Appendix K – The Ferguson Family

Robert Martin Ferguson

Lydia Ursula Culver, born14 JUL 1829 inNew York, married Robert Martin Ferguson, born 16 APR 1826 inPennsylvania.  The marriage date was2 OCT 1849 atBath township,Summit County,Ohio.

Robert Ferguson was the son of Joseph and Mildred Ferguson. Robert Ferguson died13 NOV 1883 at Altona,Knox County,Illinois, and his mother Mildred died three months later,17 FEB 1884, also at Altona. At least one of Robert’ siblings, Alexander MartinFerguson, had re-located toIllinois as well.  Alexander died at Altona 29 APR 1891.

The 1850 census forBath,Summit County,Ohio, lists the 23-year-old Robert Ferguson as a carpenter. He is living with his wifeLydia, 21, and her mother Elizabeth Culver, 48, and her sister Louisa 15 and brother Harvey A., 17.

The 1870 census for Altona,Knox County,Illinois lists Robert as a house carpenter.

By the time of his death, Robert Ferguson's death certificate indicates that he is a stock dealer by trade.  He had been a resident ofIllinois for 27 years at the time of his death at age 57 years.

TheFerguson family, originally fromPennsylvania, had resided inSummit County along with the Culvers and had removed toIllinois approximately at the same time.

Robert andLydia (Culver)Ferguson had the following children:

Ida Ursula,18 SEP 1850, died3 JAN 1929 atWyoming,Stark County,IL.  Ida Ferguson married Samuel W. Emery 26 NOV 1870 (Sam Emery enlisted 1 F.EB 1864 atChicago, in Co. H, 57th reg.Illinois volunteers.  Honorably discharged7 JUL 1865 atLouisville,KY.  Emery died16 OCT 1906.) Samuel and Ida (Ferguson) Emery were the parents of one daughter, who died young, and a son, Allen C. Emery, b.25 AUG 1873.  Allen Emery married Jennie Terrell in SEP 1900.  The couple had no children.  Jennie Terrell Emery died9 JUN 1961. "Aunt Jen" was very dear to Dorothy Smith Shullaw (daughter of Ida's sister Dora.) Actually "Aunt Jen" was the wife of Dorothy's cousin Allen -- but she was "Aunt Jen" just the same, to both Dorothy and Dorothy's three sons.  It was Mrs. Allen Emery who accompanied Dorothy toToulon, IL, for her 1916 wedding to Roy Shullaw. Samuel Emery, if I recall correctly, constructed the heavy, carved, black walnut furniture in Dorothy and Roy Shullaw's home. Samuel Emery's Civil War sword is in the possession of Dorothy's son Burton Leroy Shullaw ofCovington,LA.

Dora Emma,4 JAN 1852, died28 JAN 1917, atWyoming, buried atWyoming Cemetery.  (See obituary below).

Fred M.,15 JAN 1854, died4 NOV 1876, buried at Altona,Knox County,IL.

Don Martin,20 JAN 1859, died27 MAY 1910 atOmaha, NB, buried at Altona, Knox County, IL.

John W., 31 OCT 1861, died26 JAN 1901. John and his wife Ida Henry (married 21 NOV 1897) had no children. He was a conductor on the railroad.  He was killed in a railroad accident. The flower arrangement at his funeral was in the shape of a railroad engine.  (Photograph of arrangement in Dianne's possession.)

Archie V.,6 JUN 1864, died2 JAN 1954. Mrs. Mary F. Rakestraw was a widow with children at the time of her marriage to Archie Ferguson26 SEP 1912.  The couple was divorced a little over two years later, in November 1914. ArchFerguson is listed as living with nephew Allen Emery and wife in the 1930 federal census. (Buried atWyoming Cemetery,Wyoming, IL.)

