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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Information in the Librarian's Drawer

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, August 10, 2014


I was sorting through my desk drawer, the one with odds and ends that I don’t want to file as I put information there that is often requested at the library.  I put things there that are requested now and then, and the staff will say, “Oh, that’s something Alan keeps in his drawer!”


I found the article that tells the two words in the English language that end in “gry.”  Of course, it is “hungry” and “angry” unless you count the two words with British origins that aren’t used too much.


There is also a copy of a page from the dedication of the Stanton Statue in 1911 that explains what the “upside-down torches” and “wreaths” symbolize that are on the statue’s base.


There are three wooden souvenirs from the 1947 Sesquicentennial Program called “Stockade to Steel” that someone dropped off at the library because they were sure their family would throw them away someday.


Any yes, here are the papers that tell who “John Scott” was, for which “John Scott Highway” was named.  That question emerges from time to time, and I have the paperwork tucked away.


When my wife and I moved here years ago, I wondered about “John Scott Highway” as the name of a street as it had a different format from the norm. 


I was told that many Steubenville West End streets had California names due to a real estate developer, and the far west end used Massachusetts town names and university names for streets.


Former Municipal Court Judge Richard Powell gave me the background about John Scott, and we worked backwards to document the man, and how the street took his name.


What caught my notice this time is the fact that this past week would have been John Scott’s 125th birthday, which can be celebrated with that newly repaved street bearing his name.


John Scott was born in 1889 in Tiffin, the son of Robert and Mary Scott.  His father served as the Mayor of Steubenville from 1903-1907.


He served in World War I, and continued to serve veterans in every capacity for the rest of his life as a member of the Argonne Post 33 of the American Legion.  


He was known as “Mr. Legionnaire” across Ohio as he held many posts relating to veteran affairs.  John Scott was Steubenville’s parade organizer for over 30 years, and often would step into a parade if a trombone player was needed.


After working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, John Scott moved to a career of Court Reporter serving several attorneys and both Municipal and Common Pleas Courts from 1930 until his death.


John Scott died March 2, 1960 after suffering a heart attack in the Coffee Shop of the Hub Department Store in downtown Steubenville.  He had served as Court Reporter that morning, and had a meeting with the Herald-Star editorial staff regarding veteran’s affairs.


A 1963 newspaper article commented that John Scott Highway was constructed in the 1950s using federal funds to connect Sunset Blvd. with Permars Run Rd., and the grant needed a name for the road, and John Scott was the beloved Court Reporter whose name was applied.


It is interesting that the later newspaper article reported that John Scott Highway, Permars Run Road, and Lincoln Ave., were being considered by the State Highway Department to be named State Route 648 for a distance of 3.99 miles as a state bypass between US 22 and SR 7.


Eventual improvements to the new SR 648 would help other area roads that were overloaded with traffic problems in the area.


The project would include the State Highway Department dropping SR 646 between SR 43 and SR 152 as a state highway; and causing it to revert to a county road.  This provision doomed the project, and within a short time no further consideration of SR 648 is discussed.


But in the 50 years that have passed, John Scott Highway has become a major corridor highway, widened numerous times to its present width.


So now you know.  Aren’t you glad that librarians keep these tid-bits in our desk drawers?