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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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PLEASANT FERGUSON is engaged in general farming and stock-raising on section 31, township 46, range 27, Johnson County, and his broad fields comprise something over five hundred acres, located in one of the most fertile and beautiful farming districts in the state. The place is well improved with good buildings, fences and other accessories, which make it a model farm of the period. The proprietor is a progressive and practical agriculturist, keeping in touch with the latest improvements and methods of conducting a farm. Within his hospitable doors the stranger and friend alike always find a warm welcome, and it is ever with regret that they turn away.

Samuel Ferguson, the father of our subject, was born in Lincoln County, N. C., in 1791, being the eldest of fourteen children, whose parents were Moses and Elizabeth (Cox) Ferguson. All of the brothers and sisters lived to maturity and all married and reared families with the exception of one daughter, who remained single. Shortly after his marriage with Sarah Moonie, Samuel Ferguson, with his bride, removed to Rhea County, Tenn., and for fourteen years made his home in that locality, his occupation in the mean time being that of brick-laying. At the expiration of that period he decided to move to Missouri, and in 1831 settled in Lafayette County, where he remained only a short time, thence coming to Johnson County. He located on a farm about one mile west of our subject’s present home, and was numbered among the few pioneers then to be found in this region. The nearest market of any size was at Lexington, about forty-two miles distant. When the first court convened, April 13, 1835, there were hardly enough men in the county to properly conduct affairs. Judge Amos Horn presided, with Uriel Murray and Dr. Robert Rankin acting as Associate Judges. The court was held on the old Nicholas Houts Farm, at Columbus, under some elm trees, one of which is still standing. Samuel Ferguson continued to dwell in this county until his death, which occurred in 1857. His wife came of one of the first and most wealthy families of North Carolina, they being slave-holders. She was born in 1795, and lived to the good old age of fourscore years. Moses Ferguson, the father of Samuel, was the youngest of four brothers, who, with true loyalty to the Government, fought in her defense during the Revolutionary War.

The birth of our subject occurred in this county, October 8, 1833. He is one of ten children, and is now one of three who survive, the others being Charles S. and Mary. His early training was a practical and thorough one, his hardships only serving to bring out the latent manliness of his character. He lived with his parents until he was twenty-seven years of age, giving his assistance to the management of the farm.

March 4, 1859, our subject and Jane, daughter of William and Lucy (Hill) Harmon, all natives of Virginia, were united in marriage. The Harmon family had moved to Cooper County, Mo., about 1835, and later came to this county. Mrs. Ferguson is one of six children, three of whom are still living. Her grandmother, Lucy Hill, was an own sister of Thomas Jefferson, and her mother, whose maiden name was Lucy Hill, was a cousin, three or four times removed, of Daniel Webster, and has spent many a happy hour with him.

Soon after his marriage Mr. Ferguson moved to his present farm, and since that time has been engaged in its development. He can recall many interesting experiences of life on the frontier during his boyhood, when these prairies abounded with wolves, wild cats, panthers, deer, turkeys, and bear. Though he commenced his independent career on an humble scale, he prospered, and, as his means increased, added to his original farm various tracts of land, until it has reached its present large proportions. His sons, Charles P. and James F., are still at home, and are of material assistance to him on the old homestead. They are both promising young men, and each received a good education, which was completed at the State Normal. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson have lost two children, and the others are Naomi A. and Mary J. Naomi is the wife of J. L. Kirkpatrick, a prominent farmer of this county, and they have two bright boys. Mary J. attended the Christian University at Nevada, Mo., and afterwards was a student at St. Celia College at Holden. Mo.

On political questions Mr. Ferguson is always found to be on the side of the Democracy. His membership with the Methodist Church South dates back to 1845, and he is justly considered one of the pillars in the congregation.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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