A living relative of James Sylvester Scott, the ragtime composer and Carthage native, will attend the Carthage Historic Preservation's Phelps House Ragtime Ball III, slated for 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday at the historic home on Grand Avenue.
Admission to the Ball includes a year's membership in Carthage Historic Preservation. Cost is $30 for individuals and $50 for a family.
Judy Goff, with Carthage Historic Preservation, said Marcella Dixon, a niece of James Scott, will attend the event.
“She said she can't dance, but she'd like to come and listen,” Goff said. “She's in her 80s now.”
“Ragtime Bill” Rowland, Broken Arrow, Okla., will be on the piano, playing ragtime hits by Scott and other composers, while Judy Schneider, of Judy's Ballroom Dancing, Joplin will give lessons on the dance styles of the era.
Scott was born in Neosho in 1885, according to the late Carthage Press Columnist and Editor Marvin VanGilder, and lived there until 1899 when his family moved to Ottawa, Kan.
The family moved to Carthage in 1901 and he lived here until 1914.
VanGilder said Charles Dumars, with the Dumars Music Company, on the north side of the Carthage Square, hired Scott as a general helper, but when he heard him playing a piano in the back room, he made him a song plugger, and people flocked to the store to hear him play.
Dumars published Scott's first three rags in 1903 and 1904. Scott published several more rags while living in Carthage before moving to Kansas City and living there from 1914-1938.
He died on Aug. 10, 1938, but the graves of he and his wife went unmarked until 1981.
For more information about Saturday's event at the Phelps House, people can call Judy Hill 358-9688.