The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture
SCOTT, EULA PEARL CARTER (1915–2005).
A stunt pilot and political activist, Eula Pearl Carter was born on December 9, 1915, in Marlow, Oklahoma, to Lucy Gibson and George Washington Carter. Eula, her two sisters, and a brother had mixed-blood ancestry. Their father was white, and their mother, an original enrollee of the Chickasaw Nation, was half Choctaw. George Carter had accumulated wealth through numerous businesses in Marlow. An aviation enthusiast, he developed an airfield and built a hangar on his farm. Eula Carter enjoyed a privileged childhood. As a teenager she was given both a sports car and an airplane. At Marlow High School she played violin in the school orchestra, winning first place in three county meets. She learned to drive a car at age twelve.
Eula Carter first flew with aviator Wiley Post, a friend of the Carter family. She later noted that “‘I knew right then, while I was in the air with Wiley that first day, that I would fly someday.’” Post soon taught her to fly, and her father bought her a Curtiss Robin airplane. On September 12, 1929, at age thirteen, she completed her first solo flight, becoming the youngest Oklahoman at that time to accomplish that feat. Thereafter, she performed as a stunt pilot around the state.
Eula Pearl Carter married William Lewis “Scotty” Scott on February 5, 1931. She continued to fly until her second child was born and then then shifted her focus to family life. She did, however, once fly with Wiley Post in the famous Winnie Mae.
By the 1930s Eula Scott and her husband lived on a farm near Duncan in Stephens County, Oklahoma, where they raised three children. However, the Great Depression and other circumstances dissolved the family’s fortune. In later years a fire destroyed most of their possessions. By October 1962 she was divorced and destitute. She moved to Oklahoma City and started a career.
In 1972, after studying to be a Community Health Representative (CHR) at the Desert Willow Training Center in Tucson, Arizona, and earning several other certificates in various subjects, she became an active worker for the Chickasaw Nation as one of the tribe’s first CHR. In 1983 she was elected to the Chickasaw Legislature, serving three terms. During her legislative tenure she guided a large growth in tribal operations and services.
Recognition of Eula Pearl Carter Scott’s accomplishments include induction into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame in 1995. She was a member of the International Women’s Air and Space Museum and a charter member of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution. In 2010 a movie, made in Oklahoma and titled Pearl, told her life’s story. In 2014 a portrait of her was installed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The Pearl Carter Scott Aviation Scholarship, established by the Chickasaw Nation, honors her achievements.
After a long illness she died at age eighty-nine on March 28, 2005, in Oklahoma City. She was buried in the Marlow Cemetery near her parents.
AVIATION, DOROTHY K. BARRACK PRESSLER MORGAN, NINETY-NINES, WILEY HARDEMAN POST, WINNIE MAE, WOMEN
Paul F. Lambert, Never Give Up! The Life of Pearl Carter Scott ([Ada, Okla.], Chickasaw Press, 2007).
The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 30 and 31 March 2005, 30 April 2010, 4 May 4 2010.
“Eula Pearl (Carter) Scott,” Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
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The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Tally D. Fugate, “Scott, Eula Pearl Carter,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=SC015.
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