Ed Vavra posted this on our Facebook page February 19, 2021
Cedar Rapids Times: The Weekly Times
March 15th, 1877
A DISASTROUS FIRE - Wednesday morning of last week, about 4 o'clock, during that fearful cold snow and wind storm, the residence of Richard Scott near Ely, was burned, with all the goods it contained.
Mr. Scott was awakened by the roaring of the flames and had but barely time to seize the little ones of his household, who were quietly sleeping in their beds, and forcibly threw them out of the door into the storm ere the roof fell in and the house was in ruins.
The family consists of eight children, ranging in age from 15 to 2 years, and the only articles of clothing they saved was the night clothes they had on, except that the oldest daughter secured one of her dresses. Fortunately, Scott, in gathering up the children, gathered a portion of the bed clothes with them; otherwise they would have been utterly unprotected from that biting storm.
Barefooted and naked, except the scanty underclothes and the meager supply of bed clothing they secured, the little ones wended their way to Mr. G. C. Stream's, where they were hospitably provided for.
Mr. Scott lost his wife about a
year ago, and he was struggling along as best he could to keep his
family together. Being a man of very limited means, the loss falls
heavily upon him. But we are glad to know that the good people of Ely
and vicinity are making a successful effort to partially, at least,
replace the loss.
Ed's note: Mr. Scott was 42 years old at the time of the fire He and his wife, Priscilla (born Cox), were married in 1854 and lived about 100 yards south of Wright Brothers Blvd (half way between Spanish Rd and Ely Rd). Both were pioneers of this area before Iowa became a state in 1846.
After the 1877 fire, the home was rebuilt closer to the road where Mr. Scott lived until he remarried in 1887; at which time he relocated to the Palo area. He died at the home of one of his children in 1917.
Despite the hardships of life, Mr. Scott was known to be a good and kind-hearted man. As one story goes, Mr. Scott took his friend and neighbor George Clarkson into his home after the death of Mrs. Clarkson. Mr. Clarkson was penniless and lived out his days with the Scott family until his death.
The stone (below) in Rogers Grove Cemetery marks his resting spot and is inscribed "Erected by Richard Scott".
Richard Scott was buried in East Fairview Cemetery, Lenox, Taylor County, Iowa. His first wife is buried in the woods West of Ely.
Information from the cemetery page states, "Richard Scott was born Aug. 5, 1834 in Ireland and died Dec. 31, 1917 in Adams Co., Iowa. He married Priscilla Cox Oct. 12, 1854 at Putnam, Linn Co., Iowa.