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Re: Ferguson Ranch Near Kirby - Looking for Info
Posted by: shelley childs (ID *****2528) Date: October 10, 2012 at 18:07:45
In Reply to: Ferguson Ranch Near Kirby - Looking for Info by Christine Hubert of 7794

Have you contacted the public library to inquire about William and Lena's obituaries? Or the local historical society?

1930 United States Federal Census about William J Ferguson
Name: William J Ferguson
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1867
Birthplace: Illinois
Race: White
Home in 1930: School District 17, Big Horn, Montana
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Lena A Ferguson
Father's Birthplace: Scotland
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
Household Members: Name Age
William J Ferguson 63
Lena A Ferguson 58
Dwight D Ferguson 24
Thomas J Ferguson 17
Ruth M Ferguson 15

1910 United States Federal Census about William J Ferguson
Name: William J Ferguson
[William J Fergusen]
[William J Fergusen]
Age in 1910: 43
Birth Year: 1867
Birthplace: Illinois
Home in 1910: Kirby School District, Rosebud, Montana
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Lena A Ferguson
Father's Birthplace: Scotland
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
Household Members: Name Age
William J Ferguson 43
Lena A Ferguson 38
Lester B Ferguson 11
George W Ferguson 8
Harry V Ferguson 8
Dwright S Ferguson 4
Helen T Ferguson 11/12

he is a Rancher. Married 13 years. Lena 7 children born 5 living

1900 United States Federal Census about William J Ferguson
Name: William J Ferguson
[William Ferguson]
Age: 39
Birth Date: Mar 1866
Birthplace: Illinois
Home in 1900: School District 1, Custer, Montana
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Lena A Ferguson
Marriage Year: 1897
Years Married: 3
Father's Birthplace: Scotland
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
Household Members: Name Age
William J Ferguson 39
Lena A Ferguson 25
Lester B Ferguson 2
Grace Reynolds 25
George Rucker 23

Name: Grace Reynolds Age: 25 Birth Date: Oct 1874 Birthplace: Illinois Home in 1900: School District 1, Custer, Montana
[Custer] Race: White Gender: Female Relation to Head of House: Cousin Marital Status: Single Father's Birthplace: New York Mother's Birthplace: Ohio
Name: George Rucker Age: 23 Birth Date: Feb 1877 Birthplace: Missouri Home in 1900: School District 1, Custer, Montana
[Custer] Race: White Gender: Male Relation to Head of House: Employee Marital Status: Single Father's Birthplace: Ohio

Ruth Alderson
Ruth Alderson, 87, of Sheridan died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001, at her residence. Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Peterís Episcopal Church with the Revs. David Duprey and Ray Clark co-officiating. Arrangements are with Kane Funeral Home. Mrs. Alderson was born July 2, 1914, in Kirby, Mont., to William and Lena (Barton) Ferguson. She graduated from Sheridan High School and received her nursing degree from Sheridan College. She served in the U.S. Navy WAVES during World War II. She married William Alderson in Forsyth, Mont., in August 1946. She was a homemaker and worked as a licensed practical nurse eight years at Sheridan VA Medical Center. She was a member of St. Peterís Episcopal Church. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1972 and by five brothers. Survivors include two daughters, Sara Alderson of Billings and Suzanne Grant of Ordway, Colo.; two sons, William of Sheridan and Thomas of Wyarno; a sister, Helen Bohner of Lucerne Valley, Calif.; and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to St. Peterís Episcopal Church or donorís choice in care of Kim Neperud or Elizabeth Thompkins, Sheridan State Bank, 29 N. Gould St., Sheridan.

William J. Ferguson

Montana, its story and biography; a history of aboriginal and territorial Montana and three decades of statehood, under the editorial supervision of Tom Stout ... (Volume 3)

