W. S. Ferguson

W. S. FERGUSON is secretary and treasurer of The Locomotive Finished Material Company of Atchison, one of the most important industries of the city. Mr. Ferguson has been identified with Kansas and Atchison for over thirty years, and throughout that time has been connected with the foundry and manufacturing business in different capacities. He is now the oldest executive official in point of continuous service of The Locomotive Finished Material Company.

He represents an old and honored family name in the City of Alton, Illinois, where he was born January 16, 1861. The Fergusons for several generations were linen drapers in Belfast, Ireland. From that city Mr. Ferguson's grandfather crossed the ocean and settled in New York State. F. H. Ferguson, father of W. S., was born in New York in 1838, and when a boy removed to Alton, where the family were old settlers. He grew up and married in that historic city and for a number of years was a merchant. For several years he served as recorder, city clerk and comptroller, and later was connected with the Hapgood Plow Company, one of the largest plow manufactories in the Middle West. He is still living at Alton, being now retired. He is a democrat, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and a Knight Templar. In 1858 he married Julia E. Sneyd, who was born in Philadelphia in 1838 and died at Alton, Illinois, in 1892. Their children were: W. S. Ferguson; Bertha W., living with her father; Harry, who was a railroad employee and died in California in 1912; Frank, who is sales manager for the Illinois Glass Company at Alton, Illinois; and Julia, wife of Rev. Hubert L. Sparks, a Baptist minister now located at Douglas, Arizona.

W. S. Ferguson grew up in his native city, attended the public schools and graduated from the Alton High School in 1876. Almost immediately he found work in the Alton Agricultural Works, where he remained until 1879. After that he was connected with the Drury-Hewitt Hardware Company of Alton until December, 1882.

Mr. Ferguson came to Atchison in March, 1883. Here he entered the employ of John Seaton, an old time foundryman and manufacturer. He was with the business continuously for twenty years and when in 1903 the firm was incorporated as The John Seaton Foundry and Manufacturing Company, Mr. Ferguson became its secretary and treasurer. In 1912 this business was consolidated with The Locomotive Finished Material Company under the latter name. Mr. Ferguson then became secretary and treasurer of the consolidated company, and has held this position since that time.

He is also a stockholder in the Kansas Life Insurance Company. Mr. Ferguson owns his home at 306 S Street. He began voting as a democrat, the politics of his father, but is now a republican. He is affiliated with Atchison Lodge No. 647, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Atchison Council No. 99 of the United Commercial Travelers.

He married in 1899, at St. Joseph, Missouri, Miss Kate Smith, of an Atchison family.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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