Autobiography of James E. Fergerson by John L. Fergerson
James E. Fergerson who is one of the leading and wealthy citizens
of Mt. Vernon, is called "The Father of the Methodist church," a name which
indicates the active part which he takes in church and benevolent work,
and also gives some suggestion of his honorable and well spent life.
A native of Tennessee, Mr. Fergerson was born in Sumner County, August
1, 1819. The Grandfather, Edward Fergerson, was a native of Virginia and
in that state the father, Nelson Fergerson, was probably born. The latter
first came to Southern Illinois in 1819, but in 1822 he returned to Tennessee
where he died in 1825. He was a blacksmith by trade and came from a family
of Irish origin, yet little is known of his ancestry. He married Roxibode
Tyler, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of John Tyler who was born
in the same state, and who came to Illinois in 1818, his death occurring
in Jefferson County.
Our subject (James) is the eldest of four brothers and two sisters.
He was only six years old when his father died, and at the age of thirteen
he was bound out to learn the Blacksmith's trade, but after two years he
was crippled. The man with whom he worked offered to pay his doctor bill
and give him a suit of clothes. Mr. Fergerson accepted the offer, but supposed
he would soon have to seek a home in the poorhouse.
This seemed to be the turning point in his eventful life, for at that
time he began to improve in health and commenced to prosper. He followed
the Blacksmith trade for some years and after coming to Mt. Vernon in 1836
followed that pursuit for one year. He then returned to Tennessee, where
he continued to make his home until 1852, when he again came to Mt. Vernon
and established a little store near his Grandfather Tylers place, hauling
his goods by team from St. Louis.
In 1859 he came to Mt. Vernon and forming a partnership with Captain
Stratton, built the first flouring mill and woolen mill, and for many years
were the leading merchants of the city. Their partnership continued until
the cyclone of 1888, when their buildings were distroyed and soon afterward
the connection was discontinued. Of late years, Mr. Fergerson has largely
given the care of his business interests into other hands, but each day
pays a visit to his two stores, and to his extensive farm close by.
In 1840 Mr. Fergerson married Miss Sarah S. Venterss and to them were
born four children who grew to mature years. James N. who served for four
years in the Civil War, now follows farming near Mt. Vernon; Frank L, who
was a Captain in the Union Army, resides in this city. John L. who offered
his services, but was rejected on acount of his eyesight, now follows farming
near this city, and Mary Jane died at the age of nineteen.
The mother of this family passed away in 1850, and in 1852 Mr. Fergerson
married Margueritee E. Wescott, who died in 1858. In 1859 he married Sarah
F. Allen and to them have been born the following children: Belle, who
is the wife of Charles Lindelay of St. Louis; Emma, wife of J. Hill Williams,
who is in partnership with Mr. Ferguson in the dry goods business; Leona,
Anna, Cora, and Maud, at home and George Edward who was burned to death
when eleven years old. His clothes caught fire and death resulted from
the injuries sustained.
Mr. Fergerson and all of his family are members of the Methodist church,
with which he has been connected for fifty-eight years. His long and faithful
service in the cause of the master has been productive of much good and
has made his life well worthy of emulation.
Through the legitimate channels of business he has won a handsome property,
and is now one of the substantial, as well as, one of the highly respected
and prominent citizens of Mt. Vernon.
Regarding Frances E. Ferguson
According to a Mt. Vernon newspaper, Joe B. Deeds and Miss Frances E.
Ferguson were married at the residence of the bride's parents, Mr. &
Mrs. J. E. Ferguson, 301 West Main Street, at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon.
Glendora I. Brooks was a daughter of James E. Fergerson and was married
to A. R. Brooks. They had a daughter, Eula L. Russell who was married to
C.E. Russell. I am not sure who the mother of Glendora was but she (Glendora)
was deceased before August 1909.
Francis Fergerson was married to Joseph B. Deeds. Frances Fergerson
is also listed as Fannie E. Deeds
Carrie Fergerson Scott is also listed as Carrie M. Fergerson.
Maude Fergerson Stuckey is also listed as Maud Allen Fergerson.
Submitted by Mary Jane Ohms
June 12, 2001
Submitted By: Mike Healy
Carrie Mary Ferguson
Having searched for the maiden name of Carrie Ferguson for years I appreciated
finding her in the biography of James E. Fergerson. You may be interested to
know that she was born in Mt. Vernon on 25 Oct. 1881 and died in Hot Springs, Montana
on 5 Sept. 1971. She first married Orrie Scott of Paris, IL in 1909. They had two
children, Mary Frances, b. 17 Jul 1909 and George Edward, b. 1918. Orrie Scott died
in 1917. Following his death Carrie moved to Redlands, California. Her sister, Maude,
had married William L. Stuckey and they were living in Huntington Park, CA. In 1920
Carrie was also living with them and it was at that time that she met my relative,
Orrie Henderson Steen. They were married in 1922. They remained in Huntington Park
until 1948 when her husband retired as foreman of the forge department of Bethlehem
Orrie Steen was born in Connoquenessing, PA on 15 Feb 1889. His mother died shortly
after his birth and he was raised by his grandmother and an aunt. When his father
remarried he was rejected by his stepmother. His father was an oil driller when Butler
County, PA was a major oil producing area. Orrie served in the Army during WW I. About
1920 he moved to Huntington Park, CA where he met Carrie Ferguson Scott.
Carrie’s dgtr, Mary Frances, had meanwhile married Ivan Ingram of Rexford, MT. They
had a son by the name of Scott and a dgtr named Kay. They divorced in 1961. Upon his
retirement, Orrie and Carrie moved to Rexford and either lived with the dgtr or built
a home on the same ranch. Orrie died on 3 Oct 1956.
George Edward Scott had a successful career in the Air Force reaching the rank of Lt.
Col. He was assistant deputy for the Air Force Systems Command’s Space Systems Division.
He married Corinne Burch. They had two children: Deborah Ann and Michael Scott.
Most of the information was found in the Daily Inter Lake, a newspaper published in