Thorne & Bryan Genealogy
    Last Page Activity: January 24, 2014         
Florence JONES


Birth:   29 Dec 1881   Hillier, Ontario

Death:   1988   Portland, Oregon

Father:   George Bell JONES (1854-1937)

Mother:   Mary 'Alida' THORNE (1858-1928)


Spouse:   John James FERGUSON

Birth:     9 Dec 1886

Death:   12 June 1963    (at Residence 3037 N.E. Dekum St, Portland, Oregon, USA)

 - James was a member of Scottish Rite and Al Kader Shrine

 Marriage:   1925   Vancouver, British Columbia






JONES Florence

The Oregonian (newspaper) Portland, Oregon December 27, 1981


Florence Ferguson believes she knows why she has lived 100 years. "The way you think and your attitude must be happy because how you think affects your physical health," she said.

Despite some sad memories -- of the deaths of her mother, husband and brother; of how she and her mother reared her brother's child; of times when it was not easy to get a job -- Mrs. Ferguson kept returning to happy times. "I had a perfect childhood with loving parents," she said.

She was born December 29, 1881, in Hillier, Ontario, Canada, on a farm deeded to her father by her Irish immigrant grandfather. When she was 6, her family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. She completed school and business college and went to work. "Would you believe I earned $20 a month in my first job?" she asked.

She worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway and later for the Crown Prosecutor where her salary went to $75 a month. "Then I had lots of money, I even bought a piano," she said with a devilish twinkle in her eye. 

What was the most happy time in her life?

"I'd have to say when I married and we moved to Portland. My husband was a wonderful man. We had a good life." she said with an accent on the "wonderful". She and her husband became U.S. citizens and she recalls voting the first time for Franklin D. Roosevelt. War was approaching, and the job her husband expected in Portland evaporated. Instead, he was offered a job managing a paving crew. "He said he didn't want to take the job and make a tramp of me moving all over," she said with humor. But finally they did take the road job.

"And do you know it was a wonderful couple of years," she said. She reeled off the names of 20 Oregon towns. They lived out of a trunk in rooming houses and hotels "We had only one problem. The fruit was so lovely in Southern Oregon I canned so much that we had two blowouts on the way back to Portland," she said with a chuckle.

Florence (nee Jones) Ferguson Oct 1942  "neath my scarlet runner vine by the bedroom window"
When the company wanted to transfer the Fergusons to Florida, they left the paving firm and her husband became a manufacturer's representative for a variety of hardware lines. "Those were great days. I worked in his office. We had a good breakfast, washed the dishes, made the beds and were off to work," she said, "and our business prospered."

When they came to Portland, her husband feared she would be without women friends and urged her to join the Eastern Star. "I made dear, good friends," she said. She will have a birthday luncheon with seven Eastern Star Past Worthy Matrons from the West Gate Chapter No.156 on "her" day, Dec 29.

The following day her friends at Calaroga Terrace will honor her at a special luncheon following Holy Communion services by the Rev. Jay McMurren from Grace Memorial Episcopal Church.

For 13 years she has lived at the Calaroga Terrace. She takes care of her apartment. A little Christmas tree decorated with dainty antique ornaments stands on a table. Her chairs, which belonged to her mother, are upholstered with needlepoint. Her only regret is loss of her vision which she conceals so well it is hardly noticeable. Reading was her favorite pastime.
"People always say how lucky I am to be so well. I never tell them my vision is poor, and that I wear hearing aids. I have some other problems, but I'm lucky, they don't show," she said.

And then back to her philosophy for a long and happy life. "We had difficulties, but we got out of them. If we had no difficult times, we would not appreciate all the good things in life, all the things to be happy about."
  l-r  Ralph & Edna Van Horne with Florence and Jim Ferguson

The Oregonian (newspaper) Portland, Oregon December 30, 1986

At 105 years old, Florence Ferguson's memory is as clear as the waters of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, where she made some of her happiest memories.

Ferguson celebrated her birthday Monday over cake with friends at the Reedwood Extended Care Center, 3540 SE Francis Street., her home since February. Most of her friends were from the Calaroga Terrace retirement home, where she lived for 18 years. As a birthday gift, her friends brought her a bouquet of 105 pink carnations. 

Ferguson was born on a farm in Ontario, Canada, but moved with her parents and two brothers to British Columbia when he was 6 years old. As a young woman, she worked as a secretary for the Canadian Pacific Railway and got all her vacations free, compliments of her employer, she said.

With a friend, who also worked for the railway, she visited every resort hotel in Canada that was owned by Canadian Pacific, she said. Her happiest memories are of their stay at Lake Louise. The two young women paddled canoes across the Lake, then took a picnic to a smaller lake nearby. Caught in a sudden thunderstorm, they were drenched by the rain.

A JONES OUTING: Fred, Lil, Florence and Pauline in Stanley Park. Percy Sills drives

"In those days! you weren't dressed unless you had a big veil on a big hat," Ferguson recalled. But with their headgear sopping, the women couldn't face the other guests at the hotel, she said. The solution was to sneak over to the hotel's laundry. The laundry man let the women use irons and ironing boards. When they returned to the hotel, there was not a clue that their hats and veils had been dripping messes only a short time earlier, she recalled.

Ferguson said she also worked as a legal secretary for the Crown Prosecutor of British Columbia, and later she was a secretary at a wholesale lumber company. But, she said, her job with the railroad was her favourite.

While working at the lumber company, she met James Ferguson, whom she married in 1925. Their marriage lasted 38 years, until his death. They had no children but raised the daughter of her brother, who had died of injuries from an accident. Ferguson's niece is now 80 years old and lives in a nursing home in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ferguson and her husband became US citizens in 1930 and lived in Portland, where James Ferguson worked as a hardware manufacturer's representative.

She said she was "decidedly" a sports fan, particularly of the Portland Trail Blazers. Her vision is not good, so she doesn't watch the games on television, she said, but she likes to listen to them on the radio. However, other residents sometimes make her turn off the radio, she said. "Sometimes somebody else wants to go to sleep instead of listening to the Blazers," she said.

Ferguson is a 60-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star and was named Worthy Matron in 1941.

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