SCOTTS HILL
Henderson County TN
From the "History of Henderson County " by Auburn Powers 1930

Scotts Hill, a town of about 250 inhabitants fourteen miles southeast of Lexington and near the Decatur County line, is a thriving little town. It has some twelve or fifteen places of business, a post office, one gin, one bank, one hotel, three churches, and a good high school. It also has a number of blacksmith shops, grist mills, and garages, and is supplied with electric lights. Scotts Hill was first settled in 1825 by Cager M. Scott from North Carolina in whose honor the town was named.

Among his early neighbors were Ralph Holms, Joe Clenney, Buck Murphy, J. H. McKenzie, Dr. Win. Brigance, Luther Helms, Ephram Austin, and others. The Lexington-Clifton Road ran through the town and was the first road opened up through that section of the County. It was also known as the Stage Road because many stage coaches traveled it. Just when the first stage coach came through Scotts Hill no one knows, but it must have been very early. The last one passed through in 1870. With the introduction of the stage coach came the post office service. The coaches carried both passengers and mail. When the coach would stop, the passengers would alight and stroll over town until the postmaster could sort out the mail. When the coach was ready to go, the driver would sound a horn or ring a bell for the passengers to assemble.

Mr. Ephram Austin was perhaps the first postmaster. He would ring a bell or blow a horn also when the mail, which consisted chiefly of letters, circulars, and a few newspapers, was ready to be delivered. The people would gather around the postoffice, which was then a compartment of Austins store, for any mail that might be called out for them. The mail was delivered directly from the lot as it was gone through. The postmasters following Ephram Austin were John and Henry Austin, Ephrams sons, W. A. Helms, J. T. Bagby, Henry Miller, A. L. Goff, S. R. Hefley, J. W. Patterson, J. N. Tucker, and W. A. Austin, who is the postmaster at present. The mail carriers on the rural routes from Scotts Hill have been John Fanning, Henry Davenport, Elbert Butler, Sam Walton, Ben Deere, Coy Johnson, and Iley Austin.

Cager Scott opened the first store in the town. Following him came Ephram Austin. After Ephram his two sons, John and Henry Austin, continued the business. J. E. Austin, a grand-son of Ephram, ran the same business until about 1926, when he left the town. His son M. C. Austin, however, is still in business. Ephram Austin built the first grist mill in Scotts Hill about 1860. It was a water mill and of the "over-shot" type. He built the first cotton gin also. This gin was operated by horse power and was able to gin about three bales a day or about 100 bales a year. The gins that followed were a gradual improvement, each over its predecessor. John S. Pratt owns and operates the present one. It is strictly modern and has a capacity for ginning thirty or more bales per day. It gins on an average 1200-1500 bales a year.

About 1880 a Mr. Rilie opened a hotel and feed stable and had a good business for a long time. Since then the following have owned hotels; J. S. Turner, George Davis, Mary White, Elsie Austin, and Ellar Mitchell, who still owns the hotel. Scotts Hill has had a few livery stables, but they soon gave way to the automobiles and garages. The owner of the first automobile in Scotts Hill was J. A. McClenahan. Next Dr. Keeton and Dr. Wylie bought one and then J. M. Brasher. In 1908 the people in and around Scotts Hill organized the Peoples Telephone Company. They hoped at first to connect with the Commercial Company then operating an exchange in town, but satisfactory terms could not be reached. So a mutual company was organized, the Peoples Telephone Company. This company serves a wide section of both Henderson and Decatur Counties. One of the most diligent supporters of this enterprise was P. W. Holms.

The Company now has about 325 subscribers, an office well equipped with switchboards and other necessities, and contracts with other telephone companies granting it free service. This company operates at a reasonable cost (25 cents per month for each subscriber) and gives excellent service. The Farmers State Bank of Scotts Hill was chartered November 20, 1906. It has a capital stock of $10,000, a surplus of $8,000.00, and resources (October 1929) of $175,000.00. On October 14, 1929 it took in $22,000 as deposits. It has had only one small loss during its entire existence, $1,000 in the Citizens Bank when it burst. The Church of Christ was set in order in 1877. Mr. B. F. Austin was the first Elder, Jesse Helms and Frances Austin were the first Deacons, J. S. Turner is one of the first members yet living in Scotts Hill.

