"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Scott, Sr., Thomas B. often referred to as the father of Merrill, was born in Roxburghsire, Scotland, Feb. 8, 1829, and died Oct. 7, 1886. He attended school in Scotland until he reached the age of 11 years and then came to America with his parents, his sister, and his brothers William, James, and John. The family located at Sing Sing, N. Y., where the father died in 1873; the mother passed away in 1842. Of the brothers, John died in California, where he had gone a few years after the great gold discoveries there; William was for many years a resident of Wisconsin Rapids. Thomas B. SCOTT attended school at Sing Sing for a short time after the family's removal to that city. When 13 years of age he began clerking in a grocery store there. In 1848, then being 17 years old, he came west and located at DeKorra, Wis., where he opened a store selling supplies to lumbermen. Later entering the lumbering industry, he was for many years a very prominent figure in that industry along the Wisconsin River. About 1871 he bought the Andrew WARREN mill, which was the foundation of the early settlement of Merrill, and this he rebuilt and modernized until it was one of the leading mills on the river. In 1880 it cut 10,000,000 feet of lumber and 2,000,000 shingles, and in 1886 25,000,000 feet of lumber and 20,000,000 shingles. In the midst of these activities he died. Mr. SCOTT married Ann E. NEEVES, and by this union was the father of four children, one of whom died in infancy; the others were Walter A., Thomas B. Jr., and Cassie M. The latter married Frederick W. CUSHING of Highland Park, Ill. Walter A. married Nellie WILEY of Merrill; he was trustee of his father's estate and that of his mother, who died Dec. 3, 1887. He succeeded his father as president of the T. B. Scott Lumber Co. and so remained until 1892. Thomas B., Jr., married Mary Lee CLAIR of Nashville, Tenn., June 9, 1889, and was subsequently a resident of St. Paul, Minn. During his lifetime Thomas B. SCOTT, Sr. was active in many fields and was prominent in public life. While residing at Wisconsin Rapids he served as county clerk, county treasurer, and for five terms as state senator. He served the Republican party as delegate to state and national conventions, and was the first mayor of the city of Merrill, later holding the office for several terms. During his last two terms in the state seneate he was by unanimous vote chosen as its president pro tem. He established and maintained river improvements, sawmills, a railroad, and a bank, and was active in securing for the city of Merrill an extension of the line of the Wisconsin Valley railroad (now a part of the C. M. & St. P. system) from Wausau to Merrill. In addition to many public benefactions during his lifetime, he bequeathed $10,000 to the city of Merrill for the establishment of a library, and $5,000 to Wisconsin Rapids for the same purpose. His life was one of service in the upbuilding of the Wisconsin valley.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 720-721, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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