Biography of Clinton Fergus
Marion County, IA Biographies





Clinton Fergus, one of the venerable citizens and retired agriculturists of Marion county, still resides on his farm of three hundred and forty acres on section 13, Liberty township. He has now passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey and the period of his residence in this county covers more than four decades.

His birth occurred in Indiana on the 4th of January, 1834, his parents being S. B. and Julia (McFaden) Fergus, who were natives of England and Ireland respectively. They emigrated to the United States in an early day and were married in Ohio. Subsequently they took up their abode in Indiana and in that state spent the remainder of their lives. They settled on a farm and experienced all of the privations and hardships of frontier life, for the community was still but sparsely settled and largely undeveloped. The father built a log cabin with clapboard roof, puncheon floor and stick chimney and the door of the little dwelling had a latchstring. This primitive abode remained the home of the family for a number of years. To Mr. and Mrs. Fergus were born thirteen children, seven of whom still survive.

Clinton Fergus received a common school education in his youth, the little "temple of learning" in which he conned his lessons being constructed of logs. He spent the period of his minority under the parental roof and subsequently worked as a common laborer until the time of his marriage. Following that important event in his life he rented a farm in Indiana, which he operated for three years. On the expiration of that period, in 1864, he came to Iowa and purchased a farm in Chaska county, where he successfully carried on agricultural pursuits for seven years. In 1871 he disposed of the property and came to Marion county, purchasing the farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 13, Liberty township, whereon he has resided continuously since. He later purchased two hundred and forty acres, but twenty acres were given to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and Wabash Railroads for right of ways. He erected substantial and commodious buildings on his place and in connection with the cultivation of cereals devoted considerable attention to stock raising, meeting with gratifying success in both branches of his business. When his well directed activity had brought him a comfortable competence he put aside the active work of the fields and is now living retired, spending his declining years in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.

In 1861 Mr. Fergus was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Litter, who was born in a log cabin in Indiana, her parents being Thomas and Susan M. (Fry) Litler, natives of Virginia. They established their home in Indiana in pioneer times but subsequently came to Marion county, Iowa, and purchased the farm which is now in possession of our subject. The remainder of their lives was here spent, and of their twelve children four are yet living. Mr. and Mrs. Fergus became the parents of five children, as follows: Thomas B., who is living on a farm in this county; John R., a resident of Wisconsin; C. W., who makes his home in Marion county, Iowa; James Q., deceased; and one who died in infancy.

Mr. Fergus has always been a democrat in his political views and since 1872 has held the office of school director, the cause of education ever finding in him a stalwart champion. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Protestant church, to which his wife also belongs. He has passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey and enjoys the veneration and respect which should ever be accorded one who has traveled thus far on this earthli pilgrimage and whose career has been at all times upright and honorable.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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