William T. Ferguson

WILLIAM T. FERGUSON. Kansas is the "old soldier" State. Of all the pages of American history, none breathe the true American spirit with greater fervor than those devoted to the story of her rise and progress, and in every stage of her marvelous development the "old soldier" appears. As a youth he listened to the fireside tales of the Indian and buffalo. In the "fifties" these gave place to even more exciting incidents, in which men of his own race appeared as factors. As the years passed, he himself was frequently found among the actors, so that when the flame of war swept over the nation, superinduced by the same causes that gave birth to the State, there sprang from her prairies a greater proportionate number of defenders of the Union than from any other State. And when the verdict of war had been given, what so natural as that the man, who had offered his life for the same principle which caused the State's birth, should seek to establish his home upon her broad area. There are many of these "old soldiers" in Cherokee County, and we are here privileged to mention one of the most worthy. William T. Ferguson is a farmer, residing in section 12, township 32, range 24, in Cherokee township, where he settled in 1887, coming from Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, where he was born July 24, 1838.

Mr. Ferguson developed a strong physical frame on a farm in Jefferson County, of the old "Keystone State," and among her hills imbibed a spirit of patriotism which early carried him into the struggle for the defense of the Union. He enlisted in 1861 as a private in Company E, 62d Reg. Pennsylvania Vol. Inf., in which he passed three years of strenuous warfare. He was discharged July 17, 1864, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, with the rank of fifth sergeant. One needs only to turn to the history of the old 62d Regiment to read the story of Mr. Ferguson s army life. Besides many minor skirmishes and sharp fights, he was at the siege of Yorktown, at Hanover Court House, in the Seven Days' Battle, the Second Bull Run, Antietam, bloody Fredericksburg and "stick-in-the-mud" Chancellorsville, at the immortal Gettysburg, "the high water mark of the Confederacy," and closed his army life with Grant in the operations before Petersburg. Through all this strenuous life, the subject of this sketch passed without a single day away from his company, although he was slightly wounded several times. He received a flesh wound in the left leg at Malvern Hill; in the left hand, July 2, 1862, in the second day's fighting at Gettysburg; and in the right arm, at Laurel Hill, in May, 1864. On June 18 of the same year, he received his last Confederate "love touch," a scalp wound, in front of Petersburg.

Mr. Ferguson took up the routine of civil life gladly enough after his experience in the army, resuming his trade of carpenter, at which he served an apprenticeship prior to the war. He continued to reside in his native county until 1887, and then resolved to change his occupation to that of a farmer. His farm here in Cherokee County consists of 80 acres of fine land, on which are a comfortable farmhouse and all the necessary outbuildings, the whole making a very nice farm property. For the first seven years after coming to the county, Mr. Ferguson worked at his trade in connection with farming, but of late he has devoted his entire attention to the latter.

The marriage of Mr. Ferguson took place on August 25, 1864. His wife's maiden name was Sarah J. Myers. She is a native of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, and a sister of John Lane Myers, a sketch of whom appearing elsewhere in this volume contains the history of her family. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson have no children.

William T. Ferguson is the son of William Ferguson and Margaret (Summerville) Ferguson. The former was born at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1812; the latter was born in Armstrong County, of the same State, in 1811. There they passed their lives in farming, the father dying in 1852, the mother; in 1883. They had 12 children, of whom the following are still living: William T.; Sarah A. (Mrs. D. B. Mortimer), of Clarion County, Pennsylvania; Samuel M., who married Margaret Mortimer, and resides in Clarion County; Azel F., who married Nancy Cochran, and lives in Butler County, Pennsylvania, and Josiah S., who married Mary Bates, and Hamilton E., who married Annie Lawson, both of whom reside in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

Having been baptized in the Republican font by casting his first vote for the immortal Lincoln, Mr. Ferguson has always taken pleasure in supporting the principles of that party. He is a member of the A. H. T. A. and of the Grand Army of the Republic. His character in Cherokee County is that of an industrious, upright and patriotic citizen, and he enjoys the respect of all with whom he is acquainted, or with whom he may have business relations.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/16/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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