number would undoubtedly have been at least doubled had it not been for a cold driving rain from the north. One of the saddest and most suggestive of all the scenes and events of the day, was the spectacle of Mr. Scott's rider less horse, which was lead immediately following the hearse. The beautiful gray animal was saddled and boots were hanging in the stirrups, but the rider, an inseparable and devoted master, had passed over to the great beyond.

Transcribed by Deborah Biggs

 

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