Biography of Hon. Elisha P. Ferry

HON. ELISHA P. FERRY. – Mr. Ferry was born at Monroe, Michigan, August 9, 1825. He studied law there and at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was admitted to the bar in 1845 at the age of twenty years. In 1846 he removed to Waukegan, Illinois, where he engaged in the practice of his profession. He resided at Waukegan until July, 1869, when he removed to the territory of Washington. He was the first mayor of the city of Waukegan. In 1852 and in 1856 he was presidential elector for the district in which he resided. He was a member of the constitutional convention in Illinois in 1861. From 1861 to 1863 he was bank commissioner in that state. During these years he was a member of Governor Yates’ staff as assistant adjutant-general with the rank of colonel, and assisted in organizing, equipping and sending into the field a large number of Illinois regiments.

In 1869 he was appointed surveyor-general of Washington Territory. In 1872 he was appointed governor of the territory, and was reappointed in 1876. All of these appointments were conferred upon him by President Grant. He served as governor until November, 1880, when he moved to Seattle and became a member of the law firm of McNaught, Ferry, McNaught & Mitchell. In September, 1887, he retired from the practice of law and entered the Puget Sound National Bank as vice-president, which position he now occupies. On the 4th of September, 1889, he was nominated by the Republican party for governor of the state, and on the 1st day of October was elected by more than eight thousand majority.

From the day of Mr. Ferry’s arrival in the territory he has been one of the foremost men in all Washington, always contributing in some for to the development of the country, and in assisting those who needed aid in the securing of their homes and farms. He is the kind of man who is part of and one of the people, and one of the most approachable men of the times.

When governor of the territory he did not surround himself with any of the pomp of office, nor was he as governor any less approachable than as a private citizen. He is one of the men who unconsciously make war friends of those with whom they come in contact; and it is done without any effort or attempt. Such men inspire confidence and an unmistakable liking that spring spontaneously, and form a lasting impression.

With a host of friends in all walks of life,- the day laborer, the farmer, the merchant, the banker, the professional man, – there is every probability that he will have greater honors thrust upon him before his useful life comes to a close.



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

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