William Scott

William Scott was born October 20, 1789 in Hawick, Scotland. He died at 224 West Thirty-Fourth Street, New York on February 10, 1867, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. His wife, Elizabeth Roos, the daughter of Dr. John Philip Burkhart Roos and Ann Becker, was born January 17, 1795, in Red Hook, Dutchess County, New York and died April 11, 1855 in New York at 118 Hudson Street. She is buried at Greenwood, as is her sister, Ann C. Hoey who died October 10, 1866. Her father, a native of the Palatine in Germany, and a graduate of Heidelburg, Class of 1771, was a physician and surgeon, who is said to have come to America with the Hessians during the Revolution. He is buried in Red Hook, New York, in St. Paul's Lutheran Church Cemetery. (11-28-1754 to 1-11-1814).

There were seven children in the Roos family: Ann, who married A.C. Hoey; Margaret, who married John Atwill [correction, his name is Richard]; Margaret, who married John Martin; Charlotte, Elizabeth, and Jane; and the only son, John Philip, who married Betsy and had two sons, George and John Philip Roos.

William Scott came to the United States in 1812. His father, Walter Scott and mother, Elizabeth Biggar Scott were born and died in Hawick. Elizabeth lived at "Dovemount" and died there in 1843.

William was enthusiastic about his adopted country, and encouraged his younger brothers and sisters to emigrate. Two of them followed his advice, and borrowed money from him to buy land for themselves in Fulton County, Ohio. Robert (1793) lived in Lyons, Fulton County, Ohio, and had a son, Richard, who lived in Wauseon, fifteen miles to the south of Lyons. Margaret (1794 - 1867) married William Smith and also lived in Lyons with their son, William Scott Smith. Walter (1799) married Elizabeth Renwick and lived and died in Hawick as did Sarah (1807) who married Richard Purdie. Catherine (1789), John (1791), Peggy (1794), Charles (1797) and Sarah (1800) evidently died as children.

William kept up a lively correspondence with his Scottish family over the years, and they must have marveled at his success in the world of business. He visited Scotland in 1856, with his daughter Henrietta, the year after Elizabeth had died.

William Scott always celebrated the day of his arrival in his adopted homeland: September 26, 1812. He was naturalized on November 3, 1828. He married Elizabeth Roos, most probably in her parents' home in Red Hook.

Their first two sons, Walter L. and William L. both died in infancy. They next had six daughters: Mary, Eliza, Sarah Gertrude, Margaret J., Henrietta, and Charlotte, followed by their only surviving son, John Burkhart Scott who was born January 14, 1832. Eliza married John Hutton and lived to 1882. Henrietta married Henry Douglas; and Sarah Gertrude married Frank Wood. The other three girls never married, but lived together in their father's home on West Thirty Fourth Street. Mary Christiana lived until 1881; Margaret lived until 1901, and Charlotte lived until 1897.

John Burkhart lived in New York with his wife, Cora Martin Scott, and died there at 258 W. 24th Street, of congestion of the lungs and heart failure brought on by malarial fever.

William Scott was a member of a dry goods firm in New York City which was known as Scott and Leggat, which did business on Hudson Street.

We have the beautiful portrait of William Scott done by the noted English painter, Seymour Guy in 1860. That and the grandfather's clock, sent to him by his family in Hawick, which rings every day in our house, make us feel closer to William than to some of these other ancestors.

Below is a copy of a letter written by John Burkhart Scott to his aunt, Sarah Scott Purdie in Hawick, Scotland.

by St "Russia" No 224 West 34th St.
New York, 20th August 1867

Mrs. Sarah Purdie
My dear aunt,

You have doubtless often wondered at never having heard from any of the family of the particulars of the last illness of your late brother William; and I must apologize for not having written to you long since but I was under the impression that my sister would have done so. I now learn that you have never had any word from N. Y. excepting a newspaper and the Memorial card which I trust you received in good season.

