Scott, Arthur Carroll (1865–1940)

By: Paxton Howard

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Arthur Carroll Scott, pioneer surgeon, son of Rufus Franklin and Martha Helen (Moran) Scott, was born near Gainesville, Texas, on July 12, 1865. After a country-school education, at seventeen years of age, he began study in the office of Dr. A. H. Conson. In 1882 he entered Bellevue Medical College in New York, where he received his M.D. degree in 1886. He won a competitive internship in Western Pennsylvania Hospital at Pittsburgh, where for two years he came in contact with distinguished surgeons and leaders in the development of modern medicine. In 1888 he returned to Gainesville. He married Maude Marcia Sherwood on October 30, 1889, and began independent practice. The progress of the young physician was rapid; he was appointed local surgeon for the Santa Fe Railroad and in 1892 became chief surgeon. This promotion necessitated a move to Temple, where the railroad's hospital was located. Scott's duties required not only surgical and medical ability but also administrative talent. In 1894 he appointed Dr. Raleigh R. White house surgeon of the Santa Fe Hospital; in 1897 they formed a partnership and in 1898 established the Kings' Daughters' Hospital for the care of the medically indigent. As their medical practice expanded, Scott and White established the Temple Sanitarium, which was chartered in 1905 as a general hospital and nurses training school. In 1922 the name was changed to Scott and White Memorial Hospital.

Scott visited and was influenced by the leading surgeons and American medical institutions of his time. He was distinguished for his work in trauma surgery and developed the hot cautery knife for use in cancer surgery. Under his leadership Scott and White Hospital pioneered concepts in medical organization and practice that included industrial medicine, multispecialty group practice, prepaid health insurance, and postgraduate medical education. Though his contributions to medical literature are many, he was probably best known in the field of surgery. His advances in the diagnosis and treatment of malignant diseases have had national and international recognition. Scott served as president of the Texas Association of Railway Surgeons, Southern Surgical Society, Twelfth District Medical Society, Bell County Medical Society, American Medical Association, and Texas Medical Association. For many years he was chairman of the Texas Committee of the American Society for the Control of Cancer. He was a Presbyterian and a Mason. Scott died in Temple on October 27, 1940, and was buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Temple. He was survived by two daughters and one son.

Dayton Kelley, With Scalpel and Scope: A History of Scott and White (Waco: Texian Press, 1970). Texas State Journal of Medicine, June 1923.
  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Surgeons

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

Paxton Howard, “Scott, Arthur Carroll,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995

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