Skip to main content

William Stewart Scott papers

Identifier: AC-215

Scope and Contents

Originally in albums and slide carousels, this collection of thousands of photographs, predominately color and black and white, slides, and negatives has been moved to archival envelopes, boxes, and folders, keeping as much as possible to original order by subject and/or date if known.

The photographs were taken by Scott over a fifty year period, and consist of shots of many landscapes and vistas, vacation scenes, family and friends' gatherings, animals, and buildings.

In 2002-2003, Mr. Scott was interviewed by Michael Sheridan and Anna Bauguess. 68 Cassettes of these interviews about his photographs and life are part of this collection. Transcriptions of some of the tapes are filed in Box 1.1. The interview cassettes have been digitized into user CD and archival copies, located in boxes 11-14.


  • Creation: 1915-2003, undated


All materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions. Photographs, slides, and negatives are stored in a cold storage unit and need additional time to return to room temperature.

Biographical Note

William Stewart Scott was born on January 22, 1915 in Mill Creek, North Carolina. During his early life, his family moved around North Carolina quite a bit, however, spent most of their time in Mill Creek or in Boone. Stewart's father, W.H. Scott was a carpenter, farmer, and teamster who spent much of the week working, to return home on the weekends to be with his family. Stewart was the 2nd of eight children; he had five brothers and two sisters.

As a child, Stewart spent his summers outdoors with his older brother Charles, doing chores, playing games, or exploring the wilderness around his home. When the family moved to Boone, Stewart developed a love for sports, particularly football and basketball. In his childhood, Stewart became an avid hunter and trainer of beagles, a hobby he retained throughout the remainder of his life.

In 1933, Stewart graduated from Boone High School and entered college in Appalachian State Teacher's College (ASTC). He paid for his college by working on the campus and working during the summers. However, at the end of the first quarter of his freshman year, Stewart decided to leave school and went to work at Smithey's Store in town to help pay off his father's debt. The Depression made work hard and jobs scarce. Stewart soon discovered that he didn't enjoy working at Smithey's, so he returned to school for the Spring Quarter.

Stewart had fond memories of a summer spent working for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt to help stimulate the economy and bring an end to the Depression. For the summer of 1934, Stewart lived in army barracks, wore army clothes, and ate government food while building roads and clearing land in the community of Barnardsville (12 miles north of Asheville).

After working for the CCC for almost a year, Stewart returned to ASTC and earned his BS degree in Elementary Education in 1938. While a student at ASTC, Stewart was involved in sports, but was known for being a member of the wrestling team. Stewart thought very highly of his coach, and like many, agreed the reason for the team's success was Coach Watkin's conditioning. Upon graduation, Stewart took a job teaching at Troutman School, a boy's school east of Statesville. He taught there for three years until he was drafted in May 1941.

Stewart went to boot camp in Ft. Bragg in Georgia. After boot camp, Stewart was promoted to corporal and went on to train solders who had flunked out of basic training. Spurned on by conflict with his company commander, Stewart applied to Officer's Training School was transferred to Fort Benning. Stewart wrote the "day when I was commissioned by the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, an officer in the army it was the proudest day of my life" (Memoirs, 35). Stewart was assigned to the 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company F, with whom he spent the early part of World War II. Stewart and his unit fought in Europe at D-Day where he was wounded by artillery fire and sent to recover in England.

Following his recovery, Stewart went back to the front lines, this time to serve with E Company as company commander. A short time later, Stewart was wounded again, this time in the left shoulder and arm. He returned to England for recovery. Stewart was put on restricted duty, meaning he could no longer return to the front, so he spent the remainder of the war primarily on basic training in a small village near Reims, France.

Stewart returned home and was discharged from the army in January 1946, at which time he took a position teaching at West Jefferson Elementary School. He took a break from teaching to start a logging business, but returned within a few months to teaching. While at West Jefferson, he met a young teacher, Sallie Miller, and they began dating and were married November 11, 1946. Stewart's hobby of photography began shortly after his marriage to Sallie. Their first child, Katrina C. Scott, was born on November 18, 1947. They also had two other children, Ann and Danny. The family was a frequent subject for Stewart and he often had Katrina pose for photos.

Stewart spent his career teaching and working as a principal in several different schools in western North Carolina. Stewart received a Masters of Education degree from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. As his children reached their teenage years, Stewart and Sallie both got jobs at Lansing Elementary School. During the move, however, Stewart suffered from a serious heart attack and was unable to work for the remainder of his career.

Throughout his retirement, Stewart maintained his love of photography. He and his wife Sallie took several trips, upon which he took photographs of everything that pleased him. Stewart also continued his search for the perfect beagle, raising and training them for hunting and tracking. Throughout his life he was faithful to the church and at the time of his death served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Friendly Grove Baptist Church in West Jefferson. Stewart passed away at the age of 89 on February 29, 2004.

Written by Katie Gray, 2004


11 Linear Feet (1 half-sized manuscript box, 1 records carton, 4 CD boxes, 22 boxes in cold storage)


This collection, the William Stewart Scott Papers, includes the photographs and memoirs of Stewart Scott (January 22, 1915-February 29, 2004) a West Jefferson, North Carolina resident. Mr. Scott was born near Mill Creek in Ashe County, NC, and spent much of his life in education in Ashe County. He began taking photographs when he returned from World War II, and continued for over 40 years until his death in 2004. The collection contains family photographs, landscapes, and photographs of flora and fauna in the Ashe County area.


This collection was kept in as close to the original order of photos and negatives as possible when a subject and/or date was given. Some of the unknown undated items were filed together. When photographs were removed from albums, they were filed together in archival envelopes or boxes in the original order as they were in the albums. They are stored in cold storage.

Acquisitions Information

William Stewart Scott donated this collection on July 8, 2002. It was accessioned as AC.2002.014.

Processing information

Processed by Anita Elliott, December 2012 and August 2013. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014

AC.215: William Stewart Scott Papers, 1915-2003, undated
created by Anita Elliott
January 8, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository