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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - James R. Scott

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


JAMES R. SCOTT - Among the representative men of Champaign county is the subject of the following sketch, James R. SCOTT, who was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, on the 3d day of March, 1832. His father was also a native of that State. His ancestors, however, migrated to Kentucky from Virginia in a very early period of its history. The ancestry of both parents are descendants of Scotch families. The boyhood life of Mr. Scott was spent upon the farm. He attended the common schools of his State until he arrived at nineteen years of age, when he entered Central College at Danville, Kentucky, and was graduated from that institution in 1853. He divided his time between reading and studying until the winter of 1855-56, when he entered Princeton College, New Jersey, where he proposed taking a thorough theological course preparatory to entering the ministry; but after remaining there for about one year, his rapidly-failing health would not permit him to finish his course. In the spring of 1858 he removed to Champaign county, Ill., and here purchased land, and became one of the leading agriculturists and stock-raisers of the county. On the 27th of December, 1860, he returned to Kentucky and married Lizzie KING, of Shelby county, and with his wife returned here, where he has since remained. There have been six children born to them, four of whom are now living. Mrs. Scott died September, 1875. Mr. Scott is perhaps as well known as any man in central Illinois. his long connection with the agricultural and stock-raising interests of this county and State has made him particularly prominent. He is at present, and has been for eight years, an influential member of the State Board of Agriculture. He is also one of the pioneers in the movement to inaugurate county fairs and associations in this county, that had for their object the improvement of stock. he also was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Industrial University. In short, there has not been a movement in the industrial and agricultural interests of this county, in which he has not been more or less prominent. In politics Mr. Scott is an Independent, and thoroughly so in all that the word implies. He however cast his vote for Bell and Everett in 1856. In his younger days he belonged to what was then called the Emancipationists. Mr. Scott's prominence among the farmers and agriculturists pointed him out as the proper party to represent them in the State Senate, and he was accordingly nominated by them in 1876, and although defeated, he made the senatorial race with credit to himself and honor to his party. Mr. Scott has been a member of the Presbyterian church. He now, in addition to his farming and stock-raising interests, is also engaged in the banking business, and the firm of A. R. Scott & Co., of which he is a member, is known through the county. It is with pleasure that we present to the citizens of Champaign county this brief biography of one of the leading agriculturists and stock-raisers of the county.

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