Hon. Richard H. Scott, who at one time was justice of the supreme court, ranked with the eminent lawyers of Wyoming and left the impress of his individuality and ability upon the judicial history of the state, proving the peer of the ablest men who have sat upon the bench of the court of last resort.
He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 3, 1858, a son of Charles and Margaret (Hamilton) Scott. He pursued his early education in the public schools and afterward became a student in the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, which he attended from 1876 until 1880. He was there graduated and served for a year thereafter in the navy. He then resigned from the service and was engaged in government survey work in the summer, while in the winter seasons he studied law at Jordan, Minnesota, until admitted to practice at the bar of Minnesota in 1884.
It was on the 5th of July, 1886, that Judge Scott became a resident of Wyoming and entered upon the practice of law at Sundance, in Crook county. Recognition of his ability along the line of legal practice led to his selection as a member of the Wyoming constitutional convention of 1889, and thus he aided in framing the organic law of the state. The following year he was chosen judge of the first judicial district of Wyoming and served upon that bench for sixteen years. or until 1906. On the 3d of February of the latter year he was appointed to the supreme bench to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Judge Jesse Knight. At the following election he was chosen by popular suffrage to the office and was reelected in 1910. On the 1st of January, 1913, he became chief justice of Wyoming and so continued until 1915. In that year he was reelected a judge of the supreme court to serve for another term of eight years,. but death called him on the 26th of September, 1917.
Judge Scott was married on the 1st of July, 1885, to Miss Agnes Delight Coates, of Jordan, Minnesota, and they became the parents of five children : Margaret, the wife of Henry Sweet, residing in Salt Lake City; Richard; Olive, the wife of Heber Massuere; Agnes, who is employed by the Union Pacific Coal Company; and Marion, who is attending business college.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Episcopal church, to which Judge Scott belonged. He was also a Mason upon whom had been conferred the honorary thirty-third degree. He served as master of Kadosh Consistory, No. 1, S. P. R. S., and he was a member, of Sundance Lodge, F. & A. M. He exemplified in his life the beneficent spirit of the craft and was actuated in all that he did by the highest principles and the most worthy motives. The consensus of opinion on the part of his fellow men and especially of his colleagues at the bar placed him among the most eminent lawyers and jurists of the northwest. Throughout this section of the country he is spoken of in terms of admiration and respect. His life was so varied in its activities, so honorable in its purpose, so farreaching and beneficial in its effects that it became an integral part of the history of the state and in reviewing his career one is reminded of the words of Lincoln: “There is something better than making a living—making a life.”