A Biography of
William Taylor Stott
Indiana and Indianans
A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood by Jacob Piatt Dunn
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York

   William Taylor Stott, D.D. LL. D., Indiana perhaps more than other states has cherished and paid honor to men and women whose work and ambitions have directed unselfishly to the enlightenment and welfare of humanity-work never measured by wealth or any material standards. To that already long list which is so peculiarly the glory of this state there deserves to be added the name of Dr. William Taylor Stott, who was a brilliant soldier in the Civil War, was a minister and of a family of ministers of the Gospel, for over thirty years bore the burdens and responsibilities of the presidency of Franklin College, and was president emeritus when he died November 1, 1918.
   Dr. Stott was named for his grandfather, Rev. William Taylor Stott, who was born in Kentucky of Scotch ancestors. His religious zeal carried him into the sparsely settled neighborhood of Madison, Indiana, and later he made his home at Vernon. A giant in physical appearance, his mental equipment matched it well, and through his preaching more than 1,000 converts were baptized and added to the church. His work took him in fact all over the state. His last charge was at North Vernon. More than fifty years he preached at Vernon. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 under General Hull. His death took place at the home of his son near North Vernon at the age of ninty. Long life, well balalnced mental and physical powers, equanimity, earnestness and hard work seemed to have characterized all members of this family. Grandfather Stott's wife was Mary Ann Stott, and they had a family of  three sons and four daughters.
   Rev. John Stott, father of Doctor Stott, was born in Kentucky and married Elizabeth Vawter. Her ancestry was no less distinguished. Her father Richard Vawter, a native of Kentucky, also came to Indiana as an early day preacher. His first settlement was near Madison, but he later located at Vernon, and died there in 1868, at the age of ninety years. He was a son of Rev. Jesse Vawter, a Baptist minister. The Vawters are of French and English descent.
   Rev. John Stott and wife came from Kentucky to Indiana about 1820, and after a brief residence near Madison located at North Vernon. For ten years they lived on the same farm in Jennings County, and moved to Franklin a short time before they died. Rev. John Stott died in December 1887, at the age of seventy-seven, and his widow survived until November, 1893, when she had lived eighty-three years. Rev. John Stott as a Baptist Minister had a number of charges in Jennings County as well as in other parts of the state. For a number of years he ministered to the parish known as Greenville, Indiana, Graham, Brush Creek, and Zenas parishes in Ripley County. His last pastorate was at North Vernon. He and his wife had five children: Vawter who died in infancy; Martha, wife of Maxa Moncrief, of Franklin; Dr. William T.; Miss Mary F., of Franklin; and Maria J. deceased, who was the wife of James N. Chaille.
   Dr. William Taylor Stott was born in Jennings County, near Vernon, 1836. He spent his boyhood days on the farm near Vernon, was given his early educational advantages in the academy at Sardinia, and whith that preparation entered Franklin College in 1856-57, graduating in 1861. The July following his graduation he enlisted as a private soldier in Company I of the Eighteenth Indiana Infantry, with Thomas Parrison as colonel commanding. His ability was marked, was early recognized by his superiors, and he was promoted to captain of his company. With the Eighteenth Indiana he fought the entire war around the Confederacy, beginning with the campains in Missouri and Arkansas, continuing until the Mississippi River was freed of its Confederate strongholds, and finally going east to the great battlegrounds in Virginia. In this time he took part in the battles of Blackwater, Sugar Creek, Pea Ridge, Cotten Plant, Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Big Black River, Vicksburg, Mustang Island, Fort Esperanza, Baton Rouge, Berryville, Hall Town, Winchester, Fishers Hill, Newmarket, and Cedar Creek. The climax of his military career came at the famous battle of Cedar Creek. During the fighting Major Williams had fallen, and at this critical moment Captain Stott assumed comand of the regiment, reformerd his men and with rare ability and coolness led them to the close of that never to be forgotton day. As a soldier, in camp, on the march or in the field, Doctor Scott maintained those qualities which now and at all times have made the really great soldiers-self possession, earnestness, perseverance, resolution-in short, character. On May 10, 1865, he was mustered out, having served continuously more than three years and six months.
   At the close of the war Doctor Stott entered Rochester Theological Seminary, where after three years he graduated. He had received a degree A.B. from Franklin College, and in 1872 Kalamazoo College in Michigan awarded him the degree Doctor of Devinity, and he had the honorary degree Doctor of Laws from Shurtleff College in 1899 and from Franklin College in 1905.
   Doctor Stott was ordained to the ministry in 1868, and was pastor at Columbus Indiana, during 1868-69. In 1869 he was called to the chair of natural science in Franklin College, and during the first year was acting president of the institution. In 1872 he became a professor in Kalamazoo College at Kalamazoo, Michigan, with the chair of chemistry and physics. In a few months after Franklin College had been reorganized he was asked to assume the grave responsibility of its presidency. He remained president of Franklin College from 1872 to 1905, and in 1905 was elected president emeritus. As head of one of the state colleges of Indiana Doctor Stott showed most commendable executive ability, and throughout the years exhibited a breadth of culture, keenness of perception, fidelity, and perseverance in work which not only made his name an inspiration all over the state but gave him a reputation among those engaged in higher education. As a teacher Doctor Stott has had few equals. When he accepted. When he accepted the presidency of Franklin College that institution was burdened with a debt of $13,000, with no assets of $464,000 and only a small floating indebtedness.
   The three years following his retirement from the active presidency where spent in writing a history of the Baptist Church in Indiana, for which he had been collecting data for the years. That interested work, entitiled the Baptist History, 1798-1908, was published in 1908 and comprises 374 pages, much of it a vivid narrative of the early days of the church on the frontier. It carries the reader through the entire history of the Baptist denomination in this part of the country.
   From September, 1908, until May, 1911, Doctor Stott was president of the Soldiers and Sailors Orphans Home, being obliged to resign because of ill health. He still wrote occasionally for the magazines and denominational papers. He was always interested in the affairs of state and nation, and in the good government of his home community. He served as a member of the City Council, having been elected by his ward by the largest majority on record. His methods while in the City Council demonstrated that his aim was not to advance party but to render faithful service to the city. He was a republican in politics. In 1875 Doctor Stott was president of the Indiana Baptist Convention and from 1899 for a number of years was a member of the State Board of Education of Indiana. He also served as associate editor of the Baptist Outlook.
  May 21, 1868, Doctor Stott married Arabella Ruth Tracy, of Rochester, New York, daughter of Isaac S. and Mary M. (Pierce) Tracy. Five children were born to their marriage, three sons and two daughters. Cyril H., the youngest, died at the age of seven years. Wilfred T. Stott is a highly successful journalist and is now managing editor of the Portland (Oregon) Telegram. He married Frances Dodge of Chicago, and has a son, William Taylor Jr., named after his grandfather. Grace E. married Rev. C.R. Parker, of LaPorte, Indiana, and has two children, Cyril R. and Ruth Eleanor. The daughter Edith married Rev. F.G. Kenny, of Marion, Indiana, and has one child. Grace Elizabeth. Roscoe Gilmore, writer and lecturer, and the youngest of the living children, resides at Franklin, Indiana. He married Isabel Porter, of Petoskey, Michigan. They have two children, Roscoe Gilmore, Junior, and Isabel Tracy.

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