Rev. Andrew Scott. The qualities of real manhood and the power of leadership were never in greater demand in church work than today. The clergy have always been men of education and of fine moral standing, and with these qualities the successful pastor must now combine the spiritual enthusiasm and some of the same enterprise and energy which are such vital assets in the business world. A better type of this modern minister Champaign County does not have than in the case of Rev. Mr. Scott, pastor of the Christian Church at Fisher. Mr. Scott is a man of letters, has had the benefit of extensive travel, is a fluent and logical speaker, and in the course of his active career has shown unusual capacity as an organizer, administrator and a real church builder.
Some of these qualities he undoubtedly inherited from the land of his birth. He is a Scotchman by nativity, and was born at Melrose in Roxborough. His birth occurred February 13, 1857. He was the third in a family of six children, three sons and three daughters. All these children are living and all in Canada except Mr. Scott. His parents were Adam and Agnes (Gilroy) Scott. His father, who was born in the same locality as the son, was a Scotch teacher, an occupation also followed by the grandfather of Rev. Mr. Scott. In 1863 he determined to bring his family to the broader and more generous opportunities of the New World. The intention was to locate in the United States, but the war then raging between the North and the South caused a change of plans and he took his family to Canada and located near London, Ontario. An uncle had previously established a home in that community. After three years Adam Scott moved to Huron County, Ontario, bought a farm and followed agriculture the rest of his days. His death occurred on the old homestead at the age of eighty-nine. His wife was also born in Scotland and had a common school education. She died in Canada at the age of fifty, and both are now at rest in Sunshine Cemetery at Sunshine, Ontario.
Andrew Scott was about seven years of age when his parents came to Canada. He had attended school in Scotland, and afterward had the benefit of the splendid public school system of Canada. One of his teachers to whom he has always paid homage was John T. Wood, who had the unusual record of teaching in one school for twenty-eight years. About 1877 Mr. Scott came to the United States and entered that well known Ohio institution of learning, Hiram College, of which James A. Garfield was at one time president. Mr. Scott has always had a high admiration for the “towpath boy” President. For three years he pursued the literary course in Hiram, at the end of which time he received a call from the Ontario Mission Board to take charge of a mission at Portage la Prairie, then far out in the western wilds, beyond the terminus of all railroad lines, in what is now the province of Manitoba. This mission was one of the outposts of the Christian Church. Mr. Scott went into the far west in 1881, about the time President Garfield was assassinated. Portage la Prairie is now a flourishing city sixty miles west of Winnipeg. Mr. Scott had a frontier missionary experience two years. The mission was composed of seven members when he took charge, and he held his first religious service in a private house and afterward in a small public hall. In less than a year he had bought ground and had erected a church at a cost of $4,000. At the end of his two years’ missionary work the membership had increased to seventy-five. Some of those first members of the missionary church are still connected with the flourishing congregation as officials and members, and now Portage la Prairie has a handsome church building costing $25,000.
In the fall of 1883 Rev. Mr. Scott returned to Walkertown, Bruce County, Ontario, and assumed a regular pastorate, which he held four years. There he had a church of about 150 members, and it was a prosperous and contented congregation. While acting as regular pastor there he was also connected with evangelistic work in the province of Ontario. In 1887 Mr. Scott went to Niagara Falls, where he gave all his time to his pastoral duties for three years.
He next received a call from Sterling, Illinois, and was located there two years. In 1895 he took charge of the church in Saginaw, Michigan. In all communities where he had his work he proved a vitalizer of church effort and activity, and the results of his work were not far to seek. The congregation at Saginaw when he took charge was worshiping in a small and inadequate building, and while he was there he erected a fine edifice costing $12,000. On the first church there was a mortgage, and he not only paid this off but gave the community an edifice of which they might be proud. For five years he remained at Saginaw, and besides his regular pastoral duties he spent every Sunday afternoon at a neighboring church. From Saginaw Rev. Mr. Scott was called to Butler, Bates County, Missouri, where he remained two years. He followed this with a pastorate at Pontiac, Illinois. He found there a mission, and was able to pay off another mortgage. About that time, his daughter desiring to enter the State Normal University, Mr. Scott took charge of a church there for two years. His following charge was at Danville, Illinois, where he again acted as a “mortgage burner,” and gave the congregation new life and inspiration for larger work. During the last three years of his Danville pastorate he was district superintendent of the sixth district, and had active charge of the placing of ministers and the general upbuilding of church affairs throughout the district. Altogether he remained at Danville seven years, and this long pastorate is of itself a highly significant testimony to Mr. Scott’s efficiency and ability.
