John M. Scott
Former Chief Justice, Illinois Supreme Court
John Milton Scott (1824-1898) lived and worked in McLean County for nearly all of his adult life. After being admitted to the Illinois bar in 1848, he relocated from Belleville to Bloomington, where he formed a law practice and was acquainted with notable contemporaries Abraham Lincoln, David Davis, and Asahel Gridley. In Bloomington, Mr. Scott met and married Charlotte Ann Perry (“Ann”), the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. They had two biological children, both of whom died before age two. Judge and Mrs. Scott lived at 312 S. Main Street in Bloomington for all of their married life.
Before serving as a Judge, Mr. Scott was elected to several local offices, including county school commissioner, city clerk, Bloomington city attorney, and McLean County Court. In 1856, he ran for the Illinois Senate but lost by a narrow margin. In 1862, Mr. Scott was appointed to fill the Illinois Circuit Court vacancy created by Judge David Davis’s election as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In 1870, Judge Scott was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court, where he served until 1888, including three one-year terms as Chief Justice (1875, 1882, 1886). After leaving the judicial bench to retire in 1888, John Scott was a founding member of the McLean County Historical Society in 1892 and served as its president until his death. Judge Scott is buried with his wife and children in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.