James P. Scott

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 23, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 527

JAMES P. SCOTT. The year 1922 finds Tucker County
receiving effective service from one of its leading attorneys
in the important office of prosecuting attorney, and this
county official, Mr. Scott, has been a resident of Parsons,
the county seat, since 1886.

He was born at Simpson, Taylor County, this state, April
21, 1857, a few years before the creation of West Virginia
as a commonwealth of the Union. He attended the public
schools of his native village, the West Virginia College at
Flemington, and finally graduated from the State Normal
School at Fairmont. He taught seven terms in the rural
schools and one term as principal of the school at Webster.
He retired from the pedagogic profession shortly after at-
taining to his legal majority and became the publisher and
editor of the Simpson New Era, a weekly paper. Thereafter
he read law under the preceptorship of Judge Lucas at
Charles Town, and at the age of twenty-three years he was
admitted to the bar at Grafton. He soon afterward came
to Tucker County and founded the Tucker Democrat, a
weekly paper, at St. George, where he also engaged in the
practice of law as a partner of Col. A. B. Parsons. He con-
tinued these relations at St. George until the county seat
was transferred from that place to Parsons, and he followed
the county government to its new seat, both in the practice
of law and in the publishing of his newspaper, which is now
published by Daniel W. Ryan and which is one of the oldest
county newspapers in this part of the state, with continued
influence as an advocate of the principles of the democratic

Mr. Scott has served as a member of the Board of Teach-
ers’ Examiners for Tucker County, as commissioner in
chancery, and is now divorce commissioner of the county, as
well as its prosecuting attorney. He was reared a democrat,
and has never wavered in his allegiance to the party, his
first presidential vote having been cast for Hancock in 1880.
He has been for many years chairman of the Democratic
Executive Committee of Tucker County, has been a delegate
to many county, judicial, congressional and state conven-
tions of his party, and has given yeoman service in advanc-
ing the interests of his party in West Virginia. Mr. Scott
served three terms as mayor of Parsons, has been several
times elected a member of the city council, and is now serv-
ing his third term as city attorney. In 1920 he was elected
prosecuting attorney of the county, and in his administra-
tion he has vigorously and effectively prosecuted violators of
the laws of the state and nation. He is affiliated with the
Modern Woodmen of America, is a director of and the
attorney for the First National Bank of Parsons, of which
he was one of the charter stockholders, and he aided also in
the organization of the Tucker County Bank, of which he
was formerly a director.

In Webster, this state, in the year 1893, was solemnized
the marriage of Mr. Scott and Miss Virginia Adams, who
was there born and reared, her father having been for many
years proprietor of the Adams House, a leading hotel in
the village. Mr. Adams was a direct descendant of Presi-
dent John Quincy Adams and came from Massachusetts to
what is now West Virginia, where he passed the remainder
of his life. He married Margaret McClintick, from Lan-
caster, Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of two
sons and seven daughters, all of whom attained to maturity.
Mrs. Scott, the youngest of the number, died on the 16th of
September, 1915, and is survived by two children, Miss
Lah Ruth, who is her father’s companion and who presides
over the domestic and social affairs of the pleasant home,
and Miss Ethel .Fay, who holds a position in the internal
revenue department of the Government at Washington,
D. C.

Mr. Scott is a son of Sandy M. and Rachel (Davis) Scott,
the former of whom was born in Monongalia County and
the latter in that part of Harrison County that was set off
as Taylor County in 1844. Morgan Scott, grandfather of
the subject of this review, likewise was a native of Mo-
nongalia County, where his father, Col. David Scott, was
one of the first settlers, Colonel Scott having come from the
South Branch Valley of Virginia to what is now West Vir-
ginia after having served as a patriot soldier and gallant
officer in the War of the Revolution. After his removal to
the wilds of the present West Virginia he endured the full
tension of life on the frontier, and in special evidence of
this it is to be recorded that his daughters Phoebe and Ann
were here murdered by the Indians. Sandy M. Scott was a
carpenter by trade, and followed this vocation througout [sic]
his active career. He was a Union soldier in the Civil war
as a member of the Seventeenth West Virginia Volunteer
Infantry, was a democrat in politics, and was a citizen of
sterling character. His death occurred at Simpson when he
was about seventy-six years of age, and his wife passed
away in 1876. Lemuel W., oldest of their children, is an
architect by profession and resides at West Union, Dodd-
ridge County; Dora became the wife of A. E. Lake, and
her death occurred at Simpson; James Porter, immediate
subject of this sketch, was the next in order of birth; and
Bruce was a resident of Liberty, Texas, at the time of his

Morgan Scott, grandfather of James P., married Sarah
Barker, her death having occurred in Wirt County and
that of her husband in Monongalia County. Sandy Morgan
Scott was the eldest of their three children. The only
daughter first married a man named Barker, who met his
death while serving as a Confederate soldier in the Civil
war, and thereafter she married William Dulin, her home
being now in Calhoun County; Morgan, youngest of the
children, died in Wirt County.