JUDGE JOHN E. FERGUSON, president of the Hereford National Bank, is one of the enterprising spirits who are so rapidly developing the town of Hereford and bring it into first rank among the county seats of the great Panhandle country. Judge Ferguson has lived in Deaf Smith county almost since its organization, and has not only been an industrious and sagacious individual worker and business man, but has given his energies without stint to the welfare and material progress of his community. Through his active management and wise direction the Hereford National Bank has already become an institution of much importance to the financial and business circles of this portion of the Panhandle, and as a conservative yet stimulating influence it plays no unimportant part in making Deaf Smith county a fertile field for agricultural and industrial enterprises of all kinds.
Judge Ferguson is still to be reckoned among the younger class of mean who are accomplishing so much for Texas, for he is not yet fifty years of age, having been born in the year 1858. His birthplace was the fine city of Sedalia, Missouri, where his father and mother are still living. His father, J. J. Ferguson, was born in Kentucky and went to Missouri in 1856, and he has been a successful stockman nearly all his life. Judge Ferguson’s mother is Anna (Crawford) Ferguson, and she was born in Missouri.
Judge Ferguson was reared at Sedalia and received his education there. After arriving at manhood he spent some time in the western states, being located at several different points, and for one year was on the Pacific coast. In 1891 he came to Deaf Smith county, Texas, and his activities have been centered in this part of the Panhandle ever since. The county had been organized only the fall preceding his arrival, and at that time was very sparsely settled, there being perhaps a hundred voters all told, and the population consisting mostly of single young men. Young Ferguson embarked in the cattle ranching business, on a tract of land about twelve miles north of where Hereford now stands. After five years in that location he sold out and moved to a ranch some five miles west of the present county seat, on the creek. He had been there only a year or so when, in 1898, the line of the Santa Fe pushed through the southeast corner of Deaf Smith county, thus opening up new opportunities and possibilities in this part of the country. The town of Hereford started up on the railroad, and Judge Ferguson saw that, as the county seat and railroad shipping point, it was destined to become a good town and an important commercial center. He therefore sold out his ranch in 1900 and became a resident of Hereford. On November 1st of the same year he organized the first bank in the town, named the Hereford National Bank, and he became its first president and has retained the executive direction of the institution ever since. The capital stock of the bank is $25,000, and the surplus $15,000, and its affairs are in a prosperous condition and managed to the satisfaction of the general business public and its stockholders. Judge Ferguson also owns considerable landed property in the vicinity of Hereford.
Judge Ferguson fraternizes with the Masonic order, and is a popular member of the social and business circles of his town. He is a staunch Democrat, and was elected and served the county as county judge in 1893-94, the county seat at that time being LaPlatta, which has since lost its existence and surrendered its prestige to Hereford. Judge Ferguson’s wife is Nannie (Tannehill) Ferguson, to whom he was married at Windsor, Missouri.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 458-459.