Rachel A. Scott was born February 19, 1843 to the Honorable Josiah Scott and Elizabeth McCracken in Bucyrus, Ohio. She was the second of three children: Alexander, herself and Elizabeth (“Lizzie”).
Her mother died giving birth to Lizzie, when Rachel was a year old. Two years later her father remarried Susan E.M. Austin, in 1846, who “by her characteristic tenderness and devotion to them she at once gained the love” of his three children, and there is evidence that they loved her dearly. Hugh Scott, an immigrant of 1670, and his descendants., p. 114. The family moved to Hamilton Ohio in 1849.
Rachel’s father was educated, well spoken, and religious. While gentle and loving, he expected his children to be smart, learned and mannered. His work as a judge required him to travel in order to hear cases or to campaign, and also to stay in Columbus away from their home in Hamilton; in his letters he would admonish Rachel and her sister to keep their studies, and he would correct their spelling. “Mrs. Vance is said to inherit much of her distinguished father’s ability and taste for the study of mathematics, which is also probably found among his other children and grandchildren.” Ibid. p. 116.
Rachel married James A. Vance, an attorney, on October 16, 1867 in Hamilton. Rachel and James lived in Cassville and then Pierce City, Missouri where he owned land and worked as an attorney. They had 6 children, although they lost one (Austin) as a child and one (Earl) died at age 20. The other four provided grandchildren.
On June 1, 1870 James wrote his wife from Cassville, saying that he would earn $500 from taking the census and he would have $700 to $1000 that fall and would be able to build them a house of their own. It seems they built a new house around 1874, despite the economic depression. Rachel worked hard raising the children, working on a farm and keeping house. One topic of the letters between her father, Josiah, and James, her husband, was Rachel watching her health and “not overworking herself.”
After James died in 1920, Rachel lived with her son Alexander in Dallas. She died on July 8, 1924 in Dallas, Texas and was buried at Pierce City, Missouri.
Children of James A. and Rachel A. Vance
Josiah S. – born 1869, Missouri
Austin Elbridge – born March 1870, Ohio
Alexander Milton (“Alec”) – born July 15, 1871, Cassville, Missouri
Julia – born March 1874 in Missouri
James A. – born May 1877 in Missouri
Herbert Earl – born September 1883 in Missouri
Hugh Scott, an immigrant of 1670, and his descendants, by John Scott (J.M. Scott, printer 1895) (available online).