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Emma Leigh Stancil was born on the Wilson County farm of her parents, Johnny and Mary Ellen Stancil, on September 5, 1899. She attended elementary school in the one room St. Mary's School near her home. She graduated from Lucama High School. As a high school student she boarded in the Renfrow home in Lucama.
Emma married Elijah Scott and the young couple began their tobacco-farming career on Mr. Scott's farm in Wayne County. They later farmed in Sampson and Moore Counties before establishing their permanent home on the Johnny Stancil farm where Emma had been reared Emma was an excellent seamstress making all her children's clothes. She began learning to sew as a small child. She recalls as a little girl taking two eggs to the Hawley and Revell Shop, trading eggs for enough material to make her dolls a dress. For five eggs, she could get enough material to make herself a dress. Her job as a young girl growing up on a tobacco farm, became the making of the clothes for her younger brothers and sisters. As an adult, she was a patient teacher of the craft, often helping less experienced sewers Emma was also good at crocheting and embroidery, winning prizes for her excellent needlecraft.
Emma and Elijah reared their family of six children on the tobacco farm during the Great Depression. The children learned to "plow a straight row" and "string an acceptable stick of tobacco " Emma also baked, canned, preserved food, dried fruit, and taught her children the fine art of "living off the land". The Stancil-Scott farm was acquired by Emma's grandparents in the early 1800's. It is today owned and tended by their grandson, Eddie, one of the tour farmers of the Tobacco Farm Life Museum.