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  • Writer's pictureJody Ferguson

Walter Keene Linscott

My paternal great-grandfather was Walter Keene Linscott. He was born in Washington, Iowa in 1872 to a family that traces its lineage to the Linscotts in Maine, who arrived there in the 1600s from Devon and Sussex in England. WK Linscott spent his childhood years in Holton, Kansas and attended the Philips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1890.

WK Linscott c. 1891

Later, together with his father, an uncle, and his brother he became involved in a land venture in Mexico on the isthmus of Tehuantepec. There they offered plots of land to American farmer citizens for agricultural export to the United States. When this venture ended, he started a lumber export business, sending Mexican tropical hardwood to ports in the southern United States (including New Orleans, Galveston, and Mobile).

In 1898, WK Linscott was appointed U.S. Consular Agent at Coatzacoalcos where he owned a private bank and a lumber yard. In 1899 he brought his bride, Josephine Tingley, there to live with him. The next year he contracted yellow fever, so he and his wife went to the home of cousin Rev. H. A. Bassett in Mexico City for convalescence. There, son David Richard Linscott was born June12, 1900. Late in July the family left for the Linscott home in Holton, KS, returning to Coatzacoalcos in October where their baby son died of spinal meningitis.

WK Linscott

In Spring of 1902 they relocated to Mobile where WK Linscott continued his lumber import business, which included a number of three-masted schooners. He and Josephine had three more children, including my grandmother Josephine Linscott. In 1916 the Great Gulf Coast hurricane destroyed his schooners and his business. Thereupon, he and the family returned to Kansas where he died in 1933.


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