October 25, 1848: Birth of Zar D. Scott

On This day in 1848, future Duluthian Zar Scott was born in Plymouth, Michigan. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1873 he worked surveying lakes and railroads for the federal government before entering the lumber business in Minneapolis. By 1880 he had relocated to the Zenith City and he and D. E. Holsten started the Scott-Holsten Lumber Company. By 1890 the firm had become Scott-Graff, and Zar found himself a business partner of Edmund Graff, a Pennsylvania lumberman who had been operating mills in Duluth since 1880 as well (Graff was born on October 24, 1846). After 1900 the firm began easing out of the timber industry, and in 1908 the company became a leader in reforestation. By 1927 the sawmill had closed and the company focused on millwork. Scott was later president of the Minnesota State Forestry board for several years and was considered “largely instrumental in the creation of the Itasca State Park.” In Duluth he belonged to the Kitchi Gammi Club, the Duluth Boat Club, and served as a city alderman and school board member. He died on November 11, 1931. Scott-Graff survived its founders until 1967, when it became part of Pacific Mutual Door Company, which closed its Duluth facilities in 1978. Read more about Duluth’s historic lumber industry here.

Zar D. Scott. (Image: Duluth Public Library)