Scott Barr, a lifelong Washington farmer and rancher who spent 17 years in the Legislature, died last week at his Colville home at 99.
Barr, who grew wheat and raised cattle near Edwall, was a longtime supporter of the 4-H Clubs as well as an early president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. He headed up an agri-business group, the Expo Food and Soil Association, which raised money from around the country to support the agriculture exhibit at Spokane’s Expo ’74, and served on the Expo board of directors.
Scott and his brother Clay cut short their education during the Depression, started work on their small family farm and eventually grew their farming partnership to some 11,000 acres and 700 head of cattle.
He’d spent years lobbying the Legislature for the Lincoln County Conservation District before deciding to run for a seat in Northeast Washington’s 7th District. His first attempt, for a Senate seat in 1974, was unsuccessful, but he ran and won a House seat two years later and moved up to the Senate six years after that.
Barr remained in the Senate for 11 years, serving as a leader among Republicans on farm and natural resources issues, and held chairmanships of key committees when they held majorities in the Senate. In December 1993, at age 77, Barr said he was “wasn’t getting any younger” and stepped down in the middle of his term. That led to the appointment of then-Rep. Bob Morton to the district’s Senate seat, and Morton’s young legislative assistant Cathy McMorris to Morton’s House seat.
Barr is survived by his wife Dollie Mae; stepson John Mosby; half-sister Della Mae Evans, three step-grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Strate Funeral Home in Davenport.
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