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Ferguson, Robert (of Alton, IL)

Born: 1812-XX-XX New York

Died: 1852-02-06 Alton, Illinois

Flourished: Alton, Illinois

Robert Ferguson was a merchant, railroad commissioner/director, and city government official in Alton, Illinois. He was a partner in the mercantile firm of R. & J. L. Ferguson. In December 1840, he married Elizabeth Ann Broughton, with whom he had five children. Ferguson served as alderman for Alton's first ward from 1845 to 1846, from 1847 to 1848, and from 1849 to 1851. In 1848, he won election as mayor, serving in that capacity until 1849. Ferguson was an original incorporator, and later commissioner and director, of the Alton & Sangamon Railroad Company. Ferguson gravitated to the Barnburner faction of the Democratic Party, and in the presidential election of 1848, he supported the Free Soil Party and the candidacy of Martin Van Buren. In 1850, he was working as a merchant and owned $21,000 in real property.

Obituary, The Alton Telegraph (IL), 13 February 1852, 3:6; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Madison County, 8 December 1840, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gazetteer of Madison County (Alton, IL: James T. Hair, 1866), 88; W. T. Norton, ed., Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois and Its People 1812-1912 (Chicago: Lewis, 1912), 1:471; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 2 August 1848, 2:1; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 5 January 1850, 3:1; 16 February 1850, 2:2; "An Act to Construct a Railroad from Alton, in Madison County, to Springfield, in Sangamon County," 29 February 1847, Private and Special Laws of Illinois (1847), 144; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Alton, Madison County, IL, 335.