FERGUSON, BENJAMIN HAMILTON (deceased), long one of the most prominent business men of Springfield, Ill., was for thirty-five years connected with the Marine Bank and for many years its President. He was a lifelong resident of Springfield, his birthplace, and was active in public affairs. He was one of the most highly respected citizens and well known men of the city and his loss was genuinely mourned in many circles. Mr. Ferguson was born December 5, 1835, and was a son of Benjamin and Sarah (Irwin) Ferguson, both natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in Monongahela City. Benjamin Ferguson was a contractor and builder and died in Springfield in 1842. He was a member of the Washingtonian Society, a temperance organization, to which Abraham Lincoln also belonged, and about the time of the death of Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Lincoln made an address on the subject of temperance in the Second Presbyterian Church of Springfield, the date of this occasion being February 22, 1842. Mr. Ferguson was married in Pennsylvania and came to Springfield in 1835, and his children were all born in this city. They were: William, a prominent lawyer, who died in California; Elizabeth, married Jacob Bunn, of Springfield; Robert, died in Springfield, though his home was in Auburn, Ill.
Benjamin H. Ferguson received his early education in the schools of Springfield. He left school at the age of sixteen years, and was then clerk and bookkeeper in the store of Jacob Bunn. After his return from the war he entered the Marine Bank, being Cashier for several years, and advancing to the office of President of that sound, substantial, conservative institution, one of the oldest banks in the State. Mr. Ferguson carried out the established policies of the bank in every way and under his careful and able administration it prospered and maintained the position of trust and confidence it had held so many years.
Mr. Ferguson was a stanch Republican all his life and active in the interests of the party. He was united in 1866 with the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield, and his widow is also a member of that church. In August, 1862, Mr. Ferguson recruited Company B, One Hundred Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, and was elected its Captain, serving as such two years. He participated in the Siege of Vicksburg, the battle at Jackson, and in many lesser engagements. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, being affiliated with Stephenson Post, of Springfield.
Besides being prominent as a banker Mr. Ferguson was for many years a successful merchant, having established a crockery and glassware store at the corner of Monroe and Sixth Streets, Springfield, in 1868, where he conducted one of the largest establishments of its kind in the city and did an immense business. He was one of the most upright and honorable of men and possessed the full confidence of all who came in contact with him in business or social life. He was interested in any measure calculated to be of public benefit and promoted the welfare and progress of the community in many ways.
Mr. Ferguson was married at Springfield, June 16, 1864, to Miss Alice, daughter of Judge B. S. Edwards, who was a prominent lawyer in Springfield and served as Judge of the Circuit Court. His biographical record appears on another page in these volumes. She was born in Springfield. No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson. The widow now resides at the beautiful home at 815 North Fifth Street.