Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

George Oliver Ferguson

George Ollie Ferguson was a lifelong Erath County resident.  He attended John Tarleton College from its opening in 1899 until 1901.  He received his BA from the University of Texas in 1907 and his masters from the University of Chicago in 1917.

G.O. Ferguson joined the Tarleton faculty in 1913 as professor of history and economics, and head of the economics and social science department.  He became associate dean and registrar in 1919.  Dean Ferguson retired in 1946, but continued teaching until 1950.  During his tenure he also taught Spanish, German and sociology.   Dean Ferguson, along with other faculty members, stuck it out at Tarleton through the thinnest of times!

Upon his retirement, Dean Ferguson was given the status of Associate Dean Emeritus.  In 1959 Tarleton built a new men’s dormitory and named it after Dean Ferguson – Ferguson Hall – which is still here today, the dorm closest to the library!  Dean Ferguson is shown above in his office in the administration building (now the Education building).

G.O. Ferguson died April 8, 1963 of a heart attack at his ranch sixteen miles southeast of Stephenville.  He was buried across the street in Stephenville West End Cemetery.  His family home was on Vanderbilt Street.  His widow Nona Laney Ferguson continued living in their home on Vanderbilt and caring for their rental duplex apartments next door!  Mrs. Ferguson was my first landlady when I moved to Stephenville in 1969.  She died in 1971.

Dean Ferguson’s sisters, Mett and Minn, were also long time educators.  Minn was on the Tarleton faculty as an instructor of piano and secretary of the Music department.  She graduated from John Tarleton Agricultural College in 1915 and from the New York School of Music and art in 1920.  Mett was a long time public school teacher in East Texas.  Mettie died in 1961 and Minn in 1972.  Both are buried in Stephenville West End Cemetery.

Dean Ferguson’s daughter and son in law, Mary and Jack Anderson, have been longtime members and supporters of the Dick Smith Library Friends and have helped with many book sales and programs!  Jack also served as president and as secretary treasurer of the Friends group!

Here’s to a family of great supporters of Tarleton and the Dick Smith Library!

Dick Smith Library Cross Timbers Historic Images.
JTAC, April 23, 1963.

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