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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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FERGUSON, ALEXANDER, lumber scaler; b. Scotland, c1811, s/o Hugh Ferguson; d. Miramichi, 8 Jan 1880.

The son of a successful farmer at Derby, Alexander Ferguson worked at home and as a lumber surveyor, or scaler. For many years he was an officer in the 2nd Battalion of militia and was promoted to captain in 1859. He retired from the militia in 1867 when he was in his mid fifties.

Ferguson's father gave the land on which the first Presbyterian church was erected at Derby in 1847, and the church came to be known as "Ferguson Church." The cemetery plot was also given by the family. Today, a large gray metal monument in memory of Alexander Ferguson stands in a commanding position near the entrance to the present Ferguson Church, which was built in 1923.

Ferguson was considered to be one of the wealthiest residents of the Miramichi, and the newspapers speculated that his estate would be worth at least $100,000. They were far off the mark, but the $28,000 in assets which were accounted for by the clerk of probate was still a tidy fortune. Because he bequeathed almost all of it to James Robinson of Millerton, his will was challenged by his brothers and sisters. No blood relationship between him and Robinson is mentioned in the file on the matter, but as elsewhere noted, Robinson was enumerated in the census of 1861 as "James Ferguson."


[d] tombstone / Advance 15 Jan 1880, 21 Jul 1881; Advocate 14 Jan 1880; Gleaner 18 May 1847, 26 Nov 1859, 5 Oct 1867; Leader 20 Sep 1963, 28 Nov 1968; PANB (probate files)