Biographical Sketch of Henry K. Ferguson
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Henry and Eliza Jane (Anspach) Ferguson moved to Silver Creek Township in 1874. They purchased their land several years before the railroad was built through this area and trains went through in October 1877. They bought railroad lands for $6 per acre. There were no doctors or banks in Ida County then. Before the railroad came through Ida Grove, they did their trading at the nearest railroad points at Storm Lake or Denison, hauling the materials by team. He built his house on the Ida County prairie with lumber purchased and hauled from Storm Lake, Iowa. There were no roads then. Each man had to make his own tracks across the unfenced wild lands of Iowa. Blizzards on the prairie were very trying with the snow blowing deep due to lack of trees and fences.
When their grain had to be taken to Durst’s mill down on the Maple River near the present town of Battle Creek to have the grain ground into flour, they traveled by lumber wagon.
In 1876, a scourge of grasshoppers swept down the Maple River Valley in Ida County stripping the corn of leaves and silk. The corn then shriveled and dried up. Many people went back to their old homes because they feared starvation. The next spring when the grasshopper eggs hatched, they suddenly took wing and flew away.
Henry and Eliza Jane had one daughter, Velma.