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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
John Fergusson, M.D.

JOHN FERGUSSON, M.D., a leading physician of Tilbury village, also prominent in public affairs, combines with a thorough professional education those rare qualities of mind and character that win success for a man at every step in life.  He comes of a respected and gifted Scottish family.

John Fergusson, his grandfather, a native of Scotland, was the first of his line to push out of the cramped environments of Old World institutuions and seek to better his fortunes in Canada.  He passed his early years in Scotland, and there gained a good education and practical training for life’s activities.

Upon reaching manhood he married, in Scotland, a woman of ability and refinement, who proved a most encouraging helpmeet.  She died in Canada at the age of sixty-five years.  It was during the twenties that Mr. Fergusson broke home ties and came to Canada, settling in Dumfries township, County of Waterloo, where he remained for several years.  Eventually, however, he purchased a farm in Beverly township, County of Wentworth, whither he moved, and engaged in agriculture.  From the start he made a splendid success on this farm, and continuing to prosper, worked it throughout the rest of his life, improving it from year to year, and making it in time one of the most attractive and valuable places in the township.  A strong man, both mentally and physically, Mr. Fergusson made each stroke of work count for good.  He died at the age of eighty-two years.

Archibald Fergusson, father of Dr. John Fergusson, was born on the family homestead in Beverly township, five miles east of Galt, about 1832.  There he grew to manhood, and by assisting his father in the work on the farm early became well grounded in the best methods of agriculture.  Both environment and an inherent taste for the work decided him upon reaching manhood to continue the occupation, and in time acquired a 200-acre farm adjoining the home place, where he has since made his residence. Thorough equipment for the work enabled him to carry on the place to advantage, and each year he branched out in his industry and added improvements to his farm, materially increasing its value.  After many years of fruitful industry he turned over the management of this place to his son, and he has since lived in retirement. 

Mr. Fergusson married Annie Dickey, who was born in Ayrshire, Scotland and at the age of six years came with her parents to Canada, making the trip in a six weeks’ voyage on a sailing-vessel.  By this union there were four children.  Mr. Fergusson has been not only a leading agriculturist of his township, but one of the most active men in municipal affairs as well, and for several years he served as a member of the council, and was reeve of the township.  In the discharge of each duty he has shown himself both thorough and conscientious, and he commands the highest esteem from all who know him.

John Fergusson was born in Beverly township, County of Wentworth, in 1860.  From his earliest years he evinced decided intellectual tastes, and upon entering school made rapid progress in his studies.  He pursued the higher branches in Watertown high school and Hamilton Collegiate Institute and then, deciding to study medicine, entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Toronto, from which he graduated in 1885.  Thoroughly well equipped for a professional career, he immediately opened an office in Essex and began the practice of medicine.  A careful diagnosis of each case, and conscientious attention to his patients, won him a large patronage from the start, and for six years he continued his labors in that place, winning for himself a high reputation in his profession.  At the end of that period, in July 1892, he purchased the residence and practice of Dr. Mitchell, a physician of Tilbury, to which place he moved, establishing himself anew in his profession, and there he has since continued.  His able and faithful work has each year added new laurels to his already well-established reputation, and he is now considered one of the leading physicians in his locality.  He is a shrewd and careful financial manager, and has accumulated considerable property in addition to his handsome residence on Queen street.

Dr. Fergusson was married in Embro, in 1889, to Mary B. Mackenzie, a woman of culture and many winning social attributes, and of this union there have been born two children, Archibald Mackenzie and Kathleen.

Dr. Fergusson wields a wide influence in his locality, reaching people in all stations of life.  As a strict member of the Presbyterian church he is now serving as elder in that denomination.  Keenly interested in the promotion of education, he has long been a member of the board of education and is at present acting as chairman of same.  The Reform party, with which he affiliates, has honoured him at times with many local political offices.  Fraternally he stands high, and, as a member of the A.F.&A.M., the I.O.O.F., the Foresters and the C.F., has served as examiner of the local lodges.

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