Allen Frank Ferris


Allen Frank Ferris

Perrysburg, Cattaraugus County, New York, USA
Death 7 Sep 1903 (aged 38)
Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Block 6, Lot 90, NWC
Memorial ID 76831685 View Source
Suggest Edits

Arrived in Brainerd in 1872.

•See Nicholas Heller.
•See Fred Andrew Farrar.
•See Reuben Gray.
•See Lillian J. Ferris Spencer.
•See Unknown Man.
•See Fred A. Farrar.
•See Abraham Lincoln Hoffman.
•See J. H. Koop.
•See Dennis B. Mahoney.
•See Henry Spalding.
•See George H. Brown.
•See James Dewar.
•See Frank Bivins Johnson.

Married his first wife, Anna M. Steege, on June 8, 1887 in Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota.

      Yesterday was Allie Ferris' birthday, and in honor of the event his father presented him with a fine, double-barreled, breech-loading shot-gun. Our sympathy is strictly in favor with the chickens and ducks, which may chance at some future time to come within range of Allie's magnificent present. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 July 1881, p. 5, c. 2)

      Mrs. A. F. Ferris presented her husband with a fine ten pound boy on Sunday [Frank W. Ferris, born 13 January 1889], consequently cigars have been on tap at the First National Bank ever since. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 January 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Succeeded his brother-in-law, Halsey J. Spencer, as the President of his father, William Ferris' bank, the First National, until his death in 1903.

      The annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank was held on Monday, at which time the following directors were elected: G. W. Holland, B. A. Ferris, Adam Brown, A. F. Ferris, Leon E. Lum, H. J. Spencer and G. D. LaBar. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

      The annual meeting of the board of directors of the First National Bank was held on Monday the 23 inst., and the following officers were elected for the ensuing year, A. F. Ferris, President, Leon E. Lum, Vice President and G. D. LaBar, Cashier. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 March 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

      A contract has been let to stock "Ferris Lake" at Lake View with bass by the state game and fish commission. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

1895 Minnesota State Census, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Ward 2:
Ferris, Bulah, 63, b. New York
Ferris, Allen F., 30, b. New York, resident of Brainerd 22 years 6 months; president First National Bank
Ferris, Anna M., 30, b. Illinois [sic]
Ferris, Frank W., 6, b. Minnesota

                     A Work of Art.

      Many of our citizens have seen the portrait in oil of Hon. A. F. Ferris which adorns the walls of the First National Bank, from the brush of Col. Freeman Thorp, the noted artist who last spring established his home at Hubert Lake in this county. The picture affords the first opportunity our people have had of seeing Col. Thorp's work, and it fully justifies the great national reputation he has. The gentleman for many years occupied a studio built expressly for him by the government on the roof of the capitol in Washington. President Grant sat for him for a portrait for the war department historical collection, and when it was finished the President liked it so well that he ordered another for himself. The State of Ohio employed Col. Thorp to paint a portrait of President Garfield that is now in the state capitol at Columbus. A large number of portraits from his brush are in the government historical collections, and in many state collections. The gentleman is as adept in landscape gardening, and to make for himself and family a home with picturesque surroundings in a wonderfully healthy region he has chosen the lake region in the northern part of Crow Wing county. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

                     Annual Meeting.

      The annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank, of this city, was held on Monday last, and the old board of directors was re-elected as follows: G. W. Holland, Leon E. Lum, Adam Brown, A. F. Ferris, B. A. Ferris, T. J. Sharkey and G. D. LaBar. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

      A meeting of the new board of directors of the First National Bank was held on Monday, and the old officers were re-elected for the ensuing year as follows: A. F. Ferris, president; Leon E. Lum, vice president; Geo. D. LaBar, Cashier. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

      A. F. Ferris when coming down from the Pine River country last Friday shot and killed a grey eagle which measured eight feet and six inches from tip to tip. The bird is a fine specimen and is being mounted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

1900 Federal Census, State of Minnesota, Brainerd, Crow Wing County:
B. A. [Beulah] A. Ferris, head of household
Allen F. Ferris, son
Annie Ferris, daughter-in-law or; Note: Other Information "Not obtainable"
Frank W. Ferris, age 11, born June 1889; grandson of head of household

                    Bought a Bank.

