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BIOGRAPHY: Stella Houghton Scott December 29, 1802

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(December 29, 1802 – April 25, 1844)

Tuscaloosa/Tuskaloosa County, Alabama

Miss Stella Houghton, who was born in Lynden, Vermont, December 29, 1802, was the daughter of William and Marilla (Clay) Houghton, of Putney, Vermont, the former, a brother of H. D. Houghton, founder of the Riverside press, and firm of Houghton Mifflin & Co., publishers.

She was associated with the Rev. Wilbur Fisk who was for some years Principal of the Wesleyan Academy, at Wilbraham, Massachusetts. She came to Tuskaloosa, Alabama, and put her membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church there, in 1830.

In the journey of Miss Stella Houghton from her native land to Tuskaloosa Cupid, winged and armed, adventured in the way and played a part in which he surpassed his own romantic wonders of ancient times.

It was on this wise: A Board of Trustees contracted with Miss Houghton to take charge of a Seminary of learning in that town, and in obedience to and in furtherance of the objects of the contract existing she came to Tuskaloosa. The journey from her home in the far-off north to Mobile was made by sea. The Board of Trustees of the Academy at Tuskaloosa delegated one of their number, Mr. David Scott, a confirmed bachelor, adjudged by the number of years he had spent in that state, to proceed to Mobile and to accompany from there to Tuskaloosa the lady who was coming to take charge of their school. Mr. Scott performed the task assigned him.

On a pleasant steamer, the trip was made. Miss Houghton took charge of the unpretentious school by the Black Warrior Falls. But the sequel of that journey from Mobile to Tuskaloosa is yet to tell. Between David Scott and Stella Houghton, there was attachment and love at once, courtship immediately ensued, and before the year was out they stood together devotees at the altar of Hymeneus, and were bound with the nuptial chain. Henceforth they were one, henceforth she was Mrs. Stella Scott, and henceforth that Church at Tuskaloosa.

They had the following children:

  • Harriet Cornelia Scott, m. Bishop Robert K. Hargrove;
  • (twin) Jane Marilla Scott, m. John Wesley McConnell, of Scottsville,
  • (twin) William James Scott;
  • Mary Vincent Scott m. Col. John Jones;
  • Abby Maria Scott, m. Dr. W. J. Vaughan, of Nashville;
  • Stella Houghton Scott, m. Prof. Arthur Gilman of Harvard

“She was one of the noblest of that noble galaxy which worshiped God under the auspices of Methodism in the lovely town of Tuskaloosa. She was a woman of great personal worth, and of considerable literary attainments. She was an intelligent, devout, and active Christian. With kind words and kind deeds she consoled the sorrowing and the suffering, and with liberal contributions, she relieved the destitution of those about her, and with large contributions, she furthered the Kingdom of God. After serving her generation well, she died at Tuskaloosa, in peace, April 25, 1844.”


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