L'histoire de Scott ~ The History of Scott
Scott was founded by the railroad in 1880. It was not incorporated, however, until 1904. In 1907, Scott was granted a charter which provided for a government by a Mayor and Board of Aldermen. The first Mayor was Dr. L. A. Prejean.
Scott was named for J. B. Scott, then the Superintendent of Southern Pacific. According to records, the railroad was built in 1880 using convict labor and originally had no name. This was when Lafayette was known as Vermillionville.
Settlers east of Scott called it “WHERE THE WEST BEGINS.”
The land, one half mile west of Lafayette to one mile east of Scott, was obtained from Drozin Boudreaux, and then on to about a mile west of Scott from Dominique Cayret. J. B. Scott, a personal friend, of Mr. Cayret, agreed to build a railroad station at the settlement that would come to be known as Scott. When J. B. Scott complied with his promise, Dominique Cayret and settlers honored him by naming the town Scott. The first depot was built around 1880 and the first agent was Ozema LeBlanc. “WHERE THE WEST BEGINS” then became Scott’s Logo because Scott was listed as the “ORIGIN OF WESTERN TRAVEL.” There were different rates for East and West.
Farming was the main occupation of the early settlers and the main crops were cotton and sweet potatoes. Although, corn was also grown. Corn was used mainly for feed for the animals. One of the first cotton farmers in the Scott area, about 1945, was Alexander Delhomme. He also constructed the first grist mill and cotton gin.
In the sweet potato industry, Luke LeBlanc is often credited with assisting and developing the sweet potato industry in the Scott area.
Mr. Alcide Judice built a General Merchandise Store south of the railroad track and Mr. Martin Begnaud had a store on the north side of the tracks. Mr. Judice was a long time School Board Member and the first President of the Lafayette Parish School Board. He also played and important role in the development of what is nowUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette. He also conceived the idea of transportation of children to school in wagons and horse drawn transfers.
Mr. Martin Begnaud opened his grocery and general merchandise store in 1880. He established a successful and prosperous business. In 1886, Mr. Begnaud was brutally murdered by two young French immigrants who were working and living on a nearby farm. Ernest and Alexis Blanc were tried and found guilty of murder. OnApril 2, 1897, the sentence was carried out and the Blanc brothers were hanged.
Louis Breaux immigrated to this area from New Orleans after receiving a Spanish land grant. They settled in the southern part of Scott. At a young age, his parents sent him to military school in Virginia. Breaux returned to settle in this area and became a farmer, cattleman, businessman and an educator. Being a successful businessman and an educator, he donated land in the late 1890’s to build the first school in Scott. Originally built south of Old Spanish Trail, it was later moved to the present location of L. Leo Judice Elementary. The entire family felt education was so important, that Louis’s daughter, Emelia, also donated land for a school. The land currently is where ScottMiddle School is located.
Scott High School was built in 1927 on land where Scott Middle School is today. The first schools built in Scott can be attributed to the efforts of Alcide Judice, also a pioneer settler of the area. He was known as “THE FATHER OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN LAFAYETTE PARISH.”
In 1927 the Joseph Sonnier family moved to Scott from Ossun community because of the railroad and opened a general merchandise store north of the railroad, which still stands today at the corner of Alfred Street and E Street.
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church was established as an independent parish in 1904. Before this time, beginning about 1987, the area was a Mission of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lafayette. The first church was built about 1897. Horse and buggy in those days were the mode of transportation. Horse tie was dominant around the church and cemetery.
In 1910, a group of men met to organize and establish a Bank of Scott. It was realized in August 1911. The first Board of Directors was Luke LeBlanc, Dr. L. A. Prejean, Joseph Sonnier, Rousseau Prejean, J. M. Keith, Alonzo Lacy, William Butcher and Rev. J. M. Detchmeny. The first bank building still stands at the corner of St. Mary Street and Delhomme Avenue. It is presently the home of Paul Begnaud.
The rear of the building was used as a meeting room for the Mayor and Alderman of the Town of Scott. All meetings were held there until 1957 when the first City Hall was constructed along with a Fire Station on Delhomme Avenue.
The second City Hall was constructed on Lions Club Road in 1978 and served as City Hall until 1995.
The third City Hall was constructed in 1994 and was dedicated January 27, 1995 under the leadership of Mayor Hazel D. Myers.
Scott became a village in 1907, a town in 1960 and a city in 1990.
Bourque's Bar 1902. Albert Bourque's Bar is reminiscent of early saloons of the Old West. On numerous occasions I have heard "Pete" Bourque (Mr. Albert's son) tell the story of when someone asked his dad why he built a western style saloon. His reply would be "because this is where the west begins", a slogan for Scott which is still used today. It is believed that the slogan started because Scott was where eastern train fare rates ended and western train fare rates began. The story-and-a-half structure looks much the same now as it did when it was first built, except the shingle roof has been replaced by tin and the dormer windows have been removed. Also missing are the wanted posters which used to be displayed on the outside walls by the sheriff, who would ride out to the bar on his horse and buggy.
