Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


William Wallace Ferguson

The city of Denison is fortunate in numbering among its citizens a photographer of rare merit whose reputation is not confined to the limits of Crawford county or the state of Iowa. By the common consent of brother artists, William Wallace Ferguson is acknowledged to be one of the leaders in the vocation in Iowa and the beautiful work tastefully displayed in his studio is proof that the statement is true.

He was born at Clinton, Iowa, March 28, 1876, a son of William and Elizabeth (Lodge) Ferguson, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of England. The father was reared in the town of Dunfermlin and came to America immediately after the Civil war and opened a studio at Elgin, Illinois. Subsequently he removed to Clinton, Iowa, where he has for many years been in charge of a flourishing photograph business. He is a member of the Presbyterian church but his wife is an Episcopalian. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a native of Scotland, and the maternal grandfather a railroad man of England. There were five children in the family of William and Elizabeth Ferguson, namely: George, now of Chicago; Ella, who married Frank Dauterman and is now deceased; William Wallace, the subject of this review; Robert Bruce, of Reinbeck, Iowa; and Marion E., of Clinton.

William W. Ferguson was reared at Clinton and received his preliminary education in the public schools there. After leaving school he entered his father's studio and learned photography, afterward opening a studio at Preston, Iowa, where he continued for a short time, then moving to Chicago. There he engaged in the same line of business and also spent four years as a photographer at Reinbeck, Iowa.

In 1901 he located at Denison and soon became recognized as one of the leading photographers in this part of the state. He is a conscientious student of his art and being a tireless worker is never satisfied with mediocrity, always aiming at perfection. He understands thoroughly the technical part of the business and his artistic talents find expression in work which meets the cordial approval of the best class of patrons.

Professionally he belongs to the Photographers Association of America, the Iowa Club, an exclusive society of the leading photographers of the state, and the Iowa Photographers Association. The esteem in which he is held by his brother photographers is indicated by the fact that in 1908 he served as president of the state association.

On the 3d of May, 1898, Mr. Ferguson was united in marriage to Miss Minnie May Mudgett, a native of Comanche, Iowa, and a daughter of Philip and Mary (Mitchell) Mudgett. The father was born in New York state and the mother in Illinois. They were married in Illinois and subsequently moved to Iowa, being now residents of Clinton. Of their children, four are living, namely: William J.; Minnie, now Mrs. William W. Ferguson; Edith, the wife of Frank Mullin; and Grace, of Clinton.

Mrs. Ferguson is a member of the Episcopal church and also of the Daughters of the American Revolution, being eligible to this organization from both sides of the house. Mr. Ferguson is a thirty-second degree Mason and belongs to Sylvan Lodge, No. 507, A. F. & A. M., of Denison; Des Moines Consistory, S. P. R. S.; and Za-Ga-Zig Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also a valued member of Dowdall Lodge, No. 90, K. P. Politically he gives his support to the republican party. His success in his chosen calling is due to natural ability, early training and also to close application, without which the highest talents in this age of constant advancement would be unavailing. He is a man of pleasing personality and has a host of friends in Crawford and adjoining counties.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.