Matthew Scott was a businessman and landowner in eastern Illinois. This collection contains microfilm copies of records relating to the development of a 55,000 acre frontier estate in several different counties in East Central Illinois. The estate was established by Scott, acting in conjunction with various members of his family, and with George W. Brand, Richard and Joel Higgins, Samuel P. Humphreys, William H. Latham, Courtney Pickett, James Robbins, James Suydan, and Stephen Swift.
The correspondence, financial records, deeds and agreements, and notes describe purchasing land and land warrants from the federal government and private individuals, developing tenant farms in McLean County, and the overall costs of breaking the prairie. The collection also details building houses and fences, digging wells, planting fruit trees, purchasing farm equipment, seed and stock, and hiring of farm hands, all of which document prices and wages for the mid-nineteenth century. There is also detailed information on the development of the town of Chenoa, Ill.
David E. Schob donated the microfilm to the Library in 1969. He selected these items from the Matthew Thompson Scott Papers at Cornell University.