Citizens Of the Lewis River Area
Byron Ferguson's 95th Birthday Party
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Byron Ferguson's was honored on his 95th birthday with a party at Horseshoe Lake Park on August 30, 2008. Well over 60 relatives attended with almost as many friends. Happy Birthday Byron.
George Ferguson, from Scotland, and Mary, from Ireland, met and married in Massachusetts and came by way of California to Kalama in 1881. They bought their Lewis River farm from Timothy Stone, Judge G.E. Stone's father. Mr. Ferguson lived only 2 1/2 years after arrival here. John was three, Jim was 1 1/2 and George was 10 months. George and his father died, leaving Mrs. Ferguson alone to fend for herself and two little boys. However, the neighbors helped, especially the Birt family.
Fran Empatize, a sailor and shipwright, had come to Woodland and was following carpentering and other jobs when he met and married Mrs. Ferguson about two years after Mr. Ferguson had died.
About 1884, the Empatizes filed on a homestead at the mouth of Spielei Creek. They built a cabin, cleared some ground, put in a crop and left Jim and John to take care of things. The boys stayed there one summer, hoeing garden and fighting off wild animals. The family came to the conclusion that the place was too far from civilization and gave it up.
John Ferguson, born February 1878, married Lillian Lee and their children were John, still on the place, George and Mary who died at 13 months.
James Ferguson, born September 8, 1879, married Edith Johnson and their children are: Wayne, born July 25, 1912 married Eleanor Anderson and later Thelma Tooley; Byron, born September 1913, married Pearl Moores; Charles, born 1916, married Ellen Christensen; Albert, born 1918, married Martha Simpson; Donald, born 1926, married Joyce Sigel.
Mrs. Empatize died July 19, 1931 and Mr. Empatize died January 1936. James Ferguson died March 9, 1953 and John died November 1956.
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