THE SCOTT FAMILY
From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Emily Scott Hamilton
Thomas C. Scott was born in Kentucky. Orphaned at an early age, he went while still very young to Plainview, Texas, and worked on a cattle ranch learning the cattle business from the ground up. When a cattle herd was being driven to Montana in the early 1890's, Mr. Scott went along to help trail the herd. Upon arriving in Miles City he decided to remain. He worked for a time at the Miles City Electric plant with Larry Mott. Then, he and Alec McAusland went into partnership to raise purebred Hereford cattle. They subsequently purchased a portion of the old Daniels ranch on the West Fork of Little Pumpkin Creek. A few years later Mr. Scott bought out his partner, naming the ranch the Herforddale Cattle Ranch. By 1916 he ran about 1,000 head of cattle. He worked for a time as Forest Ranger in that area before the Whitetail Ranger Station was built and a permanent Ranger was stationed there. He met and married the local school teacher, Miss Grace Craig. They were married at the Presbyterian Manse in Miles City in May of 1902. Miss Craig was the daughter of the Rev. David Craig and Nancy Bell Craig, and was born in Iowa. Miss Craig taught for several years in Casper and Douglas, Wyoming, before coming to Montana. She was considered one of Wyoming's pioneer teachers. The Scott's first home was a two room frame house. Later a two-story modern house was built on the same site, being completed in 1916. Ross Decker was the carpenter who built the house. Percy Daily worked with him some. The stone work was done by Swan Peterson. Up on one of the hills just north of the house, an Indian Chief was said to buried, and people used to go up there to dig for arrow heads. Everyone carved their initials in the big rock that protected the grave. Word went around the countryside that a band of horse thieves were said to be headed toward Pumpkin Creek. The Sheriff came out from Miles City to alert the ranchers and asked that they be deputized to help capture the thieves. Hearing the conversation about the dinner table and the possibility of some of the horses being taken, Emily, the small daughter of the Scott's, decided right then and there that the thieves would not get her pony so, unbeknown to her parents she took her pony away back in the south pasture over a little known trail and staked her pony out. No one discovered the pony was missing until toward evening and its owner confessed to what she had done. Of all the horses on the ranch this little Indian pony was one of the least of value except to its young owner. The thieves were not captured until they went into Wyoming. However, they did camp out at a site north of Stacey but eluded the posse somehow. Emily Scott recalled the funeral of Mrs. Lew Griffin very vividly, since it was the first service of that kind she had ever attended. It was a warm sunshiny day, and the procession slowly moved along the road from the Griffin place to the little cemetery north of Stacey. She remembered that her mother had conducted the service and led in the singing of the hymn, "Nearer My God to Thee". Her parents had explained to her that the Griffin children were left motherless, but the impact did not quite reach her child's mind until evening, when it suddenly dawned on her that the same thing could happen to her mother, and she cried herself to sleep. She was not sure that it was wise to take children to funerals, but in those days there were no baby sitters. Some few months later Mrs. Scott passed away at Rochester, Minnesota, in 1917. The ranch holdings were sold that same year, and Mr. Scott made his home in Denver, Colorado, until his death in 1923. The Scott's had one daughter, Emily, who was born in Iowa and brought back to the ranch while still an infant. She was with her father in Denver and graduated from the Colorado Woman's College in that city. After the death of her father, she went back to Iowa to live, coming back to Montana in 1932. In 1934 she married Donald Hamilton and has made her home in Missoula.