Robert Wilkins Ferguson

Obit:Saturday, April 10, 1965

End of the Trail

Notices in this section are limited to names of those who have achieved pioneer status through many years in the North, or who are otherwise of unquestioned importance in the daily scene.

Robert Wilkins "Roy" Ferguson, 81, a resident of the Fairbanks area for more than half a century and president of the independent Lumber Company there, died in Seattle April 10 after a long illness. He came to Alaska in 1898 at the age of 15 with his father, a mining engineer. They landed at Skagway and went over the White Pass to Atlin, where his father found that his mining property was a lake, and that he had been swindled. The senior Ferguson went on to Nome after giving his son a ticket to return to the States, but young Ferguson found a job in Skagway instead with the Boss Higgins Company and stayed there for five years. in the winter of 1906, he put in with three others and traveled by steamer to Valdez where they bought some dogs and went over the winter trail to Fairbanks. He followed strikes into Valdez Creek, the Susitna River country and Liven-good without great success, and in 1912 he returned to Fairbanks and went into partnership with Boy Rutherford in the independent Lumber Company, a partnership which lasted 47 years. For over 30 years he operated a sawmill on the Chena River at the east side of town, and maintained logging operations in the upper Chena River country and on Piledriver Slough. He held the position of manager of the lumber company until 1950 when he became president of the corporation which purchased the business. Over the years, he was active in civic affairs, serving as mayor and councilman of the city and president of the Chamber of Commerce. For the past few years Mr. Ferguson was in semi-retirement and, although he spent his winters to the south, he always returned to Fairbanks during the summer.

Source: Alaska Sportsman, Aug 1965

This obituary is printed here with special permission from the editor and is copyrighted as such.