John Charles Ferguson was born in Launceston on 6 Jan 1842, a son of John Ferguson (1798-1877) and his wife Ann Kirk (1812-1897). He was educated at Wathen's School before attending the Launceston Church Grammar School. He was then apprenticed to Alexander Webster in the ironmongery trade and for part of his early commercial career he was in partnership with James Barclay, acquiring Corbett's business in Brisbane Street. In 1884 he established the firm of John C Ferguson & Co., hardware merchants and machinery importers, at 67 Brisbane Street, on the corner with George Street. John exhibited two cases of guns at the Tasmanian Exhibition of 1891-92, winning a first award and a special first award. He was also on the General Committee of the Exhibition.
John married Beatrice Hamilton in 1869. He was a staunch supporter of the church and all his children, born between 1870 and 1885, were baptised and confirmed at St Paul's Anglican Church in Cleveland Street. He served on the Church Court, and the Launceston Hospital Board and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Tourist Association and the Tasmanian Agricultural and Pastoral Society. In his youth he was a member of the Launceston Artillery Corps and a rifleman of distinction. He suffered a stroke which left him bedridden for five years until his death in 1914 aged 72. He was buried at Carr Villa on 10 Sep and his wife Beatrice was buried with him on 25 Apr 1919. His two unmarried daughters, Beatrice and Muriel, are in the adjoining grave. His wife, three children and members of his extended family, Dean, Weetman and Windeatt, also are pictured in the Launceston Family Album. See The Examiner 6 Jan 2007, page 26.