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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (S)
Nimrod Whitfield Scott


(Source: Cruikshank, George M. (1920). A History of Birmingham and its Environs (Vol. 2, pp. 244-246). Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.

"HON. NIMROD Whitfield SCOTT. In that goodly company of old-time business men, founders and builders of Greater Birmingham (Alabama USA), a distinctive place of honor will always be accorded 'Rod' Scott, the first merchant and the first mayor of Ensley when it was a thriving little industrial city of no mean degree. He has been highly successful in business, but his chief characteristic has been a willingness and persistent effort to work for his community and for his fellow man.

 

"He was born in Floyd County, Georgia, August 11, 1858, son of Pillberry and Amanda (Anthony) Scott. His mother belonged to a prominent family of Methodists. Her father, Whitfield Anthony, was a Methodist minister, and five of her brothers followed the same vocation as 'men of the cloth.' Her father organized many pioneer congregations, built numerous churches, and was known far and wide as a power for righteousness, especially as a leader of camp meetings. He helped build Union Grove and Crumley Chapel.

 

"Pillberry Scott was a soldier and died in Tennessee during the war. His widow survived him only until 1870, leaving her son Nimrod an orphan at the age of twelve. He then went to live with his grandfather, Rev. Whitfield Anthony, on a farm at Village Falls, and attended school when not working in the fields. That was the manner of his life until past twenty, when he took his small savings and entered a good school at Wrightsville, Georgia, but worked to pay his way even there. Following that he was a teacher for three years, teaching at Partridge Crossroads and Sellers school.

 

"His first business enterprise in Alabama was a modestly equipped dairy at Dolomite, and he also sold meat. Gradually the capital came to enable him to do larger things. In 1889 he opened a store at Wylam, subsequently moving to Ensley, then known as 'Averettstown.' For fifteen years he was the chief merchant of the place. A very interesting account of his experiences as a merchant was recently published in the columns of the Age-Herold, from which the following is taken:

 

“'Long before the city was incorporated Mr. Scott catered to the trade of the people in the blast furnaces, and was a successful competitor of the company commissary. Then, as now, he was always ready to trade, and sold out several times, but no one else could hold his trade, and in a little while he would buy his place back again, much to the satisfaction of his former customers, who came back to him just as regularly as he again opened business.

 

“'For this state of affairs there was a reason. Mr. Scott was always courteous and accommodating to his customers, ever ready to settle and differences in accounts. At that time the car service, or rather "dummy" schedule, was a car every hour and a half, so that when a person wanted to go to town it meant the giving up of at least half a day. Many a busy housekeeper who wanted something from Birmingham that Rod did not carry in stock had only to mention it, and it would be forthcoming if possible to get. His teams were at the disposal of his patrons at all times, and in many other ways he made himself almost indispensable.

 

"'But his greatest hold on the people of Ensley of that time was the fact that as he shared their property so he shared with them the periods of depression, and although almost forced to the wall several times by reason of strikes and shutdowns, he stayed with the people who had patronized him in the more prosperous times and accommodated them to the full extent of his ability.'

 

"Mr. Scott has been an extensive builder, constructing many houses which he sold, and added the Scott addition to Ensley, naming the streets in honor of his children. It was in keeping with his personal and business character that when Ensley was incorporated during the ‘90s he should be selected as the first mayor, and that office he filled wisely and well. It is said that during the pre-election campaign he vowed he would never touch intoxicating liquor again if elected, and that pledge he has kept faithfully. He also served as a member of the State Legislature four years. He is a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and Improved Order of Red Men.

 

"In 1883 he married Miss Estelle Samples, daughter of J. V. Samples of Bayview. They were married without her parents’ consent, but the later reconciliation would hardly express the respect and love which the Samples family acquired for Rod Scott. Their home was filled with nine children, eight of whom are still living. Roscoe is an attorney, with home at Bradentown, Florida (sic - Bradenton, Florida), and was in the officers’ training camp at Camp Gordon and about to receive his commission when the armistice was signed. Maude is the wife of Floyd Place of Ensley. Lester is the wife of Morris Johnson of Ensley. Edith became the wife of Brice Jones of Ensley, and Ola is Mrs. Miles Sprague of Ensley. These four sons-in-law of Mr. Scott are all electrical engineers in the employ of the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company. Paul Scott is in the United States navy, on the battleship New Hampshire. The two youngest children, still in the home circle, are Romaine and Gregg."

 

His Scottish roots lie about 7 generations further back -- between 1650-1669. His ancestry is from Penicuik Parish, Midlothian, Scotland!

 

Our thanks to Michael C. Scott for sending us in this story of his great grandfather.


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