      Hon. A. F. Ferris and Geo. D. LaBar went to Cass Lake on Sunday, where they completed negotiations on Monday for the purchase of the Bank of Cass Lake. The bank is a private institution doing a fine business, and was owned by Banker Hartings, of Grand Rapids, Minn., who disposed of the property on account of ill health. The name of the bank will be the same as heretofore, The Bank of Cass Lake, with Messrs. Ferris & LaBar, proprietors. The present cashier, J. R. Reed, will continue in charge. An organization was effected by the selection of Mr. Ferris as president, Mr. LaBar vice president, and Mr. Reed cashier.
      Mr. Ferris and Mr. LaBar are president and cashier of the first National Bank of this city, and more accommodating and faithful officials could not be found anywhere. The DISPATCH congratulates the people of Cass Lake in getting such solid, substantial and progressive men interested in their city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1900, p. 1, c. 4)

                  A New Bank Building.

      Hon. A. F. Ferris and Geo. D. LaBar were in Cass Lake and Duluth on Monday, when they let a contract for the construction of a new bank building. The building will be solid brick, two stories, 50x65 feet. It will be located on a corner, and a corner room 25x40 feet will be reserved for the use of their banking business. The balance of the first floor will be a storeroom surrounding the banking rooms on the side and rear. The second floor will be fitted up for offices. The building will be heated by steam, and will be modern in all its appointments. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

      A decree of divorce was today entered by the clerk of the district court in the case of Allen F. Ferris vs. Annie M. Ferris. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 May 1901, p. 8, c. 4)

Married his second wife, Helen Barbara Nelson, born 1877 in Indiana, daughter of Lewis F. and Rebecca Stirrup Nelson, on January 29, 1902 in Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota.

1905 MN Census for Brainerd Ward 2, 313 N. 7th St:
Ferris, Helen B., 27, b. Indiana; father b. Indiana; mother b. Scotland; resident of Minnesota 21 years 3 months; resident of Brainerd 11 years 9 months
Ferris, Frank W., 16, b. Minnesota; father b. New York; mother b. Iowa; resident of Brainerd 16 years 3 months

            DEATH REMOVES
                               HON. A. F. FERRIS

        And The City and Northern Part of
                the State is Plunged Into
                     Profoundest Gloom


         Although a Young Man he had At-
              tained Enviable Recognition
                       Throughout State

      The actual cause of death was a malignant form of appendicitis with a stoppage of the bowels due to old adhesive bands, caused by former attacks. There was also a diseased condition of the kidneys and liver. The operation revealed the fact that there was probably a perforation of the appendix from the very first and that an operation even during the first twelve hours of his illness would not, in all probability, have saved his life.
                          Dr. C. J. RINGWELL,
                          Dr. A. F. GROVES.

      Hon. Allen F. Ferris died yesterday morning at a quarter past eight o'clock, and Brainerd was thrown into the profoundest gloom. So sudden was the demise of Brainerd's most prominent citizen that the shock came as a thunderbolt from the heavens, and the entire city and in fact Crow Wing county, plunged into deepest mourning over the irreparable loss.
      On the dawn of a day when the city was about to clothe itself in its most gala attire, Senator Ferris' life ebbed away and he lived not to even hear a whisper of the attendant success of a great celebration made so by the exertion put forth by himself, for he has always been a sponsor of the events attending the commemoration of Labor Day. And this year as in the past he played and important part in securing the funds which were used for the pleasure of others during the day and which resulted in the ultimate success of this one great event of the year in Brainerd. He had run his course, faithful to the last and untiring in his devotion to the community's best welfare.
      It seemed indeed a cruel interruption of the day's festivities, when the trades and labor organizations had planned one of the biggest celebrations in their history, but the prompt response as the chord of human sympathy was touched, denoting in no small degree the esteem in which deceased was held in by all, and the supplanting of the emblems of mourning where glistening banners were want to be unfurled, spoke louder than words, and the honor thus bestowed is without parallel in Brainerd.
      The decorations which were artistically hung from prominent places in the city were, as soon as the news of the death of Senator Ferris had been learned, immediately redecorated with draperies emblematic of sorrow and the flags that were early unfurled to the wind were reduced to half mast in honor of the dead. To the serious thinking citizen the grand festival of the triumphs of labor was replaced by general depression, and the big industrial parade, grand in its magnitude and splendor, which in a sense was typical of the general resources of the city along manufacturing and mercantile lines, seemed more like a funeral cortege on this day and the glistening, sparkling features paled into insignificance beside the little tufts of black, symbolic of sorrow and mourning.


      Death came to claim Brainerd's most influential and enterprising citizen stealthily in the still night, and the soul of A. F. Ferris was carried away leaving a stillness like the calm after a storm and or a time those closest and dearest could fain come to a realization of the actual that had happened. Last Thursday morning Mr. Ferris was feeling very well and was down to his office at the First National bank, spending most of the morning there and about the city attending to his duties. He first complained on Thursday afteroon when he was taken with slight pains in the region of the stomach. He went to his home and in the evening Dr. A. F. Groves, the family physician was called.
      Dr. Groves upon examination soon learned that the trouble was in the region of the appendix and that the senator was suffering from appendicitis, and informed his patient that it would be well for him to have an operation, but Mr. Ferris stated that he thought the trouble would pass away soon and he would be all right again, and even when cautioned again regarding the matter, he did not think that his case was at all serious. On Friday morning Senator Ferris consented to have Dr. Groves wire to Minneapolis for a specialist, and the doctor did wire immediately for Dr. C. J. Rignell, one of the leading surgeons of that city. The word did not get to Dr. Ringnell in time so that he could catch the morning train out and get here by noon, so he took the "flyer" coming as far as Little Falls, and from there to Brainerd on a special light engine. A hurried examination was made of Mr. Ferris' condition and it is understood that Dr. Ringnell decided that an operation should be performed, but that the patient's condition at that time would not permit of its being done. Friday night passed with very little change, and very little was thought of the matter, no one thinking for a moment, except perhaps the attending physicians, that there was anything seriously the matter with the senator. Saturday morning he was almost the same and he was quite comfortable through Saturday night. Sunday morning he seemed somewhat relieved and continued so throughout the day with very little change one way or the other.

               THE FIRST REAL ALARM.

      The first real alarm came about 6 o'clock Sunday evening when Senator Ferris grew suddenly worse. He began to vomit and suffered intense pains throughout his bowels and stomach, and it was then decided that there was no other alternative than to perform an operation, and help was summoned and Mr. Ferris hurriedly removed from his residence on Seventh street north to St. Joseph's hospital, where the operation was performed the patient being in the operating room until nearly 10 o'clock. Relatives of the suffering man were summoned and were at hand, and the gravest doubt was felt, some believing that he would never survive the ordeal in the operating room. After he was removed to the Elks' room from the operating room Dr. Ringnell gave out the startling information that Senator Ferris was in a a very critical condition and that there was not one chance in one thousand for the recovery. He stated that Mr. Ferris had appendicitis in its worst form. The appendix had been ruptured and there was general peritonitis. After he had reached his bed in the hospital Mr. Ferris inquired of the doctor what they had found and he was told the exact condition he was in. He bravely announced that he would not give up and would fool them all, and it is understood that this frame of mind existed almost up to the last. The attending physicians thought that he would not survive until morning but he did not expire until 8:15 o'clock a. m.

               WAS A TERRIBLE SHOCK.

      At the time of the operation there were a number of the closest friends of the late senator, together with his wife and aged mother and Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Spencer, and Mr. and Mrs. Will Spencer, present at the hospital. The news of the actual condition of Senator Ferris struck those present with a sense of keenest sorrow, and great sympathy was expressed for the wife and aged mother, who were almost completely overcome. It was a sad blow and the sight of Mrs. B. A. Ferris, the mother taking her departure from the death chamber for the last time was a pitiable one.
      At the time of the death yesterday morning there were none of the relatives at the bedside except a brother-in-law, H. J. Spencer. Up to within about ten minutes of his death Mr. Ferris was quite rational and talked somewhat. He realized that the end was near and repeated to Mr. Spencer, "It is too bad, it is too bad." He then began to call for his wife and almost the last words uttered by the late senator were regarding his wife. The relatives of the deceased had been sent for when it was seen that the end was near at hand, but they did not arrive in time. Mrs. Ferris his wife, was the first to arrive but death occurred some five minutes before. She was completely overcome and had to be almost carried from the hospital.

                WAS IN PRIME OF LIFE.

      Allen F. Ferris was born at Perrysbury [sic], Cattaraugus county, N. Y., on July 27 [sic] [22], 1865, so that he had just passed his thirty-eighth birthday when he died. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. William Ferris, who moved to Brainerd in 1872, when Senator Ferris was but seven years of age. The elder Ferris was agent for the United States Express company when he first came to Brainerd and was with the company until January 1880, when the business went into the hands of the Northern Pacific Express company, after which he started a bank known as the Bank of Brainerd which shortly afterward became a national bank, with the elder Mr. Ferris as president. Senator Ferris received a common school education, part in the east and part in Brainerd afterwards taking a course at Carleton college, Northfield.
      Mr. Ferris was appointed teller of the First National bank in this city in the year 1885, when he was then but twenty years of age, and his advancement in his profession after that was very rapid. The following year, 1886, he was elected cashier of the First National and in 1892 was elected president, then a young man only twenty-seven years of age.


      While Mr. Ferris was always a staunch Republican it was not until the year 1891 that he held public office. In that year he was appointed by Gov. Merriam as a member of the state game and fish commission, and later, when the commission was organized as a board, he became its secretary. He was elected a member of the legislature from this district and after serving three terms in the lower branch of that body, he was elected last fall at the general election to the upper house, and was at the time of his death state senator. He was a member of the state central committee in 1900 and also went as a delegate that year to the national convention at Philadelphia at which time President McKinley was nominated.
      Besides being interested in the First National bank in this city and being its president, Mr. Ferris was also one of the directors and president of the First National bank at Cass Lake. He was also the president of the Minnesota Park Region Land company and was interested in various other enterprises. Only this spring he became heavily interested with St. Paul and eastern capitalists in the formation of a million dollar lumber company which is about to operate in the great Canadian northwest.
      While a comparatively young man being only thirty-eight years of age, Mr. Ferris had achieved an enviable distinction both in business and political circles throughout the state, and his ability and integrity were well recognized. He secured recognition for his constituents where other men have failed and his presence has always been felt in the administration of public affairs in the state legislature. He was one of the most active members last winter in the upper branch and, although in his first term in this branch, received more recognition and secured better legislation for his district than most of the older heads for theirs. All important legislation as affecting Brainerd was secured through his influence and he has ever been on the alert to serve his people with a gallantry that had commanded the respect of all Republicans and the admiration of Democrats in this district.
      In the senate he at once assumed leadership. He was the father of the bill establishing a state sanitarium for consumptives. He was a member of the most important committees in the senate, being on railroads, logs and lumber, mines and minerals, game and game laws, public land, and banks and banking. He was one of the Babcock leaders in the late speakership contest. He had the reputation of getting what ever he went after and his work was always a stimulus to others who figured little obstacles as insurmountable. His loss will be felt not only in Brainerd but throughout the county and in fact Northern Minnesota, for he was at the zenith of his career and had he lived would have been able to devote at least twenety years more of his life for the public good.


      The loss to the city of Brainerd in the death of Senator Ferris cannot well be estimated for in this city he was a sort of father to all. A truer friend never lived than he, and there are hundreds in Brainerd who have from time to time felt the warmth of generosity, and they can attest to his goodness. No public enterprise, no matter how great or small, nothing that could be suggested for the public good, politically, educationally or religiously, no cry of need, no worthy man in distress, would ever be overlooked by Senator Ferris. He was always the first man to be sought out when citizens generally were asked to subscribe means for some public good and there is seldom an instance where it is chronicled that he turned the marble heart to such. The expression on all hands in this city is that no greater loss, except some general calamity, could come to Brainerd at this present time. His power in the city and his influence throughout the northern part of the state made him a pillar among his own people and his removal at this time is like the removal of a great foundation from beneath a massive structure.


      Senator Ferris was a member of several of the different secret societies in the city. He was a member of the following Masonic bodies: Aurora lodge, No. 100, Brainerd Chapter, No. 12; Ascalon Commandery, No. 16 and Zurah Temple, Order of Shriners. He was also a member of Brainerd Lodge, B. P. O. E., No. 615, Camp No. 2337, M. W. A., Brainerd Aerie, No. 30, F. O. E., White Cross Lodge, No. 30, K. of P. and Red Cloud Tribe, No. 13, I. O. R. M. he was also a member of Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, having been affiliated with that organization since its start. While never holding offices in any of these bodies he was always a conscientious and faithful worker in the interest of the orders and his advice was always sought in matters pertaining to the welfare of the different bodies. He had already been elected and was about to take the Scottish Rite degree. A rather queer coincidence is the fact that the late Frank Johnson had also advanced in Masonry to the extent that Senator Ferris had, and he too was taken suddenly away after being elected and just before taking the Scottish Rite work in the Twin cities. Nearly all the secret orders to which the late senator belonged are taking steps to take some part in the last sad obsequies, which will occur on Thursday afternoon.


      The death of Senator Ferris brought many telegrams of sympathy and regret from different parts of the state and the northwest. Early yesterday morning as soon as the death was known in St. Paul, telegrams were sent to the family of the deceased and to some of Mr. Ferris' closest friends.
       Mrs. A. F. Ferris is heartstricken over the sudden turn of affairs and the aged mother of the deceased, Mrs. B. A. Ferris, is completely overcome with grief. The deceased left besides his wife and mother, one son, Frank Ferris aged 14 years and a sister, Mrs. H. J. Spencer, besides many relatives in the east of more distant relation. The mourning members of the family in this city have the sympathy of the entire community.


      The funeral services will be held on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock, from the First Congregational church. Rev. Richard Brown officiating. It is expected that there will be a large turnout of the members of the different bodies of which deceased was a member and there will also be present a large number of friends of the late senator from outside cities. All business places and public offices in the city will be closed from 1:00 p. m. to 5:00 p. m., an honor which is seldom bestowed by a city on one of her dead. Mayor A. J. Halsted has issued a proclamation to this effect and it will doubtless be generally responded to.
      Rev. Richard Brown will officiate and the following have been selected as pallbearers: J. M. Elder, Samuel R. Adair, N. H. Ingersoll, Henry Spalding, George D. LaBar, F. A. Farrar, J. C. Davis, George A. Brown, Judge W. S. McClenahan and C. D. Johnson.
      The shops will be closed on Thursday afternoon and a meeting of all the unions of the city was held last night and it was decided that the Trades and Labor assembly members would turn out in a body.

            To the Citizens of Brainerd.

      By the sudden and untimely death of Hon. A. F. Ferris, our city has lost a faithful public servant and a public spirited citizen. For years he has been prominent in public affairs, and a leading and influential business man. During his active business career he has always been foremost in the work of building up and improving our city, and has ever had the best interests of the city at heart. His death is sincerely mourned as a public loss.
      It is fitting and proper, therefore, that all proper respect should be shown by our citizens for the deceased, and I would therefore request that all public offices be closed, and that business of all kinds be suspended on the afteroon of Thursday, Sept. 10, the day of the funeral, between the hours of 1 and 5 o'clock, and that emblems of mourning be displayed upon all places of business, as a tribute of respect.
                          A. J. HALSTED, Mayor.
Brainerd, Sept. 8, 1906.

                  Attention Firemen.

      All active and retired firemen are requested to meet at the central hose house tomorrow night to make arrangements to attend the funeral of the late A. F. Ferris.

               Attention Laboring Men.

      All members of the trades and labor unions are requested by the Trades and Labor Assimbly to turn out en masse to the funeral of the late A. F. Ferris, on Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock.


      The principal officers of the various lodges and organizations to which the late A. F. Ferris belonged are requested to meet at Masonic hall at 7:30 o'clock Wednesday evening, Sept. 9th, for the purpose of arranging details and assigning places in the funeral procession.
                             EDWARD CRUST, W. M.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1903, p. 3) [Contributed by John Van Essen]

Family Members


Sponsored by Ancestry


  • Created by: A. Nelson
  • Added: 20 Sep 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 76831685
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Allen Frank Ferris (22 Jul 1865–7 Sep 1903), Find a Grave Memorial ID 76831685, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by A. Nelson (contributor 47143984) .