Biography of Cornelius E. Scott
Broome County, NY Biographies





CORNELIUS ELLIOTT SCOTT - For thirty five years the legal fraternity in Broome county has known and honored the name of Cornelius Effiott Scott, whose death on April 4, 1923, brought widespread regret not only in the profession, but among the many friends who had esteemed him, both as a professional man and as a citizen and to whom his friendship had been one of the valued treasures of life. Mr. Scott was a man of broad interests, and his sympathies reached as far as the scope of his activities. A man of rich and benevolent nature, of lofty spirit and the highest integrity, the city, the commonwealth and the nation lost in his passing such a man as the world needs and can ill afford to spare.

Cornelius Elliott Scott was born at China, New York, December 20, 1865, a son of Jonathan and Ruth (Van Schoyk) Scott, his father a carpenter by trade, and long active in Broome county. The family becoming residents of Deposit, New York, in Mr. Scott's childhood, his education was begun in the public schools of Deposit and continued in the Deposit Academy, from which in stitution he was graduated in the year 1883. His ability as a speaker was evident from his early years, and with his fine mentality, his ambition to enter the law was encouraged by his people. He took up his professional studies at Albany Law School, and he was graduated in June, 1887, and immediately thereafter was admitted to the bar of his native State. Taking up the practice of law in Deposit, Mr. Scott went forward along general lines with marked success, and with the passing of the years attained a position of more than usual prominence. His eminently fair mind. ed spirit was the most noteworthy feature of his professional activity, and whether as a prosecutor or a defendent there was always evident in his utterances the ability to see both sides of the question. He became a powerful force in professional advance in Deposit, and indeed throughout Broome county, and it was considered a calamity when in the year 1922 he was compelled, on account of illness, to relinquish his practice. He underwent an operation not long after giving up his work, but while it was not immediately considered unsuccessful, it was followed only by his steady decline, and six months following the operation, on April 4, 1923, Mr. Scott died at his residence, No. 149 Second street, Deposit, New York. Although this sad event was not unexpected in the circles where he was so widely known, yet it seemed none the less a cause for deep regret, and there was universal mourning when the news of his passing was made public. Not only in pro. fessional circles, but in civic and social affairs, Mr. Scott will be sadly missed.

He was a loyal supporter of the Democratic party, always ready to champion its principles and policies, and served at one time as chairman of the Broome County Democratic Committee. He did not, however, at any time accept the honors or emoluments of public office, preferring to leave leadership to the others and continue as a worker in the ranks of the party. Whatever movement promised to better conditions or advance the welfare of the people in any way, this movement was assured of his hearty and efficient support. He gave largely of his time and means to every worthy effort and object, and his influence carried great weight wherever it was brought to bear.

Probably Mr. Scott will be longest and most affectionately remembered for his devotion to his country and his community during thewar, and for his constant and untiring interest in the boys from this locality who fought in the service. From the very beginning of the war until every boy was home again, his greatest interest and concern was the winning of victory and the welfare of the soldiers. From that memorable Sunday when the boys of the 71st came among us to guard the bridges, Mr. Scott put aside all his personal business and devoted himself heart and soui to being a patriot. He promoted the first patriotic parade and mass meeting here, and immediately afterward set about the organization of the local military company, which became successively the Deposit Home Defense Unit, Company E, of the 4th Regiment of the State Guard, and Platoon Corn pany D, of the 4th Battalion of the National Guard of the State of New York. He was tireless in his devotion to this organization. He headed a subdcription paper and raised by personal subscription the money for the first uniforms and equipment. He attended drills as regularly as any member of the company, accompanied the boys to their Sunday drill camps, and to Binghamton at the time of the Fourth of July mobilization. He was sincerely and consistently the soldiers' friend. He wrote to all the boys in camp and over seas. He made the most complete record of the activities and achievements of all the soldiers from this locality; he edited, to a large extent, the war column in the "Courier Journal" and took and preserved thousands of photogrwphs of boys in the service and scenes connected with the local history of that time. Undoubtedly his most cherished possessions were his scrap books of war clippings and his albums of war photographs. As a speaker at patriotic meetings, Liberty loan drives and Red Cross rallies, he was sincere, forceful and effective. He was instrumentally helpful in organizing the Wallace Russell Post of the American Legion and ever a loyal supporter of their interests. Unable to go to war himself, he Was gratified and proud to be able to send his two oldest Sons to the service. Both Graydon W. and Curzon E. volunteered at the outbreak of the war, the former seeing ten months' hard service in France with the 27th Division, and the latter in the war zone with the Army Transport Service for six months. From his interest in the floating of the various Liberty loans he became interested in the matter of government bonds for investment, and from buying bonds for himself and a few clients, he gradually enlarged his investment business until for the last few years he had conducted a considerable volume of this kind of business, and his advice in the investment field will be long reinembered by those who are profiting by his wise counsel.

Fraternally Mr. Scott was very prominent in Deposit Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and was a member of the Scottish Rite bodies up to the Council. He was past master of his lodge, and had served as past district deputy grand master of the order One of his keenest interests was agriculture, and for many years he was identified with the New York State Grange, Patrons of Husbandry. In all these circles the loss of Cornelius Elliott Scott is felt deeply, but his memory will live long to inspire those who survive him te higher effort and nobler achievement. He is gone from the circles to which his life was one of such large significance, but as long as memory endures his name will be cherished by those with whom he was associated.

Mr. Scott married (first) at Delhi, New York, September 23, 1890, Harriet May Williams, daughter of Henry and Sarah (Holiday) Williams, and they were the parents of two children: Graydon William, born May 7, 1891; Curzon Elliott, born July 3, 1899. Mr. Scott married (second) at Deposit, New York, December 29, 1902, Helen Dean Wilcox, daughter of Henry Wirt and Frances A. (Dean) Wilcox. Mr. and Mrs. Scott are the parents of two children: Ruth Van Schoyk, born March 25, 1908; Henry Wilcox, born January 28, 1910.

From:
Binghamton and Broome County
New York
Editor in chief: William Foote Seward
Libarian for the Binghamton Public Libraey
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
New York and Chicago, 1924


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