SCHS Header
Link to Homepage
Link to About Us page
Link to Staff & Board page
Link to Ross Center page
Link to Exhibits page
Link to Events Calendar page
Link to Archives page
Link to Online Store
Link to Membership page
Link to Volunteer page
Link to Contact Us page
Historical photo show 100 years ago header

100 Years Ago

Black History
Civil War
Gold Rush
Law and Order

Fergus, Roberts

There are as many reasons for coming to Ohio as there are people who settled here. Some were first-generation European immigrants who chose to settle in Ohio first, while others were second or third-generation immigrants who relocated from other states. Unfortunately, none of Shelby County’s pioneers kept a journal (that the Society is aware of) but some information is known about the people who settled here from family recollections, letters, newspaper articles, etc.

Shelby County, Ohio, resident, William Roberts, moved to Salem Township from Virginia during the early 1820s. He was of Welsh descent. When William lived in Virginia he owned slaves, but thought it was morally wrong. He migrated to Ohio and brought his slaves so he could grant them freedom. One of those slaves stayed with his family (this is the first mention of a Negro in Shelby County). He helped Roberts clear four acres for cultivation.

John Fergus’ grandfather emigrated from Ireland to Virginia. John moved from Virginia to Miami County in 1820. After losing everything through misfortune, he relocated to Shelby County in July, 1823, after hearing of the good, rich farmland. He wanted to make a new start.

John put some stakes/poles in the ground and covered it with his wagon cover; he made a cloth tent to serve as a house because he couldn’t afford to buy the tools to make a log cabin. John began clearing the land. A month later, in August, 1823, his son, Joseph Fergus was born under the covered wagon. Eventually, through hard work, Fergus was able to build a log cabin home and made a good life for himself and his family.

''Pioneer' segment written in October, 1997 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge


[ Back to Pioneer Index ] 

Article Footer
SCHS footer Link to Home page Link to About Us Information Link to the Ross Center Information Link to our Events Calendar Information Link to our Archives Information Link to our Online Store / Products Information Link to our Membership Information Link to our Volunteering Information Link to our Contact Information Link to Staff & Board Information Link to our Current & Upcoming Exhibits Information Link to our Donation Information