Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JAMES W. FERGUSON, ex-mayor of
Wenatchee, Chelan county, and one of the leading citizens of that city,
is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Erie county August 6, 1846.
His parents, James and Eliza (Boone) Ferguson, were Pennsylvanians, the
father having come of Scotch ancestry. The latter died in 1846 when
our subject was but three months old. The mother passed away in 1883
at the age of sixty-five. Following her decease young Ferguson went
to Wisconsin to live with his uncle, and here he attended district school
winters and worked through the summer months on a farm. At the age
of fifteen he enlisted in Company I, Fourteeenth Wisconsin Infantry, serving
with distinction four years, and participating in all the important engagements
in the west.
Upon being mustered out of the service he
learned the tinsmith's trade, was appointed postmaster in 1870, and served
until 1882, in the town of Neillsville, Wisconsin. In 1884 he removed
to Larimore, North Dakota, and until 1889 engaged in farming. That
year he went to Tacoma, working at his trade, and in 1891 removed to Montana,
opened a tinshop, and later came to Wenatchee, settling first in the old
town. In 1892 he purchased lots in the new town, corner of Wenatchee
and Palouse streets, where he erected a business block to which he has
recently added, affording him a frontage of fifty feet. The substantial
construction and ornate cornice work of this building makes it one of the
most attractive edifices in the city.
At Neillsville, Wisconsin, September 1, 1870,
he was married to Amelia Palmer, a native of Ohio. Her father, Malichi
Palmer, a Pennsylvanian, died in 1861, aged forty-seven years. Her
mother, Betsy (Hubbard) Palmer, born in Ohio, passed from earth one week
following her husband's decease. Mrs. Ferguson has three brothers
and two sisters, George, Robert and Nathaniel, and Sarah Hart and Mary
A., single and living at Wenatchee. She has two children, Clara Jack,
and James E. Ferguson, in partnership with his father in Wenatchee.
The latter was married at Wenatchee October 7, 1902, to Louise S. Hallenbeck,
born at Geneva, New York, where her parents now reside. Her father,
De Witt W. Hallenbeck, is a prominent merchant of New York city, and treasurer
of the Chamber of Commerce of that city.
In local enterprises our subject has always
taken an active part, has served one term as mayor and four as city marshal.
The first county commissioners met in the rear of his store and organized
Chelan county. He is a Mason, Odd Fellow and member of the G. A.