Edith <I>Wilder</I> Scott

Edith Wilder Scott

Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA
Death 19 Jul 1960 (aged 84)
Wallingford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Summit 683
Memorial ID 6360560 · View Source
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Written by her granddaughter:

Edith Wilder was 17 when her mother died and she was sent away to Swarthmore College where her brother Stuart could keep an eye on her. There she met her husband, to be. They took an almost year long honeymoon to Australia and New Zealand where he was opening up new markets for Scott Paper Company. She was the first white woman into parts of New Zealand. They first settled in a home on Oak Lane, Philadelphia, PA.

She and her husband started collecting antiques in the early 20th century when they were considered just so much old furniture. Much of this old furniture is treasured in the family today. 1912-1915 they bought a rundown country club and converted it into their new home and called the property Todmorden Farm. The house was an historical building in Rose Valley, Delaware County, PA, part of which dated back to the eighteenth century. Their interest in horticulture meant the house was surrounded with acres of gardens. They specialized in peonies, lilacs, iris and rhododendron, many of which were their own hybrids. With Thomas McCabe, Edith Scott was one of the founders of the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College in honor of her deceased husband. This arboretum is for the teaching of horticulture by visual demonstration. Because of her work in horticulture she was elected a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 1950. She was also given an honorary degree by Swarthmore College for her work. In addition she held many awards and medals for the plants she hybridized.

Her honeymoon evoked a life long pleasure traveling to many parts of the world. She made a trip to the orient in the 1930s with the Garden Club of America and was in Peking when the Japanese marched in. A story the family is that she went up to one of the Japanese soldiers and told him she thought it was "outrageous". She always said she was saving Holland for her old age but she never got there although she died at the age of 82. However, even while she was fighting her last illness, cancer, she made two trips to Europe, one with her granddaughter Meg Harrell and the other with her daughter, Eleanor Guckes.

The thing that most impressed me with Grannie was that she seemed to know something about almost everything. If it was a place, she had been there. If it was an object, she knew all about it. She had a keen interest in people and had friends of all ages. Although she gave the impression of a "Grande Dame", she also had a knack for putting people at their ease. During my college days at Swarthmore I never had any difficulty finding friends who wanted to go with me when I visited Grannie over a weekend. She took me on some of the first trips I ever made and gave me her love of travel. I consider her one of the major influences in my life.

Note: The inscription of the grave shows a birth year of 1876, but she was born in 1875.

Family Members



1875 1927
1876 1960

  • Created by: Mary Harrell-Sesniak
  • Added: 21 Apr 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6360560
  • Meges
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edith Wilder Scott (8 Nov 1875–19 Jul 1960), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6360560, citing West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Mary Harrell-Sesniak (contributor 46488639) .