About the Collection
Rouzelle Eugene Scott
by Jeffrey S. Hardy
Rouzelle Eugene Scott was born on 18 May 1868 in Provo, Utah County, Utah, to Andrew Hunter Scott and Sarah Ann Humphrey Roe. His parents had become converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in their native Pennsylvania and crossed the plains to Utah in the 1851 Morris Phelps Company. Rouzelle was the tenth of their eleven children, all of whom were born in Utah; Andrew also had five other wives with twelve additional children. When Rouzelle was only six years old his father unexpectedly died, leaving him in the care of his mother and older siblings. It is likely that he spent much time in his youth working on the family farm. He was baptized into the LDS Church on 3 September 1875 by Albert Jones, a prominent church leader and businessman in Provo. On 15 June 1892 Rouzelle married Mary Ellen Peay, also of Provo, who bore three children, one of whom did not survive infancy.
In March 1893 Rouzelle received a call to serve a mission to New Zealand. Willing to serve the Lord, he left his wife, pregnant with their first child, and journeyed to Auckland, New Zealand, arriving on 14 June 1893. As he wrote in a letter to his brother: “So to my friends and dear ones and the land of birth, I must bid them good bye to go and preach the Gospel of truth.”1 His mission president immediately assigned him to a rural Maori area to preach the gospel to the native inhabitants. Much of his first year in the country he spent learning the Maori language and becoming acquainted with the people and their customs. His diligence paid off as he soon mastered the language and became an effective and beloved missionary. Rouzelle received his release on 10 December 1896 after three and a half years in New Zealand. During a farewell speech to one of the branches of the Church in which he had labored, he “exzorted [sic]them to be faithfull [sic]to their calling” and recorded that “a good [spirit] existed in all the meetings.”2 After a visit to Sydney, Australia, he journeyed home to Provo.
After only three and a half years at home with his family, an unexpected tragedy occurred. On 23 August 1900 Rouzelle and two friends went up Provo Canyon with their horses to gather wood. As they were dragging the wood back down the canyon, one of the horses became frightened and ran into Rouzelle, throwing him against a tree. He sustained multiple injuries, and his partners endeavored to carry him to Provo for medical attention; however, he died on the way, apparently of internal bleeding. Rouzelle Eugene Scott was remembered as “a highly-respected…intelligent and industrious man.”3
1 Rouzelle E. Scott to Walter Scott. 3 July 1893. MSS 336, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
2 Rouzelle E. Scott, “Diary, 1896,” 15 November 1893. MSS 336, LTPSC.
3 Salt Lake Tribune, “Roselle E. Scott Killed,” 25 August 1900.
Ancestry World Tree Project. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com Inc., 2003. 30 January 2003 available from http://www.ancestry.com/trees/awt/main.htm
Jenson, Andrew. Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Vol. 2. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson Historical Co., 1901-1936.
Salt Lake Tribune. “Roselle E. Scott Killed.” 25 August 1900.
Scott, Rouzelle E. “Diaries, 1893-1896.” MSS SC 243, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.