Maggie Scott was first introduced in 1965, as the capable office assistant to Bill Bauer. Having transferred to Springfield from the Los Angeles branch of the PR firm where he was working, Bill struck up a friendship which blossomed into an affair. Maggie was a lovely and dedicated divorcee, in her 30s, who had singlehandedly, raised her daughter, Peggy, who was now fifteen years old. Although Maggie, initially, had a loyal suitor in Jason Webber, a successful airline executive, she repeatedly turned down his marriage proposals in order to devote her time to Peggy. Eventually, Jason gave up on her, and Maggie began confiding to Bill the details of her difficult life. When she was a senior in high school, Maggie went against her parents' wishes and married Ben Scott, who was serving in the Korean War. Soon, Maggie became pregnant, and she gave birth to Peggy while Ben was overseas. After Ben returned, Maggie realized that the marriage had been a mistake. Ben turned out to be a gambler who passed bounced checks and avoided any opportunity to make an honest living. He ran out on the family and Maggie divorced him for desertion. Now in the present, Maggie was shocked when Ben suddenly returned! His criminal days behind him, Ben bought a restaurant and told Maggie he wanted to reconcile. When Maggie was hesitant, and tried to keep him from seeing Peggy, Ben secretly introduced himself to his daughter as a friend of her father, who was on a secret mission in Europe. The impressionable young girl was won over by this charming man, and eventually Maggie discovered that Ben had established contact with Peggy. Later, with Maggie present, Ben revealed to Peggy that he was really her father and that he had done shady things in the past. Peggy was so elated she could not wait for her parents to get back together. The only hitch was, Maggie and Bill were having an affair, and they were very much in love.
Meanwhile, in the Bauer household, Bert and Bill's marriage was more tenuous than it had been in years. Taking no responsibility for her autocratic ways, Bert constantly sniped at Bill for taking their older son, Mike's, side against her. She was hopeful about improving the family situation when their youngest son, Billy, joined them in Springfield after graduating from medical school, but it soon became evident that the Bauers' cheerful, uncomplicated son had changed into a driven young man, Now going by the name of Ed, derived from his middle name, Edward, he spent virtually every waking hour at Cedars Hospital, where he worked to become a brilliant and successful surgeon.
The stage was now set for a most trying period in the Bauers' lives. Papa Bauer overheard Bill and Maggie discussing their relationship and warned Maggie not to destroy the family. Bert witnessed Bill and Maggie holding hands, then slipped away unnoticed. Taking responsibility for having driven Bill away, Bert made herself more attractive and started paying attention to her husband. The situation might have righted itself more easily had Ben not discovered Bill and Maggie's affair. Later, while they were out driving, Ben confronted Maggie and the car crashed. An injured Ben was rushed to Cedars, where Ed examined him. In his delirium, Ben rambled on about Bill and Maggie's affair in front of Ed. Sickened by this revelation, Ed bitterly confronted his father and demanded that he confess the affair to Bert. What neither Bill nor Ed realized, of course, was that Bert already knew. Bert walked in on the argument and to Ed's surprise, lambasted him for his disrespect and lack of compassion toward his father!
In the meantime, feeling alienated by his father's marriage to Robin Lang, 18-year-old, Johnny Fletcher found a new friend in his classmate Peggy Scott, and the two fell in love. Peggy was happy when Maggie remarried Ben, although she was unaware that Ben was blackmailing Maggie with an unmailed love letter he had found addressed to Bill. The marriage was in name only and was further weakened by Ben's strict, overprotective parenting of Peggy. Meanwhile, Bill was so depressed by the loss of Maggie, and by Ed's stinging rejection, that he let a business associate talk him into having a few drinks to bolster his spirits. After many years of sobriety, Bill was now off the wagon and feeling tremendously guilty because of it. During one of Bill's most acute alcoholic stupors, he mistook Peggy for Maggie and revealed their past affair to the confused teenager. Peggy confronted Maggie and then made plans to elope with Johnny, who was fed up with his own sad family situation. Their plan was foiled, however, when Peggy was injured in a car accident. Maggie blamed Bill for her daughter's brush with death, and Bill couldn't argue with her. Sensing that he was about to be fired, Bill quit his job and looked for new employment...and more important, he stopped drinking.
In the meantime, a nineteen year old Johnny was desperate to marry Peggy and asked his father and grandfather to advance him the money that he was supposed to get from his trust fund when he became 25 years old. Although his request was denied, Johnny and Peggy, at the start of 1968, obtained a marriage license on Peggy's eighteenth birthday. Later, Ben found it, went to Johnny and suffered a heart attack during their argument. Despite Dr. Erik Bernhoff's best efforts, Ben died of a massive coronary. Not long after, in March 1968, Ed reluctantly agreed to Dr. Bernhoff and Maggie's request to operate on Maggie when she was suffering from a serious intestinal ailment. Peggy had finally made peace with her mother, only to have Maggie die under Ed's scalpel. Afterwards, Bill apologized to the young girl for his indirect role in hurting her, and Peggy became like a daughter to Bert and Bill.