Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


After fifty-five years of active service in the schools of Santa Cruz county, John W. Linscott, Santa Cruz's "grand old man." is now continuing to render service in behalf of the youth of this county as the dean of the boys high school at Santa Cruz, being firmly held there in the affections of the people of that city and of the whole countryside. Mr. Linscott's service in behalf of the schools of California is perhaps unique in the history of the schools of this state. When in 1919 he celebrated the "golden jubilee" of his service in the schools of Santa Cruz county he was presented, on behalf of the California State Teachers Association then in convention at Lake Tahoe, with a handsome book of congratulation and felicitation carrying messages of personal esteem from some of the most distinguished educators in the United States as well as from his friends and associates of many years standing in this state, a souvenir of affectionate regard that is prized most highly. Five years later, after having passed a period of fifty-five years of continuous service in the school room, Mr. Linscott resigned his position as superintendent of the schools of the city of Santa Cruz, a position he had occupied for almost twenty years, and then was made dean of the boys high school, in which position his gentle influence still is being exerted in behalf of the youth of that city. For years Mr. Linscott also rendered service as superintendent of the schools of Santa Cruz county and in that connection did much toward securing a proper modernization of the local school system and in creating proper standards of education hereabout, his influence in this direction having been reflected throughout the schools in this entire section of the state. For fifty-six years Mr. Linscott has been carrying on his educational work in Santa Cruz county and the record of that devoted labor of love is written on the hearts of thousands who have passed through their school years here during that long period. He has been honored by his fellow teachers in California by election to the dignified post of president of the state association of teachers and in other ways has received evidences of the general recognition of his high service to the state.

John W. Linscott was born in the pleasant old village of Jefferson in Lincoln county, Maine, May 7, 1848, a member of one of the old families of the Pine Tree state, and was there reared amid a favorable social environment. He completed his schooling in the Waterville (Maine) Institute and then began teaching school, being then little more than a boy himself, and so continued in his home state until in March, 1869, he then being within two months of his majority, when he started for California, attracted by a call that then was going out from this state for teachers from the east. Mr. Linscott came around by way of the Isthmus and on April 7 following (1869) reached his objective, Santa Cruz county. A few weeks later he began his service here as a teacher in one of the rural schools in the vicinity of Watsonville and three years later, in 1872, was elected principal of the Watsonville schools, which at that time were being taken care of by three teachers. For eighteen years Mr. Linscott continued his service in connection with the Watsonville schools, which meanwhile had expanded until the force of teachers had been increased to eighteen in number, and then, in 1890, took up his residence in Santa Cruz, where he ever since has made his home.

It was in 1882 that Mr. Linscott was elected superintendent of the schools of Santa Cruz county but it was not until in 1890 that the salary attached to that office permitted him to give up his position as a teacher at Watsonville and to give his whole attention to the office of county superintendent. By successive reelections Mr. Linscott was retained in the office of county superintendent for twenty-four years (six consecutive terms), or until in 1906, in which year he resigned to accept the position of superintendent of the city schools at Santa Cruz, which latter office he held for nearly twenty years or until his resignation in 1923 after a period of continuous service in the schools of this county of fifty-five years. He then was made emeritus dean of the boys high school at Santa Cruz and is now serving in that wholesome advisory capacity, the benefit of his wide experience in school work thus continuing available to the schools of that city. It was in 1892 that Mr. Linscott was elected president of the California State Teachers Association and his incumbency in that office was marked by some important improvements in the direction of the affairs of that association. He also has rendered service, formerly and for years, as a member of the county board of education, of which he for some time was the president, and has also given cultural service as a member of the board of trustees of the Santa Cruz free library. Mr. Linscott is a member of the Congregational church and is a past grand master (1905) of the grand lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the state of California. He is a Knight Templar (York Rite) Mason, and is a Noble of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, affililated with Islam Temple at San Francisco. He also is a member of the Santa Cruz Lodge, No. 824, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In politics he is a republican.

In December, 1870, at Santa Cruz, John W. Linscott was united in marriage to Miss Emma Scott, who was born in Santa Cruz, a daughter of Richard J. F. Scott, the pioneer hotel keeper at Santa Cruz, and who thus has been a witness to the development of the city from its very "day of small things." Mr. and Mrs. Linscott have seven children: Harry, now a resident of Los Angeles; Clara May, wife of J. R. Williamson; William Raymond; Anna Maude; Richard Roy; Hubert Clyde, and Maynard. The last named is a dental surgeon, practicing at Santa Cruz and William R. also is a dentist, engaged in practice at Santa Cruz.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.