Lee County Biography


Prominent among the energetic, farsighted and capable business men of Dixon is E. J. Ferguson, a hardware merchant, whose enterprise and laudable ambition have constituted the foundation upon which he has built his success. He was born in Peoria county, Illinois, in 1875 and after acquiring a public-school education devoted his time and attention to general agricultural pursuits. He carried on farming near Pontiac, Illinois, until nearly twenty-five years of age and then removed to Greene county, Iowa, where he spent about five years in general farming. On the expiration of that period he returned to Pontiac, where he became connected with commercial interests, spending one year as clerk in a hardware store. He then embarked in the hardware business on his own account at Marseilles, Illinois, where he remained for three years, and in 1909 he came to Dixon, seeking here a broader field of labor. Here he soon placed on sale a large stock of hardware and the success of the enterprise is indicated in the fact that he found it necessary to secure larger quarters and did so by purchasing the business of The Gunn Company in 1911. He now carries a full and well selected line of shelf and heavy hardware and his trade is extensive and gratifying. His business methods are such as will boar the closest investigation and scrutiny and his even-paced energy has carried him into important relations with the commercial interests of Dixon.

In 1897 Mr. Ferguson was united in marriage to Miss Fannie Wassom, a native of Pontiac, Illinois, and unto them have been born four daughters and a son. The family attend the Methodist church, of which Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson are members, in politics he is a progressive republican and fraternally is a Royal Arch Mason and a Modern Woodman. Starting out in life without any vaulting ambition to accomplish something especially great or famous, he has followed the lead of his opportunities, doing as best he could anything that came to hand and seizing legitimate advantages as they arose. Pie has never hesitated to take a forward step when the way has been open. Though content with what he attained as he went along, he was always ready to make an advance. Fortunate in possessing ability and character that inspired confidence in others, the simple weight of his character and ability have carried him into important relations with large interests and he is now at the head of one of the leading commercial enterprises of the city.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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