Friday, February 1, 2013

WALKING WITH ANCESTORS I: Rudolph B. Scott


Walking with Ancestors is a program sponsored by the members of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society in Spokane.  Members and friends of the society research a person buried in the cemetery and make a presentation to the public who are invited to attend.  Our "ancestors" are not related, just names that are randomly chosen in a certain area of the cemetery. 

WwA I happened in 2010.  My "ancestor" was Rudolph Bowman Scott, the best known and most prominent of the Black Pioneers in the Inland Northwest.  Born free in New Haven, Connecticut, Scott became interested in politics at a very young age.  He took up the cause of the Union and enlisted in the Navy in 1861 for service in the Civil War.

After the war, Scott engaged in mining in Colorado, New Mexico, Washington and Idaho.  He came to Spokane in 1883 and established one of Spokane's first fire and life insurance companies which was able to payall claims that occurred during the Spokane fire of 1889.

Rudolph Bowman Scott was actively involved in politics. In 1889, Mr. Scott, President of the John Logan Colored Republican Club, was appointed by the Republican Party as a delegate from Spokane County to the state convention that organized the government of the state of Washington. He was one of the leading representatives of the Grand Army of the Republic, attained the thirty-three degree of Scottish Rite in Masonry and a personal friend to Chief Joseph, the Indian Chief of the Nez Perce tribe, accompanying him and other chiefs to Washington to presenttheir cause to the Indian Commission and the President.

Rudolph B. Scott was appointed United States Chinese inspector from 1902-1906 in and about the city of Spokane. He was the first black man to hold a federal position in the Northwest. He resigned in 1906 due to health problems and died on March 23, 1909.

Mr. Scott married Adele Wagner in 1883 in Denver, Colorado and together they had three children: Rudolph, Jr., Henry and Adeline Scott.  The Scotts are buried in Fairmount Memorial park in Spokane, Washington.

1 February 2013

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