Ma_and_Pa - Ma and Pa Ferguson James Edward Ferguson was...

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Ma and Pa Ferguson James Edward Ferguson was born on the last day of August 1871, the sixth child of a circuit-riding Methodist preacher. He grew up in a farmhouse on Salado Creek in Bell County, Texas. When Jim was four years old he became very mischievous, probably due to his father’s death that same year. 1 At the age of sixteen, he and a friend rebelled against cutting firewood at their preparatory school, Salado College. He was expelled for disobedience and never returned. Soon he started into the work force moving from Texas to California and back again. He experimented with various jobs, including fireman, miner, lumberjack, teamster, bellhop, vineyard worker, and a variety of railroad jobs. 2 It was not until Ferguson was invited to a birthday party in 1896 that he began to straighten up. There, with the stories of his ventures to California, he was the life of the party. He met his distant cousin, of no blood relation, the attractive Miriam Amanda Wallace. She was the third child of six to a prosperous Bell County farmer. Miriam was born on June 5, 1875 and lived in a large log house until her parents decided to move closer to the Center Lake School seven miles northwest, where she spent the remainder of her childhood. Although not graduating from either institution, she attended Salado College and later Baylor Female College. Jim was far too simple for her and his scandalous behavior was well known to the public. Miriam was the epitome of a rich man’s daughter and although she was very nice to Jim, probably did not like him at first. 3 He was interested in her and everything that was hers. Jim was determined to win her over, resulting in a new behavioral pattern in 1
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his life. While Miriam worked on higher education at Baylor Female College, Jim borrowed law books to read at night while he worked on his new trade, farming. He later joined the Salado Debating Society to improve his vocabulary and speech. In 1897, he was admitted to the bar. Ferguson, now a professional man, asked Miriam to marry him, but she refused. She knew that as a wealthy twenty-two year old woman, Jim was not the best suitor for her, although her father, Joseph Lapshey Wallace, was pleased about the proposal. 4 The situation drastically changed the next year when Mr. Wallace died of meningitis. Leaving his fortune, stock in Belton Bank, and several thousand acres of land, the Wallace family needed some help managing it all. Because Mr. Wallace admired Jim so much, his widow, Eliza, decided to hire him as the estate manager. This gave Ferguson opportunity for more money and better social status. 5 Jim continued trying to impress Miriam by running for county attorney. Unfortunately, he lost the race but impressed Miriam enough to marry him. On December 31, 1899 they were married in her mother’s parlor and in November the next year James and Miriam Ferguson had their first daughter, Ouida. To complete the family almost three years later, their second child was born, Ruby Dorrace. They lived in an upper class, yet small, new brick home in Belton where Mr.
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Ma_and_Pa - Ma and Pa Ferguson James Edward Ferguson was...

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