From Danville he removed to Hoopeston, Illinois. He went there following an investigation which showed the affairs of the parish in such condition that his personal attention was required. The people at Hoopeston had been worshiping in a church edifice for sixteen years, and it was still burdened with a $6,000 mortgage. The resourcefulness of Mr. Scott in lifting mortgages did not fail in this crisis, and the second year he was there he paid off the mortgage and brought zeal and renewed courage to a thoroughly disheartened people.
In November, 1914, Mr. Scott assumed the pastorate of the Christian Church at Fisher, Illinois. The usual success has attended his efforts in this locality. Under his energetic leadership the people have undertaken the building of a modern church edifice which will be dedicated in the fall of 1917. The church, with the grounds, when completed will represent a cost of about $20,000. Of this amount the sum of about $17,000 in cash or collateral has been raised by Mr. Scott. For many years Mr. Scott has been chairman of the committee on ministerial standing.
In 1882 he married Miss Sophia Stait. Three children, two sons and one daughter, were born to their marriage and all are living. Errettine was educated in public schools in the various localities where her father lived, and after graduating from the State Normal University of Illinois she taught seven years in the Danville schools. She was especially successful in primary work. Besides her literary education she has taken musical instruction. She is now the wife of Elmer Barnes, who is manager of the Bank of Cheneyville, Illinois. Paul A. Scott, the older son, is a merchant now living at Waterloo, Iowa, and at present connected with the May Tag Company of Newton, Iowa. He is a very energetic young man. He had a common school education and also attended the high school at Normal, Illinois. The maiden name of his wife was Sidney Smith, who was well educated and taught school at Danville, Illinois. They have two sons, Charles and John Andrew. Walter, the youngest of the children, is a talented musician, especially as a singer, with a voice of fine tone and compass, and has taken considerable part in evangelistic work. He is now an employee of the post office. He married Miss Lei a Myers, and they have a daughter, Virginia Errettine.
Mrs. Scott was born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1863, and was well educated in Canada. Her father was a native of England and came to Canada when a young man, marrying in the Dominion. He was an agriculturist, and died in Canada at the age of ninety. Mrs. Scott’s mother was also a native of England, and is now living at Montclare, a Chicago suburb, at the age of eighty-five.
Ever since their marriage Mrs. Scott has been thoroughly in sympathy with her husband’s aims and work, and has done much to give him practical aid in his successful endeavors in addition to caring t for her home and looking after the training of her children. Rev. Mr. Scott has for a number of years been one of the leaders in the temperance movement. He is a very effective speaker, and is not only eloquent but has that poise and dignity which command the confidence of an audience. He has been heard on questions of public and current interest as well as on religious texts and has appeared in pulpits and lecture platforms in such cities as New York, Buffalo, Indianapolis and Cleveland. Rev. Mr. Scott has a thoroughly used and well read library of standard literature, comprising at least 500 volumes. He and his wife have a very comfortable home at Fisher, and a home that is a manifest of the culture and refinement of its inmates. In 1911 Mr. Scott and his daughter made a tour of about three months through his native land of Scotland, and also through England and France, and visited many of the places of historic interest. While abroad he preached in Edinburgh and London. For years he has been a regular contributor to the church papers. He now edits what is known as the Fisher Christian, which has a local distribution of about 200 copies and is a valuable medium for the dissemination of religious influences.