Biography of C. McFerson
San Luis Obispo County, CA Biographies





C. McFERSON, one of Carnbria's old time citizens, and one of its most reliable and influential ranchers, is public spirited and alive to the interests of the community. He is also a California pioneer, having come to this State with the last train that crossed the plains in 1849. There were sixty people in the company, and it was conducted by Turner, Allen & Co. Every passeng paid $200 for passage and everything was furnished. They rode in three seated covered carriages, each drawn by four mules, and six passengers to a carriage. They arrived in Weaverville, one and a half miles south of Placerville, October 15,1849. There is but one man living that Mr. McFerson knows of that came in that company, who is Lloyd Tevis, now a man of wealth in San Francisco.

Mr. McFerson is a native of Ohio, born in Brown County, August 5, 1824. His father, Samuel McFerson, was a native of Ohio, born in 1789, and died in 1833. The ancestors of the family were from Scotland: his mother, Martha (Cutter) McFerson, was a native of Ohio, and of English ancestry. His parents had seven children, of whom he is the youngest of the three now living. He was reared on a farm in Ohio, where he worked in summer and attended the county schools in the winter. He moved to Washington County, Indiana, and attended the Seminary there for two years. He commenced the study of medicine, and after a year's study the great California gold excitement broke out and he, like others, was taken with the fever. He went into the gold diggings in El Dorado County, and remained there until 1857, meeting with good success. For one day's work he received $115, the most he ever received; a single pan contained $25; he frequently made $100 per day. He was taken with typhoid fever, and was sick at the camp four months; in addition to his other troubles he had scurvy. The first onion he bought cost him $1, and potatoes were $1 a pound. There, after his recovery, he continued mining. He afterward purchased a hotel, which he operated for two years at Indian Diggings, El Dorado County.

August 6, 1855, Mr. McFerson was married to Mrs. Guegnor, a native of Virginia, but resided in Ohio. They continued the hotel business for two years, when they sold out, in 1857, and removed to Mariposa County. He engaged in cutting cord wood at $5 per cord for General John C. Fremont. There he made $10 per day, and followed the business for eighteen months. He then removed to Tulare County, and purchased eighty acres of land and engaged in farming. He built a house and fenced the property, and remained there until 1865, when he sold it and came to San Luis Obispo County, and settled on his present ranch, then unsurveyed Government land. Mrs. McFerson came in a spring wagon, driven by her son, Joseph Barrickman, and Mr. McFerson, with two others, drove the stock. She arrived first, and stopped at the house of George E. Long; Mr. McFerson was ten days on the road. They first lived in a little 10 x 12 log cabin. Mr. Long showed them the land, and they took 370 acres, which he still retains, and is conducting a stock raising and dairy business. He built a nice house in 1868, and has planted an orchard for home use, with a large variety of fruit. The train with which Mrs. McFerson came to California was commanded by Senator Hearst, who was a warm friend of the family, and with whom Mr. McFerson had been on many trips, when they had to sleep on the ground many nights together. Mr. and Mrs. McFerson have helped to organize the Presbyterial Church at Cambria, in 1871, of which they have been faithful members since. He held Sunday school in the little log school house before the church was organized, and has been Sunday school superintendent ever since. He is a trustee and elder of the Church. He is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, of which he has passed through all the chairs, and in 1889 was district deputy grand master of the order. In his political views he has always been a Democrat.

From:
A Memorial and Biographical History
of the counties of
Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo
and Ventura, California
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago 1891


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