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Notable Oregonians: Harvey Scott - Editor, Publisher

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Harvey Scott

Harvey Scott, 1838-1910

Harvey Scott was born in 1838 and raised on a family farm near Groveland, Illinois. His parents, John Tucker Scott and Anne Roelofson, led the family on the Oregon Trail in 1852. Tragically, his mother and youngest brother died along the route. Scott served in the Yakima Indian War in 1855-1856 and then briefly enrolled at Tualatin Academy (later Pacific University) before finances forced him to leave the next spring. He reenrolled at the academy in 1859 and graduated in 1863. Scott then studied law, worked as a librarian, and regularly contributed stories to The Oregonian newspaper, including an editorial about Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865.

 

He became the editor of The Oregonian in 1865, the same year that he was admitted to the bar. Scott served a six-year stint as U.S. Collector of Customs in Portland beginning in 1870 but then returned to The Oregonian as editor and part owner until his death. He was staunchly in favor of maintaining the gold standard as a currency base. His writings on this contentious issue helped to influence Oregon to resist the free silver tide in the West.

 

Scott served as the president of the Lewis and Clark Exposition from 1903 to 1905 and he was director of the Associated Press from 1900 to 1910. He expended great energy extolling the virtues of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest in travels around the country. He spoke with particular pride about the pioneering spirit embodied by the hardworking and moral citizens of the region.

 

Scott opposed his famous sister, Abigail Scott Duniway, on the issue of women's suffrage and he died two years before seeing her dream become a reality in Oregon in 1912. Mt. Scott in Happy Valley and Harvey Scott Elementary School in Portland were named in his honor and statue of him stands at the summit of Portland's Mount Tabor.

 

Also see Abigail Scott Duniway.

 

(Sources: Dictionary of Oregon History | Portland: Its History and Builders, vol. 2) Revised 1/2013

 

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