FERGUSON, ADAMS, ALCORN, PHILLIPS, LAYTON, POWER
Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/6/2001 at 11:07:12
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
D.W. Ferguson, who is the owner of more than eight hundred acres of land in Van Buren County, his home being in Des Moines Township, was born in Beaver County Pennsylvania, in 1835, being the second child in the family of John and Nancy Adams Ferguson, who were the parents of three children. His father was also born in the Keystone State and was of Scotch descent, the family having been founded in Pennsylvania by Scotch emigrants at an early day. He engaged in merchandising in his native State and his death occurred in 1886, having survived his wife for two years. Her people were of English extraction.
In the schools of Pennsylvania, D.W. Ferguson acquainted himself with the common branches, but completed his education in Poland Ohio. After leaving school, he engaged in driving stock from Western Pennsylvania to Philadelphia, and also drove horses from that State to Illinois, at one time being twenty-eight days upon the road. He followed the life of a drover for several years and then located, in 1854, near where now is situated the city of Aledo in Mercer County Illinois. He saw that town platted and after a few years residence in its vicinity resumed his westward journey. Crossing the Mississippi River, he made a location in Des Moines Township, Van Buren County, Iowa, where he developed a farm, which still continues to be his home. He first purchased two hundred and forty acres of wild land, but after he had placed it under cultivation he made additional purchases from time to time until he owned nearly nine hundred acres, all situated in Des Moines Township, with the exception of two hundred acres lying in Vernon Township. The cause of his splendid success in business life may be attributed to his enterprising and progressive spirit. In connection with general farming, he engages extensively in raising stock, much of the land being devoted to pasturage, upon which may be found many head of thoroughbred Durham cattle.
In this county, in 1858, Mr. Ferguson was united in marriage with Miss Sarah N. Alcorn, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of Alexander and Mary Phillips Alcorn. Her parents were born in Ireland, but in early life they left their native land and settled in Pennsylvania. Mr. Alcorn became an influential citizen of the community where he resided, and was commissioned Major of the State Militia in 1824. In November of 1856, he brought his family to Van Buren County, Iowa and settled upon an improved farm in Vernon Township, where he resided until his death, in 1863. His wife survived him until 1881, when she too passed away.
Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson began their domestic life upon his farm in Des Moines Township, and together they traveled life’s journey for thirty-one years, sharing with each other its joys and sorrows, its adversity and prosperity, but in December 1889, the loved wife was called to her final rest. Three children were born of their marriage—John Adams, who married Aurelia B. Layton in 1886; Isabella now Mrs. Power, of Centerville Iowa; and Alex Phillips, who died in 1862, aged one year and four months. The mother was a consistent member of the Methodist Church of Mt Sterling, to which Mr. Ferguson and his son and daughter-in-law also belong.
On the organization of the Republican Party, Mr. Ferguson was one of the first to espouse its cause, and continued an ardent supporter of its principles for a number of years, but since 1870 he has been a stanch Prohibitionist. To the cause of temperance he ever gave his support, and believing that the liquor traffic can only be abolished by legislation, he supports that party which represents his views.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.
Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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