Nathan Scarritt (1821-1890) Family Papers (KC0248)
Nathan Scarritt, born in Edwardsville, Illinois, was the 7th of 12 children of Nathan and Latty (Allds) Scarritt. They moved to Alton, Illinois in 1826 where Nathan worked on the family farm until age 16. He attended McKendree College, a Methodist school in Lebanon, Illinois, working for his tuition and board. He graduated in 1842 and for the next three years taught at Waterville, Illinois. In 1845, Nathan moved to Fayette, Missouri. He and his brother-in-law, William T. Lucky, founded Howard High School, which later became Central College for men and Howard College for women. He became an ordained Methodist minister in 1846.
Thomas Johnson (for whom Johnson County, Kansas, is named) established a Methodist mission for the Shawnee Indians in 1830. In 1848, he asked Scarritt to supervise courses in classical studies. Scarritt taught there for three years and also preached among the Shawnee, Delaware, and Wyandott Indians. In 1850, he married Martha Matilda Chick. He helped establish Westport High School and became its principal, along with serving as minister to churches in Westport and Kansas City. In 1855, Scarritt resigned and was assigned by the bishop to become a circuit rider preacher in the Kickapoo District of Kansas, which he continued for seven years.
In 1862, Scarritt moved into a log home he had built himself on a 40-acre plot just east of the Kansas City limits. In 1863, after Order Number Eleven was issued, he moved his family within the Kansas City limits, where he taught school in 1864-1865. After the Civil War they returned to the log home. He had bought real estate interests in the new town of Kansas, and as real estate boomed after the war, his lands rose in value. He owned substantial amounts of land, including what was later known as Scarritt Point and North Terrace Park, the Eighth and Main area in town, and 80 acres in Johnson County which he bought from the Shawnee Indians. The log cabin burned in 1869 and he built a larger house about one-half mile away on the bluff. He and his wife, Martha had nine children, six of whom were alive at the time of their father's death: Edward, Charles, Nathan, William Chick, Ann Elizabeth (Hendrix), Martha Matilda (Jones). (Mary Lucky/Mamie, Juliet Virginia and Joseph had died.) After Martha's death in 1873, Scarritt married Ruth Barker Scarritt, the widow of his brother, Isaac.
The collection contains papers relating to the family of Nathan Scarritt. Most of the correspondence is from Robert Davis, who was the brother of Francis Davis (Scarritt), who married William Chick Scarritt; letters to and from William Chick Scarritt; and correspondence of William Hendrix Scarritt (William Chick Scarritt's son), and Nathan Scarritt of Oklahoma (Charles Wesley Scarritt's son). There are a few letters from Nathan Scarritt and various others. Also included are clippings, articles and announcements relating to the Scarritt and Chick families. There are also many deeds and leases concerning the property owned by Scarritt and, after his death, his estate. Many tax receipts are also present. There are a few articles and speeches by William Chick Scarritt, including one on Thomas Johnson. Some brochures relating to Scarritt College are also in the collection. 1839-1962.
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Thursday, March 09, 2006
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
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