Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JOHN R. FERGUSON. John R. Ferguson, who is a scion of a sterling old Southern family, was born near Louisiana, Pike county, Missouri, on February 10, 1842. He is a son of John S. and Elizabeth (Allison) Ferguson, the father born in Virginia and the mother in Franklin county, Kentucky, John S. Ferguson was a soldier in the war of 1812, and he came to Missouri before or about the time this state was admitted into the Union, and was therefore one of the pioneers of the state, locating in Pike county upon land bought of the government, which land he converted into an improved farm and there resided until his death about 1852. On this old homestead the subject of this sketch was born and spent his early boyhood. His parents died when he was less than twelve years of age, and the farm was then rented out by the administrator of the estate, who also was guardian of our subject. He worked on farms of the neighborhood, and attended short terms of school during the winter months until he was about eighteen years of age, when, with the consent of his guardian, he contracted, in the fall of 1860, with a St. Louis medicine manufacturing concern to travel and "peddle" their goods, which he did for one year. At the termination of his contract he returned to his native county and enlisted in the Fifth Missouri Militia, in Col. T. J. C. Fagg's regiment for six months, and at the expiration of this service he enlisted for three years or during the war in Company E. Tenth (later the Third) Missouri Cavalry, State Militia, in April, 1862, at Louisiana, Missouri. For meritorious conduct Mr. Ferguson was promoted first to corporal in 1863, and in 1864 to sergeant. He proved to be a faithful and courageous soldier in defense of his state. He was mustered out of the service at Macon City, Missouri, on April 14, 1865, at the expiration of his term of service. In May, 1865, he was appointed clerk in the paymaster general's office at Jefferson City, which position he held until his resignation in the spring of 1867, and soon engaged in the drug business at Ironton, this state, and in 1869 removed to Springfield and followed the same business for ten years. After twelve years of diversion in farming and politics, he returned to the drug business in 1891, becoming a member of the Hall-Ferguson Drug Company, wholesale, of Springfield, now the Hall Drug Company, and he took the road as a traveling salesman for the firm, later sold his stock in this company, and accepted a position as traveling salesman for a wholesale drug company in St. Louis, which position he held for over twelve years. He gave this firm eminent satisfaction in every respect and was one of their most faithful and trusted employees. He is now living, practically retired, keeping a set of mercantile books and doing the chores, about his pleasant home on East Elm street.
Mr. Ferguson was married on May 8, 1867, to Virginia Anna Smith, a daughter of Jared E. and Roberta (Mack) Smith, of Springfield, Missouri, and to this union the following children have been born: Dora Roberta, died in infancy, Ernest N., Mrs. Florence Morris, deceased; Jared E., deceased; Mrs. Ony Elizabeth Tucker, John R., T. Franklin, Mrs. Virginia C. Andres, Charles A. and Mrs. Mary N. Hilt.
Mr. Ferguson is a Republican and has long been active in the affairs of his party. He has been a member of the city council, was treasurer of Springfield, was clerk of the circuit court for eight years, and was recorder of deeds of Greene county four years. At this writing he is secretary of the board of managers of the State Federal Soldiers' Home of Missouri, on which board he is serving his third term as a member. As a public servant his record is without blemish. He is a member of Capt. John Matthews Post, No. 69, Grand Army of the Republic. Fraternally he belongs to Solomon Lodge, No. 271, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He is a member of the South Street Christian church and is an elder in the same, and has long been active in the work of the church. His wife is also a devout member of this congregation.
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