John M. Ferguson Pioneer Is Dead
Well Known Local Farmer Was Born In This State 56 Years Ago
Death claimed another Kittitas county farmer, when John M. Ferguson, one of the pioneer farmers of the valley passed away last Friday [April 22, 1927] at the age of 56.
Besides his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Ferguson, Mr. Ferguson who was unmarried is survived by five sisters, Mrs. W. T. Montgomery; Mrs. G. P. Harris, Mrs. George Minielly, Mrs. T. J. Morrison, Mrs. O. N. Phelps; and three brothers, Jim, George, and Ben Ferguson, all living in the valley besides a large number of nieces and nephews and other relatives.
Funeral services were held Sunday from the First Baptist Church with the Rev. A. B. Morris, officiating. Interment was in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
John Mack Ferguson, known to his many friends as Mack, was born at Oakland in Mason County on Puget Sound and came here in 1872 when he was a small child, riding on his mother’s lap as she crossed the Snoqualmie Pass on horseback, accompanied by her husband, James Ferguson, who the year before had taken up a claim here. Mrs. W. T. Montgomery, the only other member of Mr. and Mrs. James Ferguson’s family not born in the Kittitas Valley, was another member of the party that crossed the mountain trail on horseback, wading their mounts through the water along the shores of Lake Keechelus, the route then traveled by those coming into the valley from the west side of the mountains. Mrs. Montgomery, then a little girl, also rode on the horse with her mother sitting behind her as she journeyed over the trail.
Mr. Ferguson’s father and mother are numbered among the real pioneers of the northwest, having crossed the plains by ox team in 1860 with J. H. McEwen, father of Mrs. Elizabeth Ferguson. First settling in Mason County, neither the Fergusons nor Mr. McEwen liked the Puget Sound climate, so in 1871, both Mr. Ferguson and Mrs. McEwen crossed the mountains and took up claims in Kittitas County, arriving here on the 4th of July that year.
The following summer, Mr. Ferguson leaving Mr. McEwen to look after the farms, crossed the mountains and moved his family into the valley. From that date until his death in 1917, the elder Mr. Ferguson continued to make his home here, and the members of the large family that survive him, without exception, are still residents of this community.
Contributed by Sheli Steedman