ALFRED R. SCOTT. Moultrie County owes much to her thorough, plucky, pushing,
persevering business men who are an important element in the alchemy which
through various processes, turns the wealth of the soil into the gold of commerce. The philosopher's
stone of the ancient traditions is nothing to compare with them. Without their intervention
which brings into contact the producer and the consumer, the farmer would be overloaded with
the products of the soil and the consumers might starve for lack of sustenance. Such a man is he
whose name appears at the head of this present writing.
Mr. Scott is not only the proprietor of the Exchange Bank, but also is a miller and a dealer in
grain, and he has been a resident of Bethany since 1853. In addition to his other lines of business
he was engaged for quite a period (beginning in 1868) in general merchandising. Ten years later
he sold out this interest in order to devote himself more thoroughly to the grain trade, but in 1884,
he again purchased the store and carried it on until 1886. It was in 1887 when he established
the Exchange Bank and he had built the roller mills in 1881. This latter industry he has carried
on successfully and has now entirely remodeled the establishment. He owned and operated the mill
along until 1887 when he associated with himself, as a partner in the business, Mr. J. Cr. Holderman.
He of whom we write was born in Macon County, Ill., June 27, 1845. His worthy and honored
parents, Joseph and Ethealind (Ashmore) Scott, were natives of Tennessee, who were married
after coming to Illinois, as each had come to Moultrie County in early life. The paternal
grandfather of our subject, James Scott, brought his family to the Prairie State, about the year
1830, settling at Mt. Zion in Macon County, where he undertook farming, which he pursued until he
was called to the better land.
In 1853 the newly married parents of our subject located on a farm at Bethany, where the mother
is still living, having become a widow in 1856. Her four children all grew to years of maturity,
namely: James, who was a soldier in the Fifth Cavalry and subsequently re-enlisted and died in
1865; Elizabeth J., who married James McQuire and died in 1883 and Alfred R., our subject who
is now the only surviving child of his mother's little flock.
The farm, the district school and the Mt. Zion Academy formed the scenes of the early training
and discipline of our subject. He left school in 1867 and the following year engaged in business
at Bethany, having previously carried on for one year the buying and selling of live stock. His
happy married life began in 1868, he being then united with Mary J. Smith, daughter of Samuel
King Smith. This lady was born in Kentucky in 1850 and is the happy mother of eight children
who bear the names of Ida, Hugh, Etha, Troy, Samuel Joseph, Augusta R., Smith Wilson, and Marie.
This successful business man and banker had but a small capital upon which to base the beginnings
of his present expanded business. His abilities, especially in the line of finance, have brought it
him to the front and he has accumulated a handsome property and is now building a fine residence
which will be the pride of Bethany. Besides his enterprises at Bethany, he has also carried on from
1886 to the present year a general store at Cerro Gordo, which is not only a credit to that town,
but also a source of income to the proprietor.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Scott are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and in its communion
they are active workers. The Knights Templar also claim this gentleman as one of their
prominent members. His political views are in accordance with the platform of the Republican
party and it is his earnest desire that none other than a Republican shall ever fill the Presidential
chair. As Supervisor of Marrowbone Township he was during his incumbency of that office the
prominent promoter of every movement for the welfare of its citizens and the prosperity of the community.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 373/374
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb