James E. Fergerson
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
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
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
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