Judd Burton, 28 AUG 1867.Judd Burton Ferguson, son of Robert and Lydia Ferguson, was born atAltona,IL,28 AUG 1867.  His mother died when he was but ten years of age and the father a few years later, leaving him to the care of an elder sister, and she has most faithfully fulfilled that trust.   His early life was spent in Altona, later he lived inIowa andColorado and the past fifteen years has made his home in this city with his sister, Mrs. J.W. Smith, where he died10 JUN 1912, aged 44 years, nine months, and 13 days.  He had been in ill health for several months but his last sickness was of about four week's duration, being caused by valvular heart trouble.  He was one of a family of eight children, the surviving members being Mrs. Ida Emery and Mrs. J.W. Smith of this city, Arch V. Ferguson of Manito, and Mrs. M.C. Sparr ofRoseville,IL. (Buried atWyoming Cemetery, Wyoming, IL).

Edna Gertrude,28 JAN 1870. Edna married Matthew C. Sparr on 20 DEC 1905.  Matthew was a widower with one daughter, Marjorie, at the time of his marriage to Edna. Marjorie and Dorothy Smith, daughter of Edna's sister Dora, were friends as children growing up inWyoming. TheApril 14, 1930 federal census forIllinois,Knox County,Galesburg (not far fromStark County) lists:

Matthew C. Sparr, 62, real estate salesperson

    Mina V., wife, 45

    Marjorie, daughter, 36

This must be Matthew's THIRD wife. Marjorie is listed as "married" and having been married at age 33.  However, no separate surname is listed and no husband is listed.

Robert’s Father, Joseph Ferguson

The 1850 census,Bath township, Summit Co., OH:  living next door to son James and daughter-in-law Caroline:  Joseph is listed as farmer, 44; wife Mildred, 43.  Also living with them was James Ferguson, 73, a farmer born inPennsylvania (no doubt Joseph’s father), and seven children.

The 1880 census, Knox Co., IL shows Joseph 75, a weaver, born inPennsylvania, as were both his parents. Wife Mildred, 74, a housekeeper, born inPennsylvania, her father born inIreland, her mother inPennsylvania.

Living with them was Dara, 28, a granddaughter, a dressmaker.  She was born inOhio, her father inPennsylvania, and her mother inNew York. Also living with Joseph and Mildred was their widowed son, Robert, 54, a stock buyer, born inPennsylvania.

Joseph wrote the following letter to his children dated,June 16, 1865, Walnut Grove, Knox Co.,Illinois:

My Dear Children,

It becomes me to give you the painfull news of our dear Clara.  She departed this life last Mondaytwo o'clock afternoon.  Sweet Child.  She departed without a hard breath or a single groan. She stept from this life as easy and as quiet as she lived dear child with what patience and quietness she bore her affliction never murmerd nor fretted and thank God she had her perfect reason and sight in her very last moments. 

We laid her lifeless remains close beside her dear sister Wednesdaytwelve o'clock and my dear children you can't realize our deep affliction. There is a vacancy that never can be filled.  She was our only company and she always wished to be fixing something.  Her hands were never idle while she had strength to use them but dead child she has gone from a world of sorrow and pain to a better and happier clime as I humbly believe.

But my Lord how lonely, how lonely to not see her sweet face nor hear her pleasant voice among us no more and my dear children you don't know our loneliness and our deep sorrow.  May God in his mercy have pity and compassion on us all.

Nick is still away in the army.  We were in hopes that he would get home while Clara was living but he could not.  His wife is staying with us a few days now.

Now my dear children, farewell and may Heaven's richest blessings attend you.  From your afflicated parents,

J.L.M. Ferguson

Write soon.  Your mother will write as soon as she can compose herself enough do to do.  Write soon.  Tell us everything."

(Above letter sent to son James and his wife Caroline back inOhio. Stephanie (Ferguson) Wells has the letter in her possession. Clarinda is buried at theAltona Cemetery, Section 5, Walnut Grove township,Knox County,Illinois.) 

Children of Joseph and Mildred Ferguson:

Robert Martin, born16 Apr 1826, PA.

James Lindsley, born3 JUL 1829, PA (orWellington, VA); died19 MAY 1899,  Granger, Medina Co., OH, buriedBath Center Cemetery,Bath, OH.

