“The Scott Family and the Scott-Wright Ford” as remembered by Yorkie O’Neal, ca., 1963

The Scott Family and the Scott-Wright Ford, as remembered by Yorkie O’Neal, ca., 1963

By the Boeuf with BethThe Story of Ruben Scott, Lewis Scott, and Elijah Scott, ca., 1830s

….One beautiful day a week or so ago, I called “Miss Yorkie” O’Neal and said, “Let’s go up the river to see the place where your Scott ancestors settled.”

“I’d love to,” she replied.”

Shortly we were rolling over the one-way Wright-Ferry Bridge to the west side of the Boeuf. The river was enchanting and mellow even though it’s quite shallow now. On the other side, we headed north-east.

After driving about a half-mile, Miss Yorkie said, “Stop. This is the place.”

I pulled off the road. Then we got out and walked across it and over a clipped field for a short distance to a small grove of pecan trees.

“The house sat here,” she said, after we’d settled comfortably on the ground ourselves.

Pecan trees, five of them formed a circle around us and I wished the one with the great trunk could talk and tell us about the early days.

“I’ll tell you what I know,” Miss Yorkie said.

“I know, our grandfather, Ruben Scott, came here in the 1830s from North Carolina. He was with a group that banded together and came south. They stopped in Arkansas, and a Scott went to Natchez, Miss., and a Jones went on to New Orleans.”

“Was your father married when he came?” I asked?

I just don’t know,” Miss Yorkie said. “His wife’s name was Louisa.”

Two cotton pickers clattered up and down rows gobbling up an abundance of cotton in a nearby field. And I mused about the days when this field was covered with a dense growth of cane and trees.

“Our father homesteaded here,” Miss Yorkie went on, “cleared the land and built a little Dutch colonial house facing on the river.”

In front of us we could see a thick growth of underbrush and trees that now cover the river bank. Some tall cypress were nearly bare while others were a beautiful russet. Long grey beards of Spanish moss hung gracefully from the boughs of many of the trees.

“The river bank was cleared for steamboat passage in the old days,” I said. “And there were Scotts who lived – on the other side of the river.”

“Yes, our grandfather had two brothers here. There was Lewis Scott, who gave land for the building of the first Methodist Church and a cemetery — it’s the Horn Cemetery now; and Capt. Elijah Scott was in the Confederate Army. He taught school and he preached in this little Methodist Church.”

Mr. Ruben Scott died from smallpox a few years after William Scott was born. William married Elizabeth Jones, whose family also migrated from North Carolina.

And “The Scott Sisters” in our parish today are the children of this illustrious family.

Our father managed Trio Plantation for Dr. Jordan’s mother. He can probably tell you something about the Scotts,” Miss Yorkie suggested.

So when I saw Dr. Jordan last week and mentioned it, he said, “Yes, he managed Trio in 1888. The Scotts were prosperous farmers and prominent in the parish.

“Lem Scott was the first elective sheriff. And the thing I remember about William Scott was his beautiful horse. Change that to two horses he had two of the most beautiful horses in this part of the country.”

“Miss Yorkie” told me yesterday that her father did have beautiful horses that he’d buy up in Kentucky. Each of the “Scott Sisters” had a good riding horse. And in our parish today, there’re Scott descendants, George B. Franklin, Jr., Allen Buie, and Bill Hubbard, who are famous for their beautiful horses.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
23 Nov 1963, Sat  •  Page 8

Categories: 1830's, 1960's, Sheriffs

Tagged as: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply