LaSalle County

Biography - GEORGE A. McFERSON

An enterprising business man of Tonica is the gentleman named above, who is successfully engaged in the furniture and undertaking business. He was born in Putnam county, this state, March 29, 1848, a son of Harvey and Mary Jane (Atchison) McFerson. His father was a native of southern Ohio, and his mother of Virginia, and they had eleven children, of whom four are now living, namely: Mary Jane, the wife of Frederick Hannum, of San Francisco; Alice G., the wife of Henry Leininger, of Piper City, Illinois; George A.; and Grant, of Kewanee, this state. Harvey McFerson, a farmer, came to Illinois in 1840 and settled in Union Grove, Putnam county, where he faithfully engaged in his calling until 1855, when he came to LaSalle county, locating in Eden township, upon a quarter section of good land which he had purchased, and he followed agricultural pursuits there until 1877; then he moved to Tonica, where he passed the remainder of his life, quitting the scenes of this world in 1878, April 26, at the age of sixty years. His first wife, the mother of our subject, died in 1864, November 14, aged forty-seven years. In her religious sympathies she was a Congregationalist, while her husband was a Universalist. In his political views he was a Republican, and in public position he for a time held the office of supervisor of Eden township, and also that of assessor and other public positions. For his second wife he married Martha E. King, who is still living, and by this marriage there were no children.

The paternal grandfather of Mr. McFerson, Alexander McFerson, was also a native of the Buckeye state, of Scotch ancestry, and died in his native state, in middle life, being killed by a kick from a horse. He had three sons and two daughters. The history of the maternal grandfather of our subject is not known.

George A. McFerson was seven years old when the family of which he was a member moved to LaSalle county, and he was reared to the heavy work of the farm until twenty-two years of age, attending school during the winter seasons. In 1869 he married and bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Wabaunsee county, Kansas, and followed farming there for five years. (This farm he still owns.) He then returned to LaSalle county, in the winter of 1874, and was employed as clerk by his father-in-law, James S. Underhill, in a hardware store, for a period of five years, and then he purchased his present furniture store, where, in addition to his business of dealing in furniture, he also is an undertaker. He is a well known and highly esteemed citizen of this county, having been a resident here ever since he was seven years of age excepting when he was in Kansas.

In his religion he is exemplary, being a member of the Methodist church; and he is also connected with Tonica Lodge, No. 364. A. F. & A. M.; of Peru Chapter, No. 60, R. A.'M.; Peru Council, No. 12, R. & S. M.; of St. John's Commandery, No. 26, K. T.; and of the Mystic Workers of the World. Of the commandery he was the presiding officer for four years, and was then elected generalissimo, in which office he faithfully served until 1898; and he was senior warden for a number of years. He was the master of the blue lodge for three years. He is also a member of the Eastern Star lodge. Politically he is a Republican, and he has served as town clerk of Eden township for several terms.

On the 16th of December, 1869, he was united in marriage with Miss Maria Underhill, daughter of James S. and Jane (McLean) Underhill, and they have one son, Charles A., who is a conductor on the Illinois Central Railroad, and married Sophia Westmeier. Mrs. George A. McFerson died February 28, 1880, at the early age of twenty-nine years; and for his second wife Mr. McFerson chose, March 12, 1895, Miss Cora C. Gunn, a daughter of Henry and Cordelia (Fisher) Gunn. There were no children by this marriage. Mrs. McFerson died January 12, 1898, at the age of twenty-nine years, a pious and exemplary member of the Methodist church.

Extracted 13 Jun 2019 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 677-678.

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