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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
Arthur Melville Scott, B. A., PH. D.


Arthur M. Scott, a self-educated man of scholarly attainments, is recognized as one of the foremost educators of western Canada and for the $ past sixteen years he has been superintendent of schools at Calgary. He was born at Caistorville, Ontario, in April, 1869, a son of Michael G. and Lucretia M. (Horning) Scott, the former a native of Ireland but of Scotch descent, while the latter was born, in the province of Ontario. In 1857 the father came to Canada, settling at Caistorville, Ontario, and for some time he there followed the profession of teaching. He was one of the foremost men of his community, serving for many, years as postmaster of Caistorville, while he also filled the office of township clerk. He died in May, 1870, at the comparatively early age of forty years. The mother long survived him, passing away in February, 1918, when eighty-one years of age.

The public schools of Caistorville afforded Arthur M. Scott his early educational opportunities and when but fifteen years of age he was granted a teacher's certificate. He attended the Model school at Hamilton, Ontario, and when a young man of seventeen began his career as an educator, spending three years as a teacher in the public schools of London and vicinity. In 1890 he entered the Toronto Normal School, from which he received a gold medal at the age of twenty-one, and in 1892 he graduated from the Parkdale Collegiate Institute of that city, winning the Edward Blake scholarship in Mathematics and Classics. He then entered the University of Toronto, having but twenty dollars capital, and worked his way through that institution, from which he was graduated in 1896, with the B. A. degree. He was awarded the McDonald and Aberdeen gold medals for proficiency in his studies and also received the 1851 exhibition scholarship, which credited him with one hundred and fifty pounds a year for two years. Being desirous of still further increasing his knowledge, he attended the University of Goettingen, Germany, for two years and in 1898 the degree of Doctor of Philosophy was conferred upon him. Returning to Toronto, he acted for a year as substitute for Professor J. C. McLennan, and among his pupils who graduated at that time was Dr. J. S. Plaskett, who has since gained distinction as an astronomer. In 1899 Dr. Scott was called to the University of New Brunswick at Fredericton as professor of physics and electricity and for seven years was connected with that institution, during which period he was secretary of the faculty, and for a portion of the time he also acted as secretary of the University Senate. In March, 1906, he received the appointment of superintendent of the public schools of Calgary, on the recommendation of Dr. D. McIntyre, the office coming to him unsolicited, and his long retention therein is proof of his ability as an educator and the esteem in which he is held by Calgary's citizens. He has ever been actuated by a spirit of progress that takes cognizance of all improved educational methods and under his guidance the schools of the city have attained a high standard of excellence, ranking with the best in the Dominion. His education was acquired by hard work and the exercise of self-denial and the strength of purpose thus early displayed has been manifest throughout his career, constituting a most important factor in the attainment of his present success in the educational field. The number of pupils now attending high school exceeds the total enrollment of Calgary's public schools in 1906, thus indicating the rapid growth of the city in the past sixteen years.

In July, 1900, Dr. Scott married Miss E. Bertha Howson, B. A., a daughter of Dr. Joseph and Rebecca A. (Jeffers) Howson, the latter a native of the province of Ontario and of Irish descent. The father was born in Barnard Castle, England, and as a young man emigrated to Canada, becoming one of the pioneer physicians of Toronto. He continued to engage in the practice of medicine in that city until his death, which occurred in 1873, and the mother passed away in 1912. Dr. and Mrs. Scott have become the parents of two children: Arthur Wycliffe, born in June, 1901, and now a student at the University of Toronto; and Juliet Jeffers, who was born in November, 1902, and is attending a school for librarians at Toronto. Dr. Scott is an earnest, conscientious and helpful member of the Methodist church, of which he has been a local preacher for thirty-four years, and for an extended period he has been a member of the official board. He has thrice been chosen to attend the General Conference of the church and for thirteen years was superintendent of the local Sunday school. He is independent in his political views and fraternally is identified with the Independent Order of Foresters. He is also a member of the Rotary Club and his interest in the commercial development of the city is indicated by his connection with the Calgary Board of Trade. He is chairman of the library board, on which he has served for ten years, and is a member of the Canadian and Alberta Educational Associations, being a past president of the last named organization. He belongs to that class of men whose every faculty must be excited to achieve distinction through the stimulating friction of battling with difficulties, and his career is proof of the fact that it is under the pressure of necessity that the best and strongest in the individual are brought out and developed. Life has been to him purposeful and resultant and his work has been a potent and beneficial factor for good.


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