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Eagle historian, author Elva Scott dies

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former mayor of Eagle instrumental in restoring the community's historic buildings has died.

Elva Ruth Scott, 83, died Jan. 10.

Scott served as president and curator of the Eagle Historical Society as well as chairwoman of the Alaska Historical Society board of directors.

Born Oct. 7, 1919, she was raised on her parent's ranch in San Bernardino Valley, Calif.

She earned a nursing degree from University of California-San Francisco and a master of education degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

She met husband, James W. Scott, while working in the pediatric ward of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. In 1946, they moved to Homer and helped found the Homer Society of Natural History and Homer United Methodist Church.

In the early 1950s, the Scotts built and lived in the Homer Ranger Station, now occupied by the Kachemak Bay State Parks visitors center.

From 1959-60, the Scotts lived in Fairbanks and from 1960-72, they lived in Anchorage, where Elva Scott was active with the Anchor Park Methodist Church, the Jessie Lee Home, the Girl Scouts of America, the Alaska Nurse's Association, and the establishment of Alaska Methodist University. Elva worked as the school nurse at East High School and later served as the Anchorage School District's first school nurse coordinator.

The Scotts retired in Eagle in 1972. Elva served as mayor, council member and as president and curator of the Eagle Historical Society.

Eagle is a city of about 130 nearly 200 miles east of Fairbanks on the Yukon River just inside the boundary with Canada. Eagle in 1901 became the first incorporated city in the Interior. It was home to Fort Egbert, completed in 1900, but abandoned in 1911 when gold prospects in Fairbanks and Nome lured miners away.

Elva Scott wrote ''Jewel on the Yukon-Eagle City,'' ''Eagle Schools Eighty Years 1901-1981,'' ''Upper Yukon Health History'' and several other historical publications on the region.

With her guidance, many of Eagle's historic buildings were restored and opened as museums.

Elva Scott was preceded in death by her husband, James, son Pat Scott and daughter Peggy Scott-Bittlingmaier. She is survived by sons Tom and David, daughter-in-law Janice Scott, son-in-law Kurt Bittlingmaier and their families.



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