Biography of John B. Ferguson

JOHN B. FERGUSON. – This now venerable pioneer, one of the large-landholders of Lane county, was born in Richland county, Ohio, June 29, 1825. As an infant he accompanied his parents in 1842 to Hudson county, Illinois, and in 1842 went with them still further westward to Missouri, where they died in 1844 and 1845 respectively. In 1846 he was married to Miss Mary Waldrip, whose father, Wyatt Waldrip, had come from Kentucky to Illinois, and had died there in 1844, after which his family came to Missouri. Not many months after his marriage, Mr. Ferguson prepared to cross the plains to Oregon, and in 1847 performed the hazardous and toilsome journey. He was in the company of Captain Bonnsem, which left the Missouri river May 12th, and reached The Dalles about October 1st. Getting his family and stock down the Columbia river amid the usual hardships and perils, he went out to the Tualatin Plains in search of a home, and there spent the winter. Continuing the next season on a tour of inspection up the Willamette valley, he was attracted by the manifest fertility of the Long Tom country to make there his choice of land, becoming one of the best-known and most influential citizens of that portion of the Willamette valley.

In 1849 he went to the gold mines of California, operating on the Feather river, and in 1851 mined near Yreka. In 1862 he pursued the same business on the John Day river, continuing two years, but thereafter turned his attention to livestock, and in the interest of that business crossed the Cascade Mountains as many as fourteen times. During all those ventures, however, he retained his farm and made his home near Monroe, and increased his original square mile, plus twenty acres, by the purchase of three hundred and twenty acres adjoining on the east. In 1878 Mr. Ferguson served as county commissioner, and has in many public ways rendered valuable assistance to the upbuilding and development of his community.

By his first wife, who died in 1876, he reared a family of seven children, – John S., James M. (deceased), Sarah J., Joseph H., Mary Ann, Mary E. and Theresa J. By his second marriage in 1877, to Miss Elizabeth Hinton, daughter of T.B. Hinton, he has one child, Josephine.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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