Friday, January 22, 2010

The End of an old Printing Company - Fergus

The company started in 1840 and died January 30, 1900.  Its property was taken by the Equitable Trust Company over non-payment of $50 interest and a $14,000 loan.  The stock was removed from the building and placed on the sidewalk.  No provisions had been made for other facilities.

In later years, the sons would place the responsibility on the father, who would not change with the times or allow the sons to control the business.  Probably true.  One son died at the Scottish Home in 1939 which means he was destitute.  Here is his obituary.

"Benjamin F. Fergus, 86 years old, will be buried tomorrow with military honors in Graceland cemetery.  He died Monday in the Scottish Old People's home in Riverside.  Mr. Fergus was the son of Robert Fergus, pioneer Chicago printer and publisher.  His playground as a child was spacious section of the State street area opposite Quincy Street.  Todd Lincoln was one of his classmates in the old Deaborn grammar school, which used to be on the McVickers theater site. He and his brothers operated for many years the printing business they inherited from their father.

With Mr. Fergus death only one man, Col. Charles E. Diehl of San Antonio, Texas, survives of the original members of the 131st. infantry - the Dandy First - who signed the regimental roster in the Grand Pacific hotel in 1874.  He was a life member of the veterans' corps.

Mr. Fergus leaves his widow; a sister, Margaret Jessie Fergus Hanson of Sand Diego, California, and a nephew, Robert Collyer Fergus, a Chicago attorney."

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