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SCOTT, ELLA DICKINSON

SCOTT, ELLA DICKINSON (1855–1949). Ella Dickinson Scott, clubwoman and civic leader, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Dickinson, was born in Houston, Texas, in 1855. She received her degree from Mary Baldwin College at Staunton, Virginia. She also studied abroad in England and Scotland. Upon the death of her father, a cotton broker, Ella Dickinson took care of his business interests in England. She returned to the states and married Judge G. R. Scott on April 20, 1881, at the Episcopal Church in Houston. They subsequently moved to Corpus Christi and in October 1883 had their only daughter, Lucile Scott, who would later marry W. E. Pope, a prominent Corpus Christi attorney.

The Scott home, located on South Broadway, entertained many dignitaries, including William Jennings Bryan. On December 14, 1893, the Scotts hosted a meeting in their home at which Ella Scott became vice president of the Literary and Social Club, which would evolve into the Fortnightly Circle and later the Monday Club. On February 14, 1897, the Woman's Monday Club, the first women's organization in Corpus Christi, was officially organized in her home, and Ella Scott was later elected the first president. During her twelve-year tenure as president, the club built the Ladies Pavilion, an entertainment arena for the city of Corpus Christi. The club also purchased two lots, which it donated to the city in 1909 to expand Artesian Park, one of the city's first parks. It also raised money for a fire truck and a piano for the city high school, and provided money to help children finish school.

Scott and the Woman's Monday Club joined the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs in 1901. Scott served as the latter group's Fifth District president in 1909 and was a life member of the state board. Scott was also instrumental in starting the City Federation of Women's Clubs. She represented this group as president at the 1916 gathering of the American Federation of Women's Clubs in New York. Scott also spurred the beginning of several other Corpus Christi organizations, including the La Retama Club, the Scott Study Club, and the Elysian Club.

After the death of her husband in 1913 Scott became involved in the war effort. She worked for the Red Cross was district chair for the National Council of Defense and United War Work Campaign. In 1926 she headed a group to petition for the beautification of Corpus Christi's bay front. In 1933 Scott also held an office in President Franklin Roosevelt's Emergency Reemployment Campaign and later became the Vice President of the Texas Women Banker's Association. In 1936 an accident confined Scott to a wheelchair for the remaining years of her life, but she remained active in her organizations, earning her the title of the "Admiral of the Valley." As a newspaper account put it, Scott wanted Corpus Christi to be "the cleanest, most healthful and most beautiful city in Texas," and she devoted her life to this pursuit. Ella Dickinson Scott died on April 8, 1949, in her home in Corpus Christi. She is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Corpus Christi Caller, April 9, 1949. History of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs (Vol. 1., ed. Stella L. Christian, Houston: Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, 1919; Vol. 2., ed. Fannie C. Potter, Denton: Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, 1941). Woman's Monday Club Collection, Corpus Christi Public Library, Corpus Christi.

Cecilia Gutierrez Venable

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Cecilia Gutierrez Venable, "SCOTT, ELLA DICKINSON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsc89), accessed September 14, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 10, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.