Martin Scott was born March 14, 1807, in Jackson County, Tenn., the son of John Scott, a Revolutionary War soldier (there is confusion over his mother’s information). When he was a child, Martin’s parents moved to Indiana, where he was reared on a farm and received his education in the common schools of that state. He was one of a family of 14 children, four of whom were ministers in the Christian church. They later moved to Illinois.
Martin married Lucinda Maxwell on Feb. 25, 1830. After she died in 1831, he married Nancy Maxwell in 1835. They had one son, John Martin Scott, who was born July 30, 1840. They moved to Daviess County by 1856. Nancy died in 1872, and the following year, Martin married Dinah Clifton Scott, widow of James Scott.
In 1844, Martin was ordained to the ministry of the gospel, and was a shepherd that many called upon in their time of need. Many ministers of the gospel during this time were circuit riding ministers. They traveled from one community to the next, one week out of the month. Each week meant a new congregation, with funerals, weddings, counseling, and such. It was said of him that “the world is the better for his having lived in it.”
On the last Sunday of the month in Feb. 1856, the Pilot Grove Church of Christ was organized and Rev. Martin Scott became the pastor. Original members were A. J. Vinson, John McCoy, John A. Brown, James Scott, Jesse McCoy, W.S. Brown, S. H. Hammond, Levi Cline, F. H . Troxel, James A. Garton, D. N. Tery, William Adams, and I. G. Scott.
The church building was built in 1861 and was a plain, neat structure with a finish and cost of $1,000. In 1882, the church was described as being in a flourishing state and had 174 members. The name of the church had changed to the Pilot Grove Christian Church.
Rev. Martin Scott died in 1886 and is buried in Old Scotland Cemetery in Daviess County, MO.
His son, John Martin Scott (1840-1912), married Mary Caroline Dinnel (1844-1906). They had two sons, Martin Alexander Scott and Thomas Wilbern Scott. Thomas married Ruth Cline Hampton. John and Mary are buried at Old Scotland Cemetery as well.
Their son, Martin Alexander Scott (1865-1927), married Clara Ellen Endicott, and had two children: Walter Alva Scott (1890-1975) and Carl Scott (1891-1973) both listed as Kansas City, Mo., at the time of their father’s death. Martin and Clara also adopted two young sisters from an orphan train, Kathleen Reed Kyger (1898-1986 buried Masonic Cemetery, Jamesport) and Deborah Reed Pease (1897-1974, buried Maple Grove Cemetery, Trenton). They wanted only one girl, but took both so as not to separate the sisters.
Martin and Clara’s son, Walter Alva Scott, married Letha McKinley. They apparently moved to California, and Northridge, Calif., is where Walter died. They had two children; son Charles Scott of Del Ray, Calif., and daughter, famed actress Martha Scott Powell. Another person listed as a survivor at the time of Walter’s death, is Mrs. Carl Scott of Jamesport, a sister in law. Martin and Letha are both buried at Jamesport’s Masonic Cemetery.
Martha Scott Powell was born Sept. 22, 1912, in Jamesport, and appeared in more than 20 films, including “The Howards of Virginia” with Cary Grant, “One Foot in Heaven” with Fredric March, “In Old Oklahoma” with John Wayne, “The Desperate Hours” with Humphrey Bogart, “Sayonara” with Marlon Brando and “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur,” both with Charlton Heston.
She also did a voice-over for the animated film “Charlotte’s Web.”
She is best remembered for her television roles including “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Hotel,” “Murder She Wrote,” “The Love Boat” and many others. Her most famous role was as Emily Webb in the 1940 film, “Our Town,” for which she received an Academy Award nomination.
Martha Scott launched her career acting in Shakespearean productions in an outdoor theater at the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair. She remained active as an actress on Broadway through the decades until 1991, when she played Goody Nurse in “The Crucible,” the first production of Tony Randall’s National Actors’ Theatre. In 1968, she joined Henry Fonda and Robert Ryan in forming a theatrical production company called the Plumstead Playhouse in New York.
Martha’s first husband was Carleton Alsop, a radio and film producer. They were divorced in 1946. Her second husband, to whom she was married for 52 years, was the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Mel Powell, who had begun playing piano in the Benny Goodman band at 17.
During Powell’s 15 years on the music faculty at Yale, the couple lived in New Canaan, Conn. They moved to Los Angeles in 1969, when Powell became the founding dean of the School of Music at California Institute of the Arts. He died in 1998. In addition to her son, she was survived by two daughters, Mary Powell Harpel and Kathleen Powell, both of Los Angeles, and a brother, Charles Scott, of San Diego.
Martha died in California on May 29, 2003, and was brought back to Jamesport for burial. Martha, her husband, her parents and grandparents are buried at Jamesport’s Masonic Cemetery. Martha’s great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents are buried at Old Scotland Cemetery at Jameson.
— by Lanita Sconce Smith, Daviess County Genealogy Society