William Washington Ferguson
1810 - 1896

William Washington Ferguson, son of  David Barrow Ferguson and wife, Nancy Rand Pegram and grandson of Edward Pegram and wife Patty Jean, was born in Guilford County, North Carolina on Dec. 13, 1810. When he was very young his parents moved to Pulaska (Pulaski) County, Kentucky. Where his father engaged in tobacco raising on a large plantation operated by slaves. He had a Negro mammy whom he regarded with much affection. When about twenty years of age. He went to Indiana to teach school, in which capacity he served for 16 years. He then became school superintendent. Later he acted as deputy sheriff and justice of the peace at various times in Owens, Green and Clay Counties, of said state.

In Clay County, he met and married Mary Cooprider, daughter of John Cooprider of Clay County, Indiana on Nov. 15, 1832. In the year of 1845 they went to Iowa, where he took up a quarter section of land in Jasper County. He helped survey and lay out Jasper County He named Jasper County and Newton, the county seat.

Eleven children were born to this couple, one died in infancy and Nancy Ann, passed on in California with her first child after her marriage to Reese Young. Also Amanda Melvina died at the age of 12. The children were: John Nelson, Henry Osborn, Elizabeth Susan, Nancy Ann, Paris Jasper, Martha Jaynes, Amanda Melvina, Mary Isadora, and William Washington, Jr. The two younger children were born in California. The older one were born in Iowa and crossed the plains in a covered wagon in 1849. They arrived they camped at Ohio Flat (A ghost town of the early mining days, not far from Yuba City). Here they took up claims and mined and panned gold. They built and ran a boarding house. One of the very first of its kind in the mines. The lumber for this house and its furniture was hauled out and sawed by the Hagler brothers. Who had managed to assemble a very small "saw mill" on that section. Paul Hagler later married Susan Ferguson.

W.W. Ferguson settled in the Alexander Valley in 1857. At that time there were only a few houses in what is now Healdsburg. In 66-67 Ferguson and Frank Thompson assessed the township and there were 63 inhabitants more than were living in Santa Rosa Township. W.W. Ferguson later moved to Healdsburg and lived on the same place for the remainder of his life. He died on March 9, 1896.

By William Washington Ferguson, Jr.

This narrative of the life of William Washington Ferguson was written by his son, William Washington Ferguson, Jr. (1855 - 1940) and sent to us by Winona, a descendant of Edward Pegram and Patty (Martha) Jean.  If you have stories of your own Pegram related ancestors, please send them along and we will post them also.  Such stories bring our ancestors to life rather than simply being statistics.  Thanks Winona for all you have shared!