Ironton man celebrates 95th birthday today

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 7, 2002

Edward Scott reflects on the past 95 years.

&uot;I love life and God has wonderfully blessed me,&uot; he said.

Today, Scott celebrated his 95th birthday. He is believed to be the oldest African-American living in Ironton.

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&uot;He’s an interesting character,&uot; said Operation Be Proud’s Susan Taylor. &uot;He’s rich with stories that kids really enjoy. He likes to talk about his childhood in Virginia, farm life, and working to support his family. I’ve heard tens of thousands of his stories over the years.&uot;

&uot;I’ve never loafed around,&uot; said Scott, who was born in 1907 and came to Ironton in 1926. He said he started doing railroad work in Russell, Ky. and did it until his retirement 50 years later.

When he was in his thirties, he married Edna Chilison from Greenup, Ky. She turned 93 in March, and they have two sons and a daughter.

&uot;She’s one of the best women in the state,&uot; said Scott. &uot;She’d have to be to put up with me for about 60 years. My wife was the one who mainly raised the kids. I worked two or three jobs because I wanted my kids to have a comfortable life and an education. I didn’t want my wife to go through what my mother had went through.&uot;

Scott’s father died when he was very young. He was the fourth of five children and said he doesn’t remember his father at all.

&uot;I came up on the rough side,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m proud of it. It made me appreciate my fellow man.&uot;

Not all of his work gave him a paycheck.

&uot;I was converted in 1934,&uot; he said. &uot;It was the first Sunday in September. I stayed out in the world longer than I wanted to. I wanted to have a safe journey.&uot;

Scott later became a member of the Tristone Baptist Church, where he eventually served as a deacon. He has been a member for 25 years.

&uot;People here have been awful sweet to me,&uot; said Scott. &uot;So, I try to live the kind of life that would make me entitled to it.&uot;

&uot;He’s loved by this community, and he’s a cherished member,&uot; said Taylor. &uot;We’re very fortunate to have him in our community, and we need to recognize the older generation here.&uot;

&uot;I reach out to people I’m associated with every day,&uot; said Scott. &uot;I try to live so my life will speak for itself.&uot; Amelia Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune