Batesville and Beyond

Zelma Scott of Batesville celebrated her 100th birthday on July 20.

BATESVILLE — Zelma Clairene Scott was born July 20, 1920, and recently celebrated 100 years of rotating the sun in her home overlooking Batesville.

Scott was the first born out of five siblings and grew up on a farm in Mount Ida with her family until the age of 15.

“Well, we actually lived in a wide place in the road called Black Springs,” she laughed. “It’s on the other side of Hot Springs and thats where I lived with my two younger sisters and two younger brothers.”

Scott’s father was of Dutch and Irish descent and as for her mother, Scott stated, “my great-great grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee, so my mom must have had Native American blood as well”.

Scott considers herself a “true Arkansan” who worked hard on her father’s farm until the family sold everything to be closer to family that lived in the Batesville area.

“Our dad’s sister lived in this area and wanted him to move here,” she explained. “We had a good house and a rich farm that would grow anything, but they talked him into moving.”

When the family settled in the area, Scott’s father worked for a man who manufactured cross ties for railroads.

Scott married at the age of 18 and had three children, John, Ruby and Henry and worked for Crowell Cleaners for over 20 years.

Her first husband passed away, and she later met and married a gentleman named Alan Dean Scott.

During her time at Crowell Cleaners, she took a hiatus to work at a bomb manufacturing plant in the area because “the pay was too good to pass by.”

“It was scary, because there was little to no training,” Scott laughed. “They had us all sitting in a row, and the first person would put a part on the bomb and we would pass it to the next person for the next part to be put on. That just went on until the last person put the last part on the bomb.”

Luckily, during her time working in the plant, there were only a few times that a bomb happened to “go off” but no one was hurt, according to Scott.

Once the work at the factory was finished, Scott was able to go back to Crowell Cleaners and get her old job back.

“Most of us in the laundry department left to work at the bomb factory,” she said. “So, they had to shut that part of the company down, but most of us all got hired back and they were able to open the laundry back up again.”

These days, Scott enjoys her family and stated that she doesn’t feel that different since turning 100.

“I know I am old, but I sure don’t feel like it,” Scott stated proudly. “I’m just an old country girl and proud of it.”