Judge David K. Scott biography

Of Virginia parentage David Kimberlin Scott (Judge D. K. Scott), was born August 7, 1855, in Jefferson county, Ohio, and came to Texas and located in Dallas in 1872. Three years later he responded to the lure of the west and came to Eastland county in 1875, locating in Mansker Lake, named for Hal Mansker, one of the earliest settlers, and one of the few men living in that section at the time. And Judge Scott himself is one of the oldest citizens of Eastland county in point of residence, having lived in the county continually for 63 years.

Arriving at Mansker Lake, a mere youngster, he became associated with J. M. Freeman in the general mercantile business. Though the county was sparsely settled, the firm did a thriving business, as it was on the Stephenville-Fort Griffin road, where traffic was pretty lively. Buffalo hunters, going and coming form Shackelford and counties beyond were good customers of Scott & Freeman. Merchandise was freighted by mule team from Dallas, which required ten days to make the trip.

“Eastland county was organized two years before I came here but the county seat was then located at Flanagan’s ranch, now Merriman, where courts were held and the records were kept, as there had been no official location of the court house,” Judge Scott said. The county was formerly attached to Palo Pinto county for jurisdictional purposes. In the election in 1875 Connellee, Ammerman & Daugherty, who owned most of the land where Eastland is now located, offered to built the court house should Eastland be chosen as the county seat.

“The vote favored Eastland, and Connellee and associates built the first court house of the county on the northwest corner of the square, now occupied by F. M. Kinney. The old building has been remodeled since then, but that is the same foundation of the first county court house.

First Postmaster

“The Scott & Freeman store was also the post office, and I was one of the first postmasters of the county. The mail was carried then by the pony express. The carrier’s route was from Stephenville to Flannagan’s ranch, and after the county seat was located in Eastland the route was extended to that place. The carrier kept several horses at relay points and it was only a matter of exchanging pouches as his new mount was ready and he was off again. He rode in a gallop and made the 60-mile round trip in about 10 hours once a day.

“The arrival of the mail was a great occasion at Mansker Lake. People gathered from all over the country to see the mail come in.

“Those days were the happiest days I ever spent and this was the best county I ever knew. Were I back to 20 years of age and could find a country like Eastland county was then I would make it my home.

“I moved to Eastland in 1880 when I went to work for Col. G. W. Shannon then sheriff of the county. I served as deputy sheriff under both Shannon and Jim Shemick, meanwhile I took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1887, and was elected county judge in 1888, later forming a law partnership with the late H. P. Brelsford, which continued after I came to Cisco, and until his death.

“I can recall one person who was here when I first came. This was Charley High, now of Gordon. Henry Schmidt was one of the last, but he died about two years ago.”

Source: The Cisco [Texas] Daily Press and Daily News, Vol. XIX (Sun., 28 August 1938), No. 21, p. 18.