WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
WILLIAM & ELLEN BROOKE FERGUSON
(doctors in St. George for a very short time in 1876)
BIOGRAPHYEllen Brooke Ferguson was born in Cambridge, England, where her father, William Lombe Brooke, was a lawyer of considerable reputation and social prominence. She received her education principally from private tutors and professors in the University.
In 1857, she married Dr. William Ferguson of London, a physician.
In 1860, they came to America and published a weekly newspaper in Ohio. Ellen became interested in the question of suffrage for women and spent time doing educational, literary, musical, and medical work.
In 1875, Mrs. Ferguson went to England for her health, and traveled for some months in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. On her return home to Illinois in 1876, she found her husband preparing to move to Utah, having become interested in the affairs of that Territory through his acquaintance with Elder John Morgan and correspondence with President Brigham Young and others.
The Fergusons arrived at Salt Lake City in June, 1876, and went direct to St. George, where on the 1st of July they were baptized as Latter-day Saints by Elder Alexander F. McDonald. In October of the same year they moved to Provo, and the year following to Salt Lake City.
In 1880, William died at Salt Lake City after which Ellen devoted her life to medicine. Apparently, she did not actually have a medical degree, but she had studied medicine in England and had learned from her husband sufficiently to practice in Europe and the United States. This seemed in her mind to justify advertising for her services as Dr. Ellen Ferguson. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Deseret Hospital in Salt Lake City.
In the 1890s, her religious views underwent a change, and her connection with the Latter-day Church was severed in 1897. She then gave her adherence to the system known as Theosophy. She moved back east and died in New York City in 1920.
FAMILYWilliam & Ellen were married in London in 1857.
They had four children.
REFERENCESNotes on Dr. Ellen Brooke Ferguson
Death notice about Ellen in the New-York Tribune, March 17, 1920, Page 6