Ferguson, DANIEL (1891-1963). Daniel Ferguson, lawyer and book collector, was born at Chireno, Texas, on December 8, 1891, son of Richard Oliver and Minnie Jane (Pate) Ferguson. He attended Nacogdoches public schools and graduated from the University of Texas with an LL.B. degree in 1916. He interrupted his Dallas law practice during World War Iqv for service as a second lieutenant in the army air corps. For forty years Ferguson was an attorney with the Magnolia Petroleum Company.qv During that time he built a remarkable private library on Texas and the Southwest; he used this collection to study the relationships of early churches and education in Texas, about which he published several articles. In 1956 he presented his library of 5,500 volumes and his collection of presidential signatures to the Bridwell Libraryqv of Southern Methodist University. A catalogue of the collection was published in 1960. Ferguson was a trustee and member of the board of Oak Lawn Methodist Church, Dallas, and a member of the Texas State Historical Association.qv He was a Mason and a member of the State Bar of Texas.qv He married Lucile Harding on June 27, 1923, and they had three children. After Lucile died in 1932, he married Ten Tower, on June 2, 1935. He was the uncle of Senator John Tower.qv Ferguson died on December 17, 1963, and was buried at Grove Hill Cemetery, Dallas.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Dallas Times Herald, December 18, 1963. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Decherd Turner
Ferguson, HENRY CLAY (1847-1923). Henry Clay Ferguson, county official and Republican partyqv chairman, was born in Texas in 1847, probably into slavery.qv He moved to Houston and became secretary of the Harris County school board. He later served with distinction in the State Police.qv In 1870, after the disbanding of this force, he moved to Fort Bend County, one of the few Texas counties with a black majority (5,510 black residents and 1,604 white ones). A contemporary who knew Ferguson described him as "a man of great dignity, [who] never talked loud in conversation, and looked one in the face when he talked." Ferguson succeeded another African American, Walter M. Burton,qv as sheriff, an office in which he took an even-handed approach that gained the respect of many whites. With their support he easily obtained the surety bond, required at the time, to run for public office. In 1876 he was elected county tax assessor, a position he held until 1888. His brother Charles M. Ferguson,qv whom Henry supported at Fisk University, returned to Fort Bend County and was elected district clerk in 1882. In 1888, in an effort to eliminate black Republican control of the county, a number of young white men formed the Young Men's Democratic Club, which became known as the Jaybirds. Black Republicans and their white supporters became known as the Woodpeckers. In the hostilities that developed two white men were killed. The Jaybirds blamed black leaders for the deaths, even though no African Americansqv were formally charged. The Jaybirds demanded that six prominent black leaders leave the county. Though the club banished Charles, it allowed Henry to remain. Ferguson later gave up his tax-assessor position, sold his property, and left for Houston (see JAYBIRD-WOODPECKER WAR)
After leaving Fort Bend County, Ferguson obtained a concession from Mexico and proposed to colonize 10,000 blacks to grow cotton. Even though the plan fell through, he gained a position on the committee for permanent organization at the national Republican convention in 1888. His growing prominence in the Texas Republican party and his support for William McKinley led to his election over Norris Wright Cuneyqv as temporary state party chairman in 1896. Ferguson defeated William Madison McDonaldqv to become permanent chairman at the 1898 state Republican convention, but the split that developed between the Ferguson and McDonald factions weakened black influence within the Republican party. Ferguson died on January 6, 1923, in Ellis County.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Alwyn Barr, Black Texans: A History of Negroes in Texas, 1528-1971 (Austin: Jenkins, 1973). Paul D. Casdorph, A History of the Republican Party in Texas, 1865-1965 (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1965). Lawrence D. Rice, The Negro in Texas, 1874-1900 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971). Clarence Wharton, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939). Pauline Yelderman, The Jay Bird Democratic Association of Fort Bend County (Waco: Texian Press, 1979).

John H. Burnett and Martha (Brooks) Burnett were divorced around 1865 in Austin County, Texas. It is interesting to note that "Wimberley's Legacy" states that Martha "was a widow" when she married Willis Ferguson and "History of McLennan, Falls, Bell and Coryell Counties, Texas" states that "Mrs. Burnett died in 1864" prior to John Burnett's second marriage in 1867. John H. Burnett, Sr. married again in 1867 to Mahala Davis and they had six children: Maggie Burnett, Abbie E. Burnett, James H. Burnett, Willie Burnett, H. J. Burnett and Lillie M. Burnett. On February 26, 1867, Eliza Brooks married a second time to Willis Haden Ferguson in Washington County, Texas and immediately moved to Hays County, Texas where Willis had bought land. Willis and Eliza Ferguson were the parents of three children:
Susan Olive Ferguson (, b. March 31, 1868, Texas
Robert Willis Ferguson (, b. March 4, 1870, Texas
Joseph William Ferguson (, b. May 4, 1871, Texas
Martha Eliza (Brooks) Ferguson died on May 18, 1871 and was buried in the Wimberley Cemetery. In May of 1872, Willis Ferguson married again to Mrs. Susan (Moon) Driskill (born July 31, 1842) and they had two children: Lillie Lila Ferguson (born March 11, 1873) and Tula May Ferguson (born May 7, 1881). Susan Driskill was the widow of William Rufus Driskill and they had at least three children: Joseph William Driskill (born 1862), Josephine "Dollie" Driskill (born 1864) and Susan E. "Bettie" Driskill. In 1880, Willis Ferguson and his second wife were living in Hays County, Texas. In 1900, Willis H. Ferguson was living alone in Hays County, Texas. Willis Ferguson died on August 26, 1901 and Susan (Moon) Ferguson died on December 27, 1903. Both were buried in the Wimberley Cemetery near Wimberley, Texas. Joann Burnett drowned in the Blanco River in the summer of 1872. John H. Burnett, Jr. died prior to 1867.