Mary, born about 1832, PA.

Elizabeth, born about 1834, PA.

Alexander Martin, about 1835,Summit County,OH; died 29 APR 1891, Altona, Knox County, IL.

Nicholas Prince, about 1838, OH.

Sarah J., about 1841, OH.

Narcissus, about 1844, OH.

Clarinda (Clara),15 AUG 1847, OH; died12 JUN 1865, Altona,Knox County,IL.

James L. Ferguson

Sergeant James L. Ferguson of Captain Schoonover's Company (H), of the 29th Ohio Regiment of Vol. Infantry was enlisted by Alvin C. Voris at Akron, Ohio on the third day of October, 1861, to serve three years; he was born in Wellington in the State of Virginia, is twenty-eight years of age, five feet eight inches high, light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and by occupation when enlisted a mechanic.  During the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty ___ days.

James L. Ferguson was engaged in the battle ofPort Republic on the 9th day of June 1862 and received injury.  The above is transcribed from the descriptive list, Signed by Thomas G. MacKenzie, assist surgeon,USA, datedJuly 28, 1862.

I certify that I have carefully examined the said James L. Ferguson of Captain Schoonover's Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of gun-shot wound of right hand necessitating amputation of second finger -- also injury to thumb of same hands -- disability -- one fourth.  Discharged this Seventh day of August 1862 atGeneral Hospital,Alexandria, Virginia, etc.


Akron Beacon Journal,Wednesday, May 24, 1899.

Granger, May 22 -- James Ferguson died at the home of his son Frank, Saturday morning.  He had been an invalid for a number of years.  Funeral services were held atBath Center, Sunday, conducted by Rev. D.F. Fulmer.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hale and son, ofCleveland, attended the funeral.  Mrs. Hale is a daughter of the deceased.

Ghent, May 22 -- The funeral of James Ferguson, an old soldier, was held at Center Bath, Sunday, May 21.  He was 72 years of age.

Alexander Martin Ferguson

1870 census for Altona,Knox County,Illinois, lists Martin Ferguson as a "day laborer" with wife Helen, and two children Mattie and Harry.

However, pension application papers indicate that there were seven children (under the age of 16) -- names and birthdates listed.  Perhaps "Mattie" and "Harry" were older.

According to pension documentation, Martin Ferguson was "healthy and stout before he went into the Army".  He served in the Civil War.  Since his discharge, he was “feeble and unable to labor" because of injuries which damaged his kidneys and left him with chronic diarrhea and jaundice.

Medical statement by a physician filed for Ferguson’s widow's pension states, that "for the last fifteen years, he (the physician) has frequently been consulted by said Martin Ferguson for lameness of his back over the region of the kidneys, and for diseased kidneys the pain and tenderness extending through to the front of his body in right hypogastric region.  The right kidney could be felt at that place enlarged and tender.  Said Ferguson claiming to have been severely hurt while in the Army by a stone thrown by some one striking him in the right hypogastrium from which injury he never recovered, the diseased kidney being the cause of his death, this Affiant knows from being his physician, and from the proof given by a post mortem examination.  From all affiant has been able to learn he is satisfied that the disease of the right kidney of which said Martin Ferguson died, has steadily growing and increasing since said Ferguson's discharge from the Army.  Affiant further states that said Martin Ferguson was not at any time suffering from any other chronic diseases....

There is more descriptive material, but this provides an overview of Martin's general health.

Ferguson enlistedAugust 9, 1862 and was dischargedMarch 10, 1863.  He served as a corporal,Co., G., 89 Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  He served from November 1 through 5, 1862 in Camp nearBowling Green,Kentucky, from Nov. 13 toNov. 14, 1862 inCamp Tyrun Springs,Tennessee, from Nov. 20 to 28 in Camp nearNashville, Tennessee.  Sick in hospital atNashville from December 26 through February 1863.

Discharge papers indicate that he was born in Summit Co.,Ohio, 25 years of age, five feet ten inches high, fair complexion, grey eyes, light hair.  Occupation at time of enlistment:  farmer.