Years later the Methodist Episcopal Church South was established in the west part of town. It is now the head church of the Scotts Hill Circuit. The Pentecostal Church was established only recently. It, however, is in Decatur County. About 1880 a log schoolhouse was erected, in which Ras Tucker taught the first school. In 1894 B. A. Tucker, one of the outstanding teachers of his time in the whole vicinity, came to Scotts Hill and opened what would now be called a high school. His success as a teacher was shown in the school he built up and in the success in life of his pupils as preachers, educators, doctors, and lawyers. He made Scotts Hill the center of educational activities for a time.

After his influence died away, the school dwindled down. Immediately after the World War, however, Ira C. Powers, a conscientious and diligent school worker came to the town and attempted to improve the school. His first year there was marked with hard work and a constant fight with the two counties to induce them to support the school. He had only three high school pupils the first year, but by the end of six years he had established a good junior high school. In 1926 a new building was erected of concrete blocks. In 1927 P. H. Murphy was elected principal of the school. Through the effort of him, Mr. Powers, and the other teachers the school has grown considerably. Mr. Murphy is a thoroughly competent teacher and a wonderful booster. The school is now a four-year high school with modern equipment and an enrollment of 115 high school students. On May 17, 1916 a tornado swept through the east end of town and destroyed four dwellings and damaged many others. On the sixteenth night of October of the same year a mighty fire destroyed the entire business section. The fire originated in the store of J. M. Brasher and swept clean the entire business section. Not a store was left. Twelve stores, the barber shop, the I.O.O.F. Hall, a blacksmith shop, the cotton gin, the post office, the bank, the hotel, and four residences, were consumed in the flames. The town was completely destroyed, but that which makes towns was left -- the sturdy and unconquerable inhabitants, who have built it back more beautiful and more substantial than before.

Scotts Hill Items in the Lexington Republican February 23, 1906
Eli Rogers is preparing to sow oats.
W. E. Fanning of Lexington is here.
John Smith has re-entered school.
Health in our community was never better.
Ben McClanahan has moved back to his farm.
W. F. McCollum is having his business house repaired.
Will Hay made a business trip to Warrens Bluff this week.
C. P. Wilson went to Beacon Tuesday to help unload staves.
Tommy Bright passed through this place last Sunday night.
This has been the finest weather for February in many years.
Mrs. A. Fanning, who has been dangerously ill, is improving.
Perry Murphy of Serepta writes that he is having a nice time teaching.
Mrs. M. M. McCollum visited her sister, Tennessee Chumney, last Sunday.
Edgar Fanning of Gleason was called home to see his mother, who is very low.
E. K. McCollum was in Lexington last week looking after business matters.
W. A. Bartholomew has returned home from Saltillo and is clerking for his father.
If you want to know anything pertaining to logging ask A. S. Goff and Fate Hensley.
Dr. C. H. Johnson of Lexington was here Saturday night on professional business.
Jake Taylor and Ky McCollum carried a fine herd of cattle out of this place Saturday.
R. C. Roocks moved to town last week and has been initiated as one of our inhabitants.
A very sad accident occurred here on Thursday of last week. Luther Kings little baby got burned fatally and died on Friday.
One of Scotts Hills oldest inhabitants passed away on the 8th of this month. She was known as Granny Swift, wife of Parson Swift. She was ninety-three years old, and had been an invalid for a number of years before her death. We extend our sympathy to the bereaved ones.

SCOTTS HILL
Henderson County TN
From the "History of Henderson County Schools" by Louise Oakley (County Fair Project 1940)

Scotts Hill was named for Mr. Cager Scott, the first settler. Mr. Scott opened up a store and shop. The oldest house now standing is the home of Miss Willie Kelley, the present occupant. The Methodist church is the oldest church now standing. The present churches are the Church of Christ, the Methodist and the Pentecostal Church. The oldest store now standing is Mr. J.M. Brasher's store. Scott Hill has a post office and three mail carriers. There are fifteen places of business. Among these is a garage, bank, drug store, two cafes, beauty parlor, variety store, two hardware stores, two blacksmiths and several grocery stores.

Scotts Hill School was named for the town. The present building was built in 1927. The first building was built in 1914 and is still in use. Four additional rooms have been added. The first teacher was Mrs. Ulna Bobbitt. The present teachers are Cecil Milan, Walt Dunavent, Ernest Holmes, Clayton Tarleton, Edward Bailey, Ruel Eason, Lorraine Kelley and Hattie Eason. The average daily attendance is 275 pupils with a total enrollment of over 300. It also has five buses.

   Doe Creek School & Church Restoration    
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The only one-room schoolhouse/church left in West Tennessee
Scotts Hill, Henderson County

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