James B Ferguson

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James B Ferguson - SAYE HOTED . ' STARTER'S LIFE Operation To Be...
SAYE HOTED . ' STARTER'S LIFE Operation To Be Per formed On Turfman ? . TaSe B. Ferguson. . A SKETCH OF HIS ' CAREER. Sent Tlxam Away- On Kost ct ' th Big Baca Tracks In. This - '- i- 1V ' ; cottjttry.' ' v -;;". - 18 B0B2T PT TjUfUi3V 1 1 T.TI aimmjTOW. xy, oec trrape. ; daLj-James B. Ferguson, one Vot tbo moat noted starters that the American turf baa seen. Has tn hU bed at bis beautiful horns near Lsx-tngton gainlnsr strength for an operation, which may take or may save his Ufa His condition Is ths result of a kindness dons a feeble old man nearly twenty years ago. The big. sthietlo starter was walking down Main street, ta this city, one dusky evening when be noticed George w. Wooiey. sa dd man, bains; imposed trpon. as Ferguson took it. by Capt. A. J. May. a younger and a stronger man. Anting- en tb impnlrr the horseman stopped ana in- oTARTEa JAMBS . . a m -aiiHfcM. Ten I hours later fired upon Ferguson and tn-fllcted wounds from which b has never Sreoovered. This was the beginning it the starter's Ul-halUi, al, hoosh a mag-nlfiornt physhiue aasenabled himto wtth-tsnd the attacks until very recently. -Accident led James Ferguson toto tb tboroughbred business, as hi early surrounding did not lead him to the track sr the stabiea He was the son ofj a dvil engineer, and was bom In Utularmm March U. 1M4. His elder brother. George W, became the engineer of thsfamliy. ana at an early age Ferguson became a clerk la the Commercial Bank ef Louls-vme, hut chance led him to the race track, and he took a great liklnc to the tbor-ouerhbred. He bsd just reached hi PtVhi ho went to ashvllls sad jm-bsrked In the horse business. He soon Bad a stable of runners and his flrst ventures were a success, and after five years be returned to Louisville and msds preparation for a trip abroad. He was several years la Europe and spent the greater part of lis time to Paris, seeing all sides of Ufe In that gay city. L Ferguson returned to Louisville after having spent a fortune la his travels. Hs could always make money, and set shout film cheerfully tc recoup. He engaged la the insurance business, but only for a short Una He met the beautiful Bessie Lee MoGrath, the favorite niece of Prtoa McGrath, ons of ths most noted turfmen of twenty-fivs years sgo. Ths acquaintance soon ripened Into love, and the marries followed. Feriruson was considered lucky at having obtained one of the belle of the Stat. He retained his rest dene to Louisville three or four years, but wtth his coming- into ths McGrath family cams fete dd love for tne thoroughbred, and he moved to Lexington In 11 to become Secretary of the dd Kentucky Association track. Hs was serving- tn this capacity when tb regular starter, James Sheridan, on the closing- day ef tb fall meeting asked Ferguson to not as a substitute for him during ths last two races, as BberW dan W'Sriied to catch aa afternoon train. This Ferguson did. sad with a great suo-sess. He became Infatuated with the Idea, of handling; the flag, and at the next. regular masting- at Churchill Downs. -Louis-villa, In IBM, be- became a p oft salon a I starter. Ths bu M. Lewi Clark was at the Urn President of the Louisville Jockey Club, and H was to ban tbat Ferrusoa attributes much of bis success. He gave the new starter every opportunity to make a success of sending- the racers away from ths post, and did much for Ferguson la the way of advice given from time to time, - Since 1884 Bluegrass Jim," as he was familiarly known, started en every track of prominence In ttte Catted States, wata three or four exceptions. He started all of tbo greet horses of the period, and saw aa of the premier jockey In the saddle before him. Including Garrhwn, Murphy. McLaughlin, McCarty. . John Bplllman and, others - of the dd school. "Tod Sloan Is the greatest rider I ever saw.' said Ferguson, "and BpUlmaa deserves tb second place. " - Among- the trainers be regarded Jtamy Rows. Sam Hhdretn and Jack Joyntor as standing- tn ths first rank. For tn past sins years Ferguson, started at tho Oakland track near Baa Francisco. This bas token bis time for six months ef tne year, baa, in onnsequanoa, bad to cut di ts in tne r.esx. . Bl FBHOUSOSf. Tsrsea. tn bto younger- days, l ijuiAM or a bsa and I athlete. Hs- was six foot one inch to height, welched. 19 pounds and was as -.-Ti.ht aa an arrow. Ha has always been fearless and Impulsive, ready to de fend a friend and to proteoc mmsen against an enemy. Ho bas sorer- been known to take a slight or an Insult, and this has led bins into several umgwun, 1. Am-r ha whmned Tom Moore, a -.miyi. tnraadnr and the noted Irish turfman. Barney Treacy. Ferguson and Treaey fougrht for twenty minutes with their fists, and at tb conclusion both were .-w - a ii miii Ins with Mood.. Tb battle occurred tn Horseman's Headquarters, then owned by Treacy. and Is even now related aa a good story among- groups of norscmcn. : v . - The bullet in Ferguson's i back waslo-eated by means of the X-rays. This brought oa fits of violent vomiting- sad k alnea that time. rm bullae had soilt la two pieces and aaar ths sDlnal sord. Th' wlU be removed as soon a th starter re gains his streogtn. :

Clipped from
  1. The Courier-Journal,
  2. 28 Oct 1900, Sun,
  3. Page 10

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