Sometimes referred to as “Mr. Beavercreek,” John M. Scott loved being a part of this Greene County community.
He was born in Indianapolis as was his wife. After graduating from Purdue University in 1928, he married his life partner Ruth in 1930, and together they came to Greene County to make their home. It was in Beavercreek that they raised their three children, Susan and twins Dave and Bob.
His first job in Greene County was as the manager for the Dr. D. J. Smith greenhouse, and so, obviously one of his great loves was for flowers, gardening and landscaping.
After this, he and Ruth opened what was at first a modest business. Over the years, the business grew and grew to become one of the leading garden centers in the area. Knollwood Flower and Garden Center with its large greenhouses became the place for Beavercreek and nearby residents to purchase their bedding plants, shrubs and live flowers. In this capacity, he also served as president of the Ohio Florist Association.
Scott quickly became an active member of the community and was called the “father of the Beavercreek Fire Department.” He served as the first fire chief in Beavercreek Township.
A staunch believer in educational opportunities for the youth, he also served on the Beavercreek, Greene County and Ohio State boards of education. While in the legislature, he sponsored a bill which would allow local districts to create resource districts to pool their resources for special programs. At that time, he was the ranking member of the House Education Committee as well as serving on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
His energies were directed not only for his beloved Beavercreek, but for the entire county. As an advocate for educational opportunities, he was one of those who wanted to see a medical school established at Wright State University. He felt that there was a definite need for more general practice physicians throughout Ohio.
He felt he could do more for Greene County if he ran for public office, so he “threw his hat into the ring” and was rewarded by the voters who sent him to the Ohio State Legislature as the representative from the 10th Ohio House District, where he served on the House Education Committee, the Environment and Natural Resources committees, the House Ethics Committee, the Education Review Commission and was a member of the state’s Agricultural Extension Advisory Board.
In addition he worked on legislation assuring proper care for mental patients. He sponsored legislation which would allow local districts to create resource districts to pool their resources for special programs.
After his first term of two years, he felt the need to continue to serve the state in the legislature, and the voters agreed, sending him back, not just for another two year term, but again and again, until after eight years, he decided to “take a vacation” as he was nearing the age of 70.
Although he had no plans to run for another public office, he said he would like to get back to Columbus “to express my views every once in a while.”
His love for Beavercreek was evidenced with his interest in making Beavercreek a city. He served as the first and also the last president of the Committee of 11 for the incorporation of Beavercreek. This committee was largely responsible for getting a charter for the City of Beavercreek.
In addition to his other activities, he also served on the Beavercreek Library Board for several years and was chairman of construction for that library. He and Ruth were active with the Red Cross, particularly during the World War II years, and John served on the Ration Board as well.
Ruth was always by his side, helping where needed. She was for many years a Girl Scout leader and was one of those who helped begin the P. T. O. at Main Elementary.
Ruth was an active gardener who was associated with several local garden clubs. She also served as an officer for the Ohio Association of Garden Cubs. Always eager to help her adopted city, she was a charter member of the Beavercreek Woman’s League.
Both John and Ruth were active members of the Hawker Church in Beavercreek. During the early 1940’s John served as chairman of the building committee when the new building was constructed.
Upon his death at the age of 82, his old friend, Lefty McFadden was quoted as saying: “I knew the man for so many years. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for someone, and he never expected anything in return. He was Mr. Beavercreek. His accomplishments in the state legislature are well known, but his contributions to Beavercreek are everlasting”.
Obviously, John, with the help of Ruth made a difference in Beavercreek, Greene County and the State of Ohio.
Joan Baxter is a Greene County resident and long-time historical writer.