Duncan Feguson – a man of far more than average intelligence

Duncan Ferguson

The Late Duncan Ferguson

Died in Galt on Saturday, Oct. 4, 1884, Duncan Ferguson, aged 80 years and 10 months.

Few indeed of the early settlers of these parts were more widely known or more highly respected than the aged pioneer who has just passed away.  Mr. Ferguson was a native of  the State of New York. He was of Highland Scotch extraction, and we believe was a land surveyor by profession. As early as 1817 a number of highlanders had emigrated from New York State and taken up their abode in the neighborhood of Galt and Branchton.  And in the year 1831, just 53 years ago, Mr. Ferguson decided to try his fortunes in the Canadian forests, and accordingly emigrated thither with his family. He settled upon the farm near Galt, at present occupied by his youngest son Mr. Alex Ferguson, upon which he resided upon until five or six years ago when he removed to Galt.

The deceased was a man of  far more than average intelligence, and was an extensive reader. In the early days of the township he took a very active part in public affairs. We learn from Hon. Mr. Young’s history of the early settlement of Galt and Dumfries, that in 1882, when the famous Territorial Bill of the Hincks-Morin government, dividing Dumfries into 2 townships, came into effect. Mr. Ferguson was Reeve of the first municipal council for North Dumfries, elected after the division. The council was composed as follows: Reeve, Dr. Charles McGeorge & Deputy Reeve, Mr. Duncan Ferguson: councilors Messrs Alex Buchanan, Robert Cranston and David Shantz. Mr Buchanan is the only survivor of the council of 32 years ago.  In 1853 Mr. Buchanan was Reeve and Mr. Robert Cranston Deputy Reeve. In 1854 and 1856 Mr. Ferguson occupied the reeves chair with Mr. T. Chisholm as Deputy.  Privileged with more than average education and intelligence Mr. Ferguson proved himself a very useful municipal officer.

The deceased was a man of sterling principals and deep piety.  He took an active interest in the establishment of the U.P. Church, of which he was for many years was Ruling Elder, a position he held at the time of his death.

Possessed with a remarkably strong constitution he enjoyed the best of health until two or three years ago, when the infirmities incident to old age began to manifest themselves.  Since that time he had given away gradually, both physically and mentally and passed away rather suddenly as above mentioned.

The deceased was married three times, his third partner surviving him. The surviving members of the family are; Archibald and Alexander, North Dumfries; Peter; Minnesota; Angus, Denver, Col. & Mrs. Macfarlane, Denver; and Mrs. Hugh Cant, Galt. The funeral on Monday afternoon was very largely attended, testifying to the esteem in which the deceased was held.

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