Early leaders ambitious

Register Associate Editor


Susan and Emerson Lynn are descendants of J.W. Scott, the first president of the Iola Town Company.

In recounting the lives of Iola’s early settlers, it’s humbling to recall their many accomplishments. Not only were they pioneers but many accomplished more than what seemed possible for one lifetime — and that was without today’s modern conveniences, or perhaps, distractions.
Emerson Lynn’s roots date back to his great-grandfather, John W. Scott, who in 1858 moved to Allen County from Olathe to the settlement which became Carlyle.
With John W. came the family of his brother, Harmon Scott, and his sister, Jennie E. Scott. They were part of a group that organized in Hopewell, Ind., with the purpose of “seeking their fortunes in the then newly settled territory of Kansas,” Scott wrote.
J.W. Scott attended what schools there were where he grew up near Pitttsburg, Pa. and then became a private tutor in the family of a physician in Kentucky. He taught the children the rudiments of English and the doctor taught him in return smatterings of Greek, Latin and mathematics. With no more formal education than that he taught school during the winters and read medicine with his physician employer. In 1846-47 he took a course of medical lectures at the Starling Medical College in Columbus, Ohio and then began the practice of his profession in Hopewell and Franklin, Ind. He married Maria Protsman, the niece of his former preceptor, Dr. William Chamberlain, in 1849. They moved to Kansas in 1857.
They lived in Carlyle for 16 years and had eight children, one of which was Charles F. Scott, grandfather of Emerson Lynn, jr., and editor of the Iola Register from 1882 to 1938.
J.W. Scott served in the Territorial and State Legislatures in the late 1850s and into the 1860s. During the Civil War he served as a surgeon.
He was instrumental in organizing the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston railway, which became the Santa Fe, and became one of its directors. He also was appointed Land Commissioner, served as state veterinarian, owned and operated a pharmacy in Iola and served as Iola’s mayor in the 1870s. He was the first president of the Iola Town Company.
Desiring to retire, he moved to Oklahoma where sons Angelo and Walter had gone to seek their fortunes. It wasn’t long before J.W. was asked to run for state legislature and he was elected at age 75. He died there in 1899 at 76.
Charles F. Scott was born in Carlyle. He graduated from the University of Kansas and, perhaps heeding the words of his contemporary, Horace Greeley, headed west to try his hand as a cowpoke. He also published a newspaper in Silverton, Colo.
In 1882, he turned in his spurs to Iola and bought the Register in partnership with his brother, Angelo, and Edward Rohrer. He bought out his partners within two years and owned the paper most of the rest of his life. Charles F. served as a state senator and a U.S. Congressman beginning in 1900. He served five terms and was chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He also served as a Regent for the University of Kansas and as a senator in the state legislature.
He was the first president of the Kansas Editorial Association which later became the Kansas Press Association. He was a prolific speaker and debator and traveled the country participating in debate forums along with Henry Allen of Wichita. He also spent months abroad.
Charles and May Ewing Scott had four children, Ewing, Ruth, Angelo and Charles F., Jr.
Ruth married Emerson E. Lynn in 1923. They left Colorado for Iola to join the Register staff just as the farm economy turned sour in the late 1920s.
Lynn contracted pneumonia, spent months in a sanatorium, then three years in Arizona and southern California rebuilding his health before returning to Iola at the death of Charles F. Scott in 1938, to serve as advertising manager and then city editor of the Register until his retirement in 1963.
They had four children, Emerson, jr., Scott, Louise and Allen.
Emerson Lynn, jr., graduated from Iola High School in 1942, just in time to enlist in the Army Air Force and serve three years during World War II. At the end of the war, he worked at the Register as a cub reporter for a few months and then took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and enrolled at the University of Chicago.
A Rotary scholarship allowed him to study in Australia, where he met and married Mickey June Killough. Together, they ran newspapers in Humboldt and Bowie, Texas, before assuming the Register reins in 1965 from his uncle, Angelo Scott.
Mickey and Emerson compiled a history of Allen County and published the two-volume “Annals of Allen County” in 2000.
Over the years, Lynn served in several civic and professional organizations, including chairman of the board of Iola Industries, Inc., the Allen County Hospital Board, the board of the Iola Public Library, Kansas Department of Transportation advisory committee, president of the Kansas Press Association and the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas and is currently a member of the advisory board to the Office of International Studies at the University of Kansas.
Mickey died April 6, 2009. Emerson continues to write for the Register and has begun a third volume of local history beginning in 1945.
They had four children, Emerson K., Michael, Angelo and Susan.
Susan came to Iola in 2000 to become the fourth generation to run the Register. She has three children, Louise Krug, Timothy Stauffer and Aaron Stauffer.