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A MOUNTAIN COLLEGE
SUCH INSTITUTIONS VALUABLE FOR MOULDING CHARACTER
N 1895, Mrs. Julia Green Scott, of Bloomington, Illinois, established a college in the mountains of Kentucky in honor of the memory of her husband. He was a native of Kentucky, and the institution bears his honored name. Upon the occasion of the dedication I spoke as follows: "The dedication of the Matthew T. Scott, Jr., Collegiate Institute marks an important epoch in the history of central eastern Kentucky. It cannot be doubted that this institution will be potent for good in moulding the character and fitting the youth of this and succeeding generations for the important duties that pertain to citizenship in a great Republic. Is it too much to believe that this may be reckoned as one of the many agencies in this land, that in the outstretched years will inspire our youth with yet higher ideals of advancement - nobler conceptions, it may be, of the grave duties that await them in life? Would that the words I now repeat of one of England's great statesmen could be indelibly impressed upon the memory of all who may hereafter pass out from these walls: 'Be inspired with the belief that life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and grovelling thing that we are to shuffle through as we can, but an elevated and lofty destiny.'
"It is eminently fitting to this occasion, that I recall something of the man whose honored name has been appropriately given to this institution. And yet, I am not unmindful of the fact that if in life he would shrink from public mention of
his name, or of aught associated with it in the way of benefactions. He was a native of Kentucky — born in Fayette County, February 4, 1828. His father, of the same name, was an honored citizen of Lexington, and for many years the leading banker of the State. The son inherited the high sense of personal honor, and the splendid capacity for business, that for a lifetime so eminently characterized his father. A graduate of Centre College at the age of eighteen, his fortunes were soon cast in Central Illinois, where his remaining years were spent, and where his ashes now repose. During his early residence in Illinois Mr. Scott realized — as few men did fully at that day — the marvellous prosperity that surely awaited the development of the resources of that great State. It was the day of golden opportunity for the man of wise forecast. His investments were timely; his business methods all upon the highest plane. He became in time a large landed proprietor, and stood in the van of the advanced agriculturists of his day. He formulated enduring systems of tilling the soil, and making sure the munificent rewards of labor wisely bestowed upon this, the primal calling of man. His methods were in large measure adopted by others, and have proved no unimportant factor in the development and prosperity of the great agricultural interests of the State.
"Mr. Scott was in the largest sense a man of affairs. He was ever the safe counsellor in the many business enterprises of which he was the founder. It were scant praise to say he was possessed of the highest integrity. His was indeed an integrity that could know no temptation. Faithful to every obligation, he was incapable of an ignoble act. He was eminently a just man, possessing in a marked degree the sturdy characteristics of his Scotch-Irish ancestors. His principle in action was:
'For justice all place a temple,
And all season Summer.'
"He was in no sense a self-seeker. Deeply interested in public affairs, and having the courage of his convictions upon the exciting questions of the day, he was never a candidate
for public office. Declining the nomination tendered him by his party for Congress, he chose the quiet of home rather than the turmoil of public life. In the advocacy, however, of what he believed to be for the public weal, 'he took counsel ever of his courage, never of his fears.' That he possessed the ability to have acquitted himself with honor in responsible positions of public trust, no one who knew him could
"Courteous to all with whom he came in contact, he was the highest type of the old-school gentleman. He exemplified in his daily life the truth of the poet's words:
"That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
"No man ever had a loftier appreciation of what was due to woman. There was in very truth a relish of old-time chivalry in his bearing in the presence of ladies. He was never happier than when surrounded by children, by whom he was ever trusted and loved.
"No higher tribute could be paid him than by the words spoken with equal truth of another: 'With him the assured guardian of my children, I could have pillowed my head in peace.'
"Holding steadily, and without reservation, to the Presbyterian faith of his fathers, he was none the less imbued with a true catholic spirit, and gave where needed, liberally of his abundance. He was deeply touched by every tale of human sorrow,
'His hand open as day to melting charity.'
"I may be pardoned for adding that Mr. Scott was supremely happy in his domestic ties. Blessed in all who gathered about his hearthstone, his cup of happiness was full to overflowing. All who crossed his threshold felt that they were indeed in the sunshine of the perfect home. He sleeps in the beautiful cemetery near the city he loved, his grave covered with flowers by those to whom in life he had been a benefactor and friend. To those to whom his toils and cares