Jeff Harvey

Before we continue with our look at what William Sanders II had to say in his book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV”, (McClain Publishing, 1994), I want to say thanks again to the people who have commented either face-to-face or via e-mail about the column. The compliments are welcome and I’ll do my best to address any specific questions you may have.

We now turn to the area known as Gardner. It was originally owned by Col. William Henderson French prior to the Civil War, before being sold for tax purposes to brothers Harve Maitland and Ballard P. Shumate, the sons of Anderson Shumate.

Another large landowner is the third-generation Scott family: John Allen Scott, father Hercules “Hack” Scott, grandfather John Shannon Scott and great-great-uncle Hercules Scott, a Federal soldier during the Civil War, great-grandfather Crockett Scott who came to Princeton from Floyd County, Va.

The brothers Scott served on different sides in the Civil War, with Hercules serving the Federals and Crockett the Confederates. Federal Hercules prospered after the war as a store-keeper and banker based near the courthouse, with lawyer Luther Scott of Bluefield and Dr. Charles Scott, Jr. of Princeton who founded St. Luke’s Hospital in Bluefield, among his descendants.

John Allen Scott’s grandmother and grandfather both suffered from ill health, the former from a broken back suffered in a buggy accident, the latter dying early from diabetes. His father started working at eight carrying water to the timber cutters who worked in the area, following the family’s financial reverses.

John Allen Scott, Jr. and his wife Shirley Lilly Scott run the family’s model sheep ad cattle farm after his retirement as a county extension agent and longtime teacher of agricultural and conservation farming. His advocacy of conservation farming has transformed Mercer County farming from hillside farming to reclaimed farmland of the present day.

John Allen, Sr.’s brother-in-law David Hogan, established a model home in the Bluestone River opposite Spanishburg School and the old fairgrounds on land once owned by Henry Clay, the son of Mitchell Clay.

Hercules “Hack” Scott II was a member of the Mercer County Draft Board during World War II and had the painful duty of drafting John Scott, Sr. to military service. John served as a sergeant in the First Cavalry Division under Douglas McArthur which was selected as the first division to land on and occupy Japan upon their surrender in 1945,

The first Hercules Scott used the name H. Scott in his many businesses after the war. He is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery with his marker bearing “H. Scott.”

Other early Gardner homesteads were the Hugh Danielly (now David Burton) place and the John Danielly home place, which now is the site of PikeView High School and PikeView Middle School. The Kenzie and Kate Rowland farm and the Bud Gunter farm were other early homesteads in Gardner prior to the lumber mill and county poor farm being there.

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