William Harrison "Harry" FERGUSON (1868-1933)

Submitted by Ken Seaman

Harry, the firstborn of Hiram and Sarah FERGUSON, was born July 23, 1868, in Saybrook, McLean County, Illinois. At the age of four, Harry moved with his parents to Kansas locating in what was to become Richland Township in Butler County. He attended the Maple Creek School which his father was instrumental in forming.

When he reached his majority, Harry, along with Clint Rennick and Tod Helbert, made several trips to Texas where they bought herds of wild horses which they brought back to Kansas and sold. On one of these trips he met Miss "Della" Rhoda Idella HOOTEN, whom he married on August 12, 1891 ... only six weeks after meeting her. Family folklore recounts that both Harry and Della were engaged to be married to someone else when they were married by H.M. Vinson, Deacon of the Methodist Church in Lampasses County, Texas ... a somewhat "scandalous" thing at the time. Della was born November 30, 1872, in either Hopkins County, Texas, the first child of William D. and Lucy Jane (ALLARD) HOOTEN. She was orphaned at an early age and raised, along with her sister, Emma, by relatives in Lampasses County, principally John Riley and Rhoda (ALLARD) ALLEN.

The young couple made their home in the Mulvane area until 1894 when Harry along with his brothers, Elmer and Oscar, ran in the "Oklahoma Strip" land rush. Harry staked out a claim four miles west of what became Ringwood in Major County (22 miles west of Enid). He operated the first store and post office in that county.

The first four children were born in a dugout at Ringwood, a "real" house not being built until about 1900. The next four children were born in that house.

In January, 1910, Harry moved his family back to Kansas to his father's homestead in Butler County (his father having retired to Mulvane and being unhappy with his renters). Here the family resided until the farm was sold to Burt J. Thompson September 2, 1915. For three years they rented a farm from David Carlson near Mulvane. Later they moved between Belle Plain and Udall on Sam Barner's farm on the Ninnescah River.

Harry was forced to retire at an early year by cancer and lived with his son William, in Mulvane, until his death on February 28, 1933. He was buried next to his parents in the Mulvane Cemetery.

Della lived in the Udall, Cowley County, Kansas area after Harry's death and was injured in the tornado that devastated Udall in May, 1955. In July of 1964 she fell and broke her hip and was bedfast until her death.

On June 2, 1966, at the age of 93, Della died having lived a full though "hard" life. She was buried beside her husband, Harry, in the Mulvane Cemetery.

Harry was the president of the Quad-County Old Settler's Association twice (what later became the Mulvane Old Settler's Celebration).

Della lived to know and enjoy 29 grandchildren and 63 great-grandchildren.

The children of Harry and Della were:

Elmer FERGUSON (b. 1892)
"Lloyd" William Lloyd FERGUSON (b. 1894, d. 1961)
Sidney FERGUSON (b. 1899, d. 1966)
Cecil V. FERGUSON (b. 1900, d. 1910)
Emma FERGUSON (b. 1901, d. 1968)
Hattie Viola FERGUSON (b. 1903, d. 1991)
Luther Buell FERGUSON (b. 1906)
"Boyd" Hiram Boyd FERGUSON (b. 1908, d. 1990)
Estel Wayne FERGUSON (b. 1913)
Ona LaVada FERGUSON (b. 1911)