William A. Scouton was born on May 20, 1861, and raised in New York. He moved to Missouri in 1877. In the spring of 1884, Scouton moved to Inkster, North Dakota, where sometime later he purchased a 400-acre farm. On February 4, 1891, Scouton married Nancy Mahon. Both Scoutons participated in Inkster organizations. She was a member of the Ladies Aid Society at the Methodist Episcopal Church, while he pitched for Inkster's baseball team and later acted as its secretary.
After a few years in Inkster, Scouton turned from farming to business; his first business involved selling farm machinery. His second, "W.A. Scouton Broker, Loans, and Collections," dealt with the purchase and sale of farms in the Red River Valley. "Reiton and Scouton" was his third business and it sold furniture, carpets, and undertaking goods. In connection with this business, Scouton acted as Inkster's funeral director. In addition to his farming and business interests, at times Scouton served as a deputy sheriff and as Inkster's postmaster.
William A. Scouton died on August 22, 1936.
The William A. Scouton Papers date from 1884 to 1956 and contain materials regarding Scouton's businesses. This includes account books, correspondence, bills and receipts.
The collection also contains information related to Inkster, North Dakota, including baseball score books, a journal for the Northern Evangelical Ladies Aid, programs of the Inkster City Band, the first issue of The Inkster Enterprise from 1886, an undated promotional pamphlet, and miscellaneous information.