son is one of the earliest ranch-
men on the Rosebud, and he has the unique dis-
tinction of having lived in Custer, Rosebud and Big
Horn counties without changing the place of his
residence, the boundaries of the counties instead
having changed. He came into Montana in Feb-
ruary, 1890, landing at Hutton on the 16th of that
month, and he was then a young man, had been
reared on a farm and had done little else but farm
labor save for a short time spent as an employe
of the Illinois Central Railroad Company. His
birth occurred in Washington County, Illinois, near
Centralia, March 23, 1868, and his life was passed
there until he left the Prairie state to come into
the West. His meager educational training had
been received in the common schools.
James Ferguson, his father, was born in Dum-
frees, Scotland, in 1828. He came to the United
States at the age of seventeen and stopped for a
time in the State of New York, finally going on to
Illinois and locating first near Dundee. He moved
from there to Centralia with his family with ox
teams, and he became a farmer in that vicinity, de-
veloped a home and spent his life as a farmer. His
life was lived privately and quietly, and no man
knew him other than as a friend. In his religious
affiliations he was a Presbyterian, and he gave his
political support to the republican party. His life's
span covered a period of forty-nine years, years
that were devoted to home, friends and the good of
his community. He married Margaret Barnett, who
was born in Ireland. She has a twin brother,
Robert, living in Illinois, and a sister, Mrs. Thomas
Bentley, in Toledo, Ohio. Mrs. Ferguson lived to
the age of fifty-two, dying in -the year of 1887. In
the family of Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson were the
following children: Jennie, of Sheridan, Wyoming,
who has spent her life as a teacher; Mary, the wife
of Tuman Eraser, also of Sheridan; R^^bert, who
was the pioneer of the family in the West; Sadie,
who died in Illinois as a teacher; Nettie, whose
home is in Sheridan, Wyoming; and William J.,
of Kirby, Montana. The son, Robert, who preceded
his brother to Montana about five years, was en-
gaged in ranching here when his life was sacri-
ficed by the cowardly and murderous assault of
a marauding band of Cheyennes. While riding over
the Crow Reservation in search of some horses
it is believed he came upon a bunch of Cheyennes
butchering Reservation cattle against the law, and
to hide the evidence against them they trailed and
waylaid him. He was missing for several days
before any trace of him couLd be found, and then
some searchers discovered his wounded horse. En-
couraged by this evidence of foul play a continued
search revealed the end of a lariat sticking up out
of a loose sand bed in the bottom of a washout,
and a little digging with the hands uncovered his
body and then his saddle. Detectives were put into
the Cheyenne Reservation who ran down the mur-
derers. They were arrested and jailed, but before
the day of trial arrived the commandant of Fort
Keogh had seen to it that no evidence against the
three "braves" under arrest would be presented by
"fixing" the witnesses, the prosecution failed to con-
vict and the murderers of Robert Ferguson went

William J. Ferguson came to Montana to join
his brother Robert, who had arrived here in 1885,
and leaving the train on the Northern Pacific Rail-
road at Rosebud he went from there by stage to
Hutton and soon found work on Corral Creek as a
cowboy for Hubbard & Thompson, continuing in
their service for three summers, his winters in the
interim having been devoted principally to pleasure.
On leaving that outfit he embarked in the stock
business for himself, succeeding to the small bunch
of stock cattle his brother had under the brand
"R-7," and for a time held them at the mouth of
Corral Creek. Later on, when the Crow Reserva-
tion was surveyed, it was found that this location
was inside the boundaries of that reservation and
Mr. Ferguson then moved his cattle up on the Rose-
bud and made his home with Mrs. Tuman Eraser.
He continued to look after his stock on the open
range until he established himself at his present
location, March 4, 1895. His postofiice is Kirby,
and in this location he has spent a quarter of a
century as a builder and developer of his community.
He purchased the improvements of the man who
had entered the homestead and succeeded W. P.
Dale as the owner of the land. This man was known
to the settlers of the region as "Bloody Knife," a
name he had gained through an encounter with a
neighbor over a trivial matter.

Mr. Ferguson began his career on his homestead
with about sixty head of cattle, a team and a few
saddle horses. A garden spot was all of the place
at that time under cultivation, and the log building
which he now uses as a granary was the pioneer
dwelling place. Into that rude shelter Mr. Fer-
guson established his home, and he occupied it for
some time after his marriage. His cattle occupied
him to the exclusion of all other work save the
seeding of the ranch to alfalfa hay and a little
grain, which has constituted his chief farming ven-
ture here. In time his pioneer log cabin gave place
to a more comfortable frame residence, and this
in turn was succeeded by the present home of the
family, a splendid modern home built in 1^15. It
contains nine spacious rooms, is equipped with the
J. M. Swanstrom fresh water system, a Warner
special lighting plant and furnace heat and a base-
ment laundry. This home has the distinction of
being the first one in Big Horn County with an
electric lighting system. Mr. Ferguson erected his
barn, a modern structure 40 by 60 feet, in 191 5. It
has a mow capacity for forty tons of hay and
granaries for the housing of about 900 bushels of
grain, also stable room for eleven horses and for
six milch cows.

As a cattle man Mr. Ferguson has been handling
the grades which he has improved through the years
by the introduction of blooded White Face males,
and his own recorded brand under which he has
operated is the "MHF." His market has been in
Chicago, but during recent years his output has
been curtailed by the closing up of the open range
as the country has become more thickly settled.

He has reared a numerous family in Montana,
and has therefore been a factor in the school mat-
ters of district No. 17-K. He served as chairman
of Liberty Loan drives during the recent World
war for the Kirby district, all of which went over
with the exception of the last two, and he was
also chairman of the Red Cross drive and active
in the support of all auxiliary war work. His
political support is given to the republican party,
and his first presidential vote was cast in Illinois
for Benjamin Harrison. He has never affiliated
with fraternal orders or become a member of a
church, but Mrs. Ferguson and their son, Leicester,
are Methodists.

At Centralia, Illinois, December 16, 1897, Mr.
Ferguson was married to Miss Lena A. Barton, a
sister of the wife of Thomas Penson, whose biog-
raphy appears elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Fer-
guson was born at Centralia March 2, 1873. The
children born of their union are: Leicester B., who
finished his high school work at Crafton, Pennsyl-
vania, a suburb of Pittsburg; Harry V. and George
W., twin sons, who took two years of high school
work at Crafton; and Dwight S., Helen Teel,
Thomas James and Ruth Maxine.

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