The Mascott Brothers

Birdseye view of campus

Frederick ‘51 and Robert ’52 Mascott were born in 1930 in Lowell, Massachusetts. A family of four boys, the oldest, Lawrence, attended the University of Michigan and the second, Marshall, attended Columbia University in New York while twins Fred and Bob looked outside of New England and found the University of South Dakota.

Fred and Bob stumbled across USD while searching for more affordable colleges. Rail transportation made it easy for the twins to travel west and pursue their education in South Dakota. With only 1200 students on campus at the time they developed a close and lasting relationship with math professor, Wayne Gutzman. Fred completed his business degree in 1951 with Bob also graduating from the School of Business in 1952.

After graduation USD, the twins both enlisted in the armed forces during the Korean War. Fred served in the Marines and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Bob enlisted in the Army and served in Texas and New Jersey. 

With the war over and their military service coming to a close, Fred and Bob joined the family business, Scottie Shoe Inc., eventually taking over the business from their parents. Fred and Bob decided to invest in injection-molding technology – an innovative manufacturing process to heat and adhere the soles to the shoe, rather than the traditional method of sewing the sole.  

They began with single station presses making a single pair at a time. Since making a single pair at a time was time-consuming and slow they began looking for ways to increase the manufacturing capacity of their business. Around 1960 they began buying six station presses, the newest machines from Germany. They eventually increased their production to over one million pairs of sneakers per year, employing almost 300 people running three shifts a day.

When the US began importing more and more goods they adapted and became wholesalers and distributors for other manufactured products such as work boots, socks, and t-shirts. The Mascott brothers successfully ran Scottie Industries, as it was called in its later years, together for almost 60 years. Each had different responsibilities, but they worked together to adapt the business as the times changed and their families grew. In 1998, the brothers decided to close the factory and sell off their business assets.

Frederick Mascott passed away in January 2011 and Robert Mascott passed away in February 2012. The twins’ experiences at USD, and professional success thereafter, inspired the brothers to establish the Mascott Scholarship Endowment supporting students in the Beacom School of Business. 

Mascott Yearbook Photos

Robert (left) and Frederick (right) Mascott in the Coyote yearbook, 1950