Walter Louis Ferguson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie Crook
September 19, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 249-250
Cabell County

WALTER LOUIS FERGUSON has practiced law at Huntington
for ten years, and in that time has widened his reputation
throughout his district, both as an accomplished lawyer
and as an earnest citizen with the abilities that count for
leadership everywhere.

Mr. Ferguson was born at Huntington September 18,
1879. The Ferguson family came out of Scotland and
settled in Virginia in Colonial times. Mr. Ferguson’s great-
great-grandfather, Lewis S. Arthur, was a Revolutionary
soldier. His grandfather, John Ferguson, was an early
settler in West Virginia. He was born in Fluvanna County,
old Virginia, in 1818, was reared in America, and subse-
quently established his home in what is now Putnam County,
on the Kanawha River in West Virginia. His wife, Lucy
Arthur, came to what is now West Virginia in the early
’60s. In addition to operating his farm he owned and con-
ducted a blacksmith, wagon making and repair shop. A
notable incident of his life is that he shoed the horses of
the famous James Brothers just prior to the robbery of the
Huntington Commercial Bank, now known as the Hunting-
ton National Bank. John Ferguson died at Huntington in

His son, John Henry Ferguson, was born at Red House,
Putnam County, in 1850, but since 1862 has lived at Hunt-
ington. For many years he has been a leading general
contractor of that city. He is a stanch republican and a
member of the Masonic fraternity. John Henry Ferguson,
married Lucy Frances Roberts, a daughter of Absalom
Roberts, an early family of Virginia. She was born in
Cabell County in 1850. A brief record of their children is
as follows: John A., a painting contractor at Huntington;
Sallie Belle, wife of Charles W. McClure, Jr., who for the
past thirty years has been a machinist in the Huntington
Shops of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad; Cola, wife of
Charles Neutzling, connected with the Nicholson-Kendle
Furniture Company of Huntington; Charles Henry, a
general contractor of Huntington; Walter Louis; Emmett
Blaine, a furniture dealer at Huntington; and Clarence
McKinley, a general contractor.

Walter Louis Ferguson as a youth attended the grammar
and high schools of Huntington, and for five years he studied
law in the office of Judge Lewis D. Isbell. Mr. Ferguson
was admitted to the bar in 1911, and at once began his
work as a general practitioner. In his practice he has
handled many important cases in the local, state and federal
courts, and has appeared a number of times in what is
known as the Tri-State District. His offices are in the
Prindle Building on Fourth Avenue.

Mr. Ferguson is a republican, holds a commission as a
notary public, is affiliated with the First Methodist Episco-
pal Church, is a member of the Huntington Council, Junior
Order United American Mechanics, and the Cabell County
Bar Association. He was one of the county leaders in the
various organizations and the patriotic program during the
World war, serving as a member of the Legal Advisory
Board of the county, and giving a large amount of his time
to assisting the recruits in filling out their questionnaires.

On January 1, 1914, at Parkersburg, he married Miss
Ethel Josephine Coen, daughter of Henry C. and Margaret
(Barkwill) Coen, residents of St. Marys, Pleasants County,
where her father is a merchant. Mrs. Ferguson was well
educated in music, being a skilled pianist. Mr. and Mrs.
Ferguson have three children: Walter Louis, Jr., born
November 11, 1914; Henry Coen, who died at the age of
nine months; and Margaret Jane, born November 14, 1918.