John Ferguson is the son of Niel and Catherine (Taylor) Ferguson, and was born September 1, 1859, in Argyleshire, Scotland. Niel Ferguson was employed during the greater part of his life in the Clyde shipyards; he is now deceased, and his wife, who still survives, makes her home in Canada.
Mr. Ferguson lived in Scotland until he was ten years of age, and on first coming to Canada lived in Hillsburg, Ontario, for four years, removing thence to Collingwood and afterward to Detroit. There he entered the employ of the Detroit Tug & Transit Co., with which he remained three years, and during that time he was employed on the wrecked City of St. Catharines (now the Otego); the Russell, which was sunk in the Sault Ste. Marie; the Jewett, at Sand Beach; the Manitoba, at Southhampton, and the Spinner, at Wilson's Channel. At the close of his service with this concern, he came to Cleveland and commenced sailing, shipping on the Fred Kelley as fireman for one season, and afterward serving for the same length of time on the Charlton as second engineer. He then went in the same capacity on the George Spencer, Aurora, City of Glasgow (new) and Henry J. Johnson, in 1892 transferring to the Republic to fill the position which he still holds. Mr. Ferguson's brother, Dugald, has been on the lakes for several years, and holds the position of second engineer on the Selwyn Eddy at the present time.
Mr. Ferguson was married, March 11, 1886, to Miss Jessie Currie, of Detroit, a sister of L. L. Currie, who was a sailor for several years, but is now in the employ of the Wells Fargo Company. They have three children: Niel G., Flossie and John, the two elder now attending school. Mr. Ferguson is connected with the I. O. O. F., holding membership in a Detroit lodge, and with the M. E. B. A. No. 2, of Cleveland.
Return to Home Port
This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.