My father had enjoyed his usual uninterrupted good health almost up to the very day of his death. During the last year of his life he often remarked that he "was getting old" and upon the occasion of what he used to call his anniversary (the day he landed in America - September 26, 1812), he had all his children together to supper and, during the evening indulged in many reminiscences of his early life - both in the old country and here, and he then made the remark - which, alas has proved but too true - that he would not live to see another anniversary. It had been his custom for some years back always to have the children and children's children together on that day and also on Christmas Day.

Sometime, during January, this year, he complained of not feeling very well, but to all appearance he was, as he often used the words "just aboot his ordinar;" but he never missed a weekday going "downtown" (as we call it) and dropping in to see some of his old friends who were yet in active business and having a a bit of a chat as was his habit ever since he gave up regular business himself. On Saturday, the 9th of February he went downtown as usual and was at my place of business apparently all right, but on leaving at about noon he had gone but a short distance, when he was taken with a sudden oppression of breathing. He went into a store under the Astor House and sent word immediately by one of the clerks to me. My brother-in-law, John Hutton and myself instantly hastened to where he was and found him much alarmed and in great pain. We procured a carriage and got him to 24th Street as soon as possible and had a physician in immediate attendance. We did not then think him dangerously ill, but he himself said "his time had come." He suffered great pain all through the afternoon and night, was somewhat easier on Sunday morning - but after noon he sank rapidly. His mind was perfectly clear and composed. He knew that his End was approaching and conversed with us all, and with the clergyman, Rev'd. Wm. A. Scott, who was present. Toward the end it became very difficult for him to speak, but he knew us all till the very last.

He sank to his rest, peacefully and quietly at 5: 30 o'clock on the Sabbath afternoon. His old friend and partner, William Leggat, was in the room as were also all his children, excepting my sister Sarah (Mrs. Wood) who lives away at the West. However by telegraphing to her, she was enabled to be present at the funeral on the Friday following which was attended by a large circle of his old friends and acquaintances. Many remarked that they had seldom seen so many old faces together as had assembled there to pay their last respects to the memory of their old friend of so many years. There were quite a number present who had attained their 80th year.

And thus passed away our loved and honored father - your brother - full of years and sincerely mourned by all who knew him. The cause of his death was constipation of the bowels accompanied by heart disease, but the doctor said that old age was really the cause.

He had always enjoyed the blessings of good health and spirits and the last years of his life were passed in comfort in the bosom of his family. He left considerable property (mostly houses) which by his will is to be divided equally among all his children. There are seven of us living - two, Walter and William, having died in infancy. Eliza (Mrs. Hutton), Sarah (Mrs. Wood), Henrietta (Mrs. Douglas) and myself are all married and have families and homes of our own. The other three girls, Margaret, Mary and Charlotte are and have been living at home with their father at 224 West 34th St. By Father's will they will continue to occupy the house at a nominal rent until they die, or get married, when the house is to be sold and the proceeds divided like the rest of his property equally among all the children. There are no special bequests excepting his watch to his grandson, William Scott Wood.

Your sister Margaret and brother Robert, who are both living in Ohio, were well at last accounts. Walter Aitken is living on his brother-in-law's place at Hudson in this state. Thomas Aitken is keeping a store in Huntington, Long Island; William Leggat, though now a pretty old man, is in about his usual health. He has had some pretty bad spells at times, but seems to come around again all right.

The youngest of my sisters who were at Hawick with Father in 1856, Mrs. Douglas, or Henrietta, had twin boys in March last, shortly after Father's death. We often think how he would have enjoyed seeing them had he lived, but it was not to be. We are all enjoying good health. I had hoped at some time to have visited Hawick, Dovemount, "Lockies Hedge," and all the old places Father used to love to dwell upon in his talk, but with a young family growing up and the necessity of attending closely to business, my chances are but slim of seeing the old country. I can only wait and hope. I trust that you and Mr. Purdie are enjoying good health. My sisters unite with me in kind love to you both and to all our Hawick friends. Hoping that I might at some time have the pleasure of hearing from you, I remain,

Very sincerely

Your nephew

John B. Scott

P. S. You may please read this to "Willie" Cochrane or any other of Father's friends in Hawick. JBS