Albert Bourque opened the bar in 1902 as "an exclusive, all- men's bar and a meeting place for old folks." His two sons, Clovis "Pete" and Wilson "Toot" Bourque began working for him at age ten, filling beer and whiskey bottles until they were old enough to wait on customers. According to Pete, the saloon was always orderly and drunkenness was never allowed. Prior to the establishment of the Bank Of Scott across the Street, townspeople could always count on getting their checks cashed at Bourque's. In 1918, the bar was converted to a general merchandise store because of Prohibition. After its repeal in 1933 , Albert Bourque reopened his bar. Following his death in 1960, Pete and Toot continued to operate the saloon. Over the years, the clientele changed as the area's economy changed from farmers in the early days to oil field workers in more recent times.
The closing of the bar on July 29, 1976 marked the end of an era for the town of Scott. Scott is in the heart of "Cajun" land and is known as "Where the West Begins". Thousands of Acadians were exiled in 1759 from a place in Nova Scotia known as "Acadie", meaning "earthly paradise", because of their beliefs as devout Catholics. They were befriended in south Louisiana by the Attakapas Tribes and the Spanish rulers and became known as "Cajuns". Scott--"Where the West Begins" has long been the slogan in our community. It is located five miles west of Lafayette and about the same distance east of Duson. North of Scott is Ossun and south is the community of Judice. The location of the town is very favorable for growth as it was on U. S. Hwy 90, formerly called "Old Spanish Trail".
The main line of the Southern Pacific Railway , now Burlington Ind., cuts the town in two so our town is in the 8th Ward south of the railroad and the 1st Ward north of the railroad. The first settler of Scott was Alexander Delhomme, who took land in the Northern part of the town, started farming and spent the rest of his life there. He was the first one to own and operate a hay-mowing machine. People came for miles around to see it. Mr. Delhomme also built and operated the first grit mill and cotton gin. The next settlers were Alcide Judice and Dominic Cayret who came several years later. They settled in the southern and eastern parts of what is now Scott. Mr. Cayret had a personal friend, Mr. J. B. Scott, who was Division Superintendent of Southern Pacific Railroad. Cayret was able to persuade his friend to build a "depot". It was started in 1870, and it took 10 years to build it, the work being done by the convicts from the State Penitentiary. When it became a reality, the settlers honored the promise in 1907 by calling the newly incorporated village "Scott". The first depot agent was Ozema LeBlanc, who was agent for 17 years. In 1880, Alcide Judice opened a grocery store south of the railroad while Martin Begnaud opened one north of the railroad. Other pioneer settlers were Louis Breaux in the southwestern part of the area. He served as Deputy Sheriff for over 15 years. Drozin Boudreaux where Philip Martin taught school. Bob Thomas lived at Isle Navarre on the outskirts of the village. Mrs. Thomas taught private school there. The Village became a Town in 1960, the Town becase a City in 1990.
In August, 1911, a bank was established, The meeting to organize was held in Felix Foreman's hall. The first board of directors were: Luke Leblanc, Dr. L. A. Prejean, Rev. J. M. Detchmenly, Joseph Sonnier, Rousseau Prejean, J. M. Keith, Alonzo Lacy and William Butcher. This bank merged with the Bank of Lafayette in September, 1920. Through the efforts of Alcide Judice, to whom every school child is indebted, the first public school was built in 1895 on land belonging to Louis Breaux. It consisted of one room. Supt. T. H. Harris has called Mr. Judice the "Father of Public Education in Lafayette Parish",a title he truly and justly deserves. He is the one who conceived the idea of transportation of children to school in wagons and horse driven transfers. The present system of school bus transportation is an outgrowth of that idea. Later between 1900-1903, four rooms were built. L. A. Prejean and Miss Hunter(teacher), helped solicit funds to defray expenses. A few years later, a two-story structure was built and in 1921, it became an approved high school. The present high school was built on a site donated by Mrs. Emelia Breaux, daughter of Louis Breaux. The former site, on land domated by L. Leo Judice, is now a brick building used for primary grades. Mrs. Bella Judice Nickerson gave additional land so that there would be more space. It is now known as the L. Leo Judice School. Mr. Judice served for 20 years on the Lafayette Parish School Board. He was a civic leader in his community, ever ready to do everything for progress and growth of Scott. For a time a private school was operated in the church hall, but classes were not taught there very long. The second merchant to establish a store in Scott was Joseph Sonnier, and his sons are still in the General Merchandise business.
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