Nicholas Prince Ferguson

Hi Dianne,

I finally got the Civil War pension file for Nicholas Ferguson, Robert and James' brother.  He died in 1917 and left a widow, which is always nice since she has to file tons of papers to continue getting the pension.  Apparently they had no children and Nicholas had a drinking problem.  They separated decades before he died.  There doesn't appear

to be much there that will help us find out where Joseph and Mildred came from; Nicholas was born in Summit Co., OH.  But there is reference to nieces and nephews so maybe that will help us track down other descendants who may know more. 

I haven't gone through the papers carefully yet.  The file is huge!  I'll try to go tomorrow and get it copied for you.  I think I also sent for the other brother's file, but it hasn't come yet.  Hope to have this out to you tomorrow or at least by Monday.

Hope everything's well with you and yours!

Stephanie Wells

Miss Mildred

We have a small newsprint death notice that was inserted into the Culver Double Q notebook regarding the death of Miss Mildred Ferguson:

Died, at Altona,31 MAR 1895, of rheumatism of the heart, Miss Mildred Ferguson, daughter of Mrs. H.L. Ferguson, of Altona, a sister of Mrs. F.M. Boyd, of this city.  Funeral services will be held at the house at2 o'clock p.m., Tuesday 2 APR.  Mrs. Ferguson is also very low.

None of Robert M. Ferguson's son's initials are "H.L.".  We do not know who Mrs. H.L. Ferguson is, nor do we know who her daughter Mildred is.  It is probable that Mildred is a niece.  We have no idea exactly to whom she belongs -- but wish to include her nonetheless.

Dora Emma Ferguson Smith




The death of Mrs. J.W. Smith of this city (Wyoming), which had been expected for some time, came on Monday morning when she passed away after an illness covering several years.

Funeral services were held from the home this afternoon at3:30, in charge of Rev. O.B. Enselman.

Mrs. Dean Winn and Mrs. Marion Humphrey sang most beautifully "Some Day We'll Understand," and "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere."  Mrs. Winn also sang "Face to Face."

The house was filled to overflowing with sympathizing friends and neighbors who came to pay respect to one beloved of all.  The court of Honor lodge, of which deceased was a member, attended in a body.  Pallbearers were:G.F. Garden, Charles Ingram, M. H. Teets, Frank Shullaw, W.H. Hartz and G.C. Stratton.

Interment was made inWyoming cemetery.


Dora E. Ferguson, daughter of Robert M. andLydia (Culver)Ferguson, was born nearAkron,Ohio, Jan. 4, 1852, and died at her home inWyoming in the early morning ofJan. 29, 1917, at the age of sixty-five years and twenty-five days.

When five years of age, she moved with the family to Altona, Ill., where she made her home until the year 1880, when she removed to Wyoming, which place has since been her home.  In February 1888, she united with the Baptist church, remaining a faithful and consistent member until her death, ever doing her part, her life bearing silent testimony to the sincerity of her belief.  She was also a charter member of the Court of Honor, in which she held office for many years, and it was with regret that she gave up attending the meetings when failing health made it necessary.

OnNov. 26, 1895 she was united in marriage with John W. Smith who with one daughter, Dorothy, now Mrs. Leroy Shullaw, remains to mourn her passing.  Of the immediate family there also remain two sisters and one brother, Mrs. Ida Emery ofWyoming, Mrs. M.C. Sparr ofRoseville, and Arch V. Ferguson ofPeoria.

Her illness was of long duration and for more than five years she has borne with patience and Christian fortitude suffering almost beyond human endurance, yet through it all greeting friends with a pleasant smile and a cheerfulness of heart the memory of which will linger with all who knew her.

Quiet and unassuming in manner, true to family and friends as wife, mother and neighbor, our loss though her gain will be inexpressibly felt and the community mourns with those who mourn.

We know that the journey is over: The stress of the voyage is past.  Down, sails; the white mast uncover -- She has entered the haven at last.

Click to Return to Index Book I