George Washington Gale Ferris, Sr

George Washington Gale Ferris, Sr

Norway, Herkimer County, New York, USA
Death 20 Apr 1895 (aged 76)
Riverside, Riverside County, California, USA
Burial Riverside, Riverside County, California, USA
Memorial ID 31160711 · View Source
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Migrated to Knox Co IL in 1836 awaiting the arrival of his parents and siblings; after marrying, he operated a dairy farm and owned 1200 acres; in 1864, he moved his family to Carson City NV; "In 1864 I went to Nevada and settled in Carson City, having sold my farm. I lost $10,000 to $12,000.00 by the change. The money that I realized from the sale of my property here (in Galesburg) was in greenbacks, but in Carson City gold was used and as that was at a market premium, I lost heavily in exchanging the greenbacks for gold"; they occupied the "Sears-Ferris House" which stands today. He imported a great number of eastern forest trees, such as hickory, black walnut, butter-nut, chestnut, hard and soft maple and many other varieties to Carson City and planted many trees on the Old Capitol Grounds, many of which are still standing; Las Vegas Sun December 6, 1996; Carson City – "Gov. Bob Miller, making his first public appearance since his prostrate cancer surgery last month, took part in the ninth annual Christmas tree lighting in Carson City. While Miller attended the ceremony Thursday on the front steps of the Capitol, his 7-year-old daughter, Megan, threw a switch that lit the estimated 1,200 lights on the 120-year-old Colorado blue spruce tree. The tree stands about 100-feet and was planted in 1876 by George Washington Gale Ferris." G.W.G. made four trips across the country after settling in California, by railroad; subsequent to 1869, when the transcontinental railroad was completed. He visited his old home in Illinois twice, one in 1887, on which occasion he was in the disastrous wreck of a Niagara Falls excursion train at Chatsworth IL which occurred on August 10 of that year, when 85 persons were killed and 215 were injured; he escaped without serious injuries and assisted numerous of the victims through the car windows. His last trip east was in 1893, when, at the World's Fair in Chicago, he shared with paternal pride the great engineering triumph of his son and namesake, the inventor of the Ferris Wheel. Not sure when they moved to Riverside, to be near his nephew, Sylvanus Harvey Ferris, but in the 1889 Riverside City and County Directory, GWG is listed as a horticulturist at the corner of Magnolia and Madison, Riverside.

Father of G.W.G. Ferris, Jr., inventor of Ferris Wheel

For more info, see

Beautiful portrait paintings of GWG and Martha are at the Dangberg Ranch Museum.

  • Maintained by: Jim Ferris
  • Originally Created by: Glenn and Tracy Morrow
  • Added: 5 Nov 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 31160711
  • Jim Ferris
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Washington Gale Ferris, Sr (14 May 1818–20 Apr 1895), Find a Grave Memorial no. 31160711, citing Olivewood Cemetery, Riverside, Riverside County, California, USA ; Maintained by Jim Ferris (contributor 46557174) .