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Harley B. Ferguson Papers

Collection 72

Ferguson, Harley B. (1875-1968).  Papers, 1911-1968, n.d.

2 ft., 1 in. 

Harley B. Ferguson was born on 14 August 1875 in Waynesville, North Carolina. He was the son of William Burden and Laura Adelaide Reeves Ferguson. On 3 January 1907 he married Mary Virginia McCormack, and they later had 3 children. After attending the Waynesville Schools, Ferguson was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1893. He graduated on 11 June 1897, and was appointed a Second Lieutenant Corps of Engineers, United States Army. In September, 1910 he was appointed a member of a Board of Engineers charged with raising the Battleship Maine, which had been sunk in Havana Harbor before the Spanish-American War.  In 1913 he graduated from the Army War College, Washington, D.C., and served until 1917 on Corps of Engineers Civil Works assignments. In 1921 he also graduated from the Army War College in Post War Course. He also worked in France, Pittsburgh, Mississippi, etc.

Ferguson was President of the Mississippi River Commission from 1932 until his retirement from the Army in 1939, and had initiated the cut offs and the present plan of flood control. He was sent to Louisiana to solve the problem of flood control. General Ferguson was largely instrumental in harnessing the great river. In Greenville, Mississippi, the lake created was named in his honor. An Act of Congress promoted him to Major General and gave that rank to all future presidents of Mississippi River Commission.

Ferguson died at the age of 93 after a brief illness.  He is buried at the Calvary Cemetery, Lafayette, Louisiana.

This collection consists of newspaper and magazine articles on Ferguson, publications on the Battleship Maine, and a large collection of photographs of the various stages of work that were necessary for the recovery of the historic Battleship Maine, and flooding of the Mississippi River. Some photographs in this collection have 2 copies.

The collection was donated by Mrs. Charles Boudousquie of Lafayette, daughter of General Harley B. Ferguson.

Series:

A. Newspaper clippings 1-01
B. Publications 1-02 and 1-03
C. Photographs 1-04 through 5-04
  1. Havana Harbor and salvage of U.S.S. “Maine”, 1910-1912 1-04 through 4-03
  2. Mississippi River Flood, 1927 4-04 through 4-10
D. Miscellaneous 5-05

Inventory:

1-01 Newspaper clippings (including obituary), 1911, 1968, n.d.
     
1-02 Publications: The Story of the Maine, American Photo Co., 1911; The Wreck of the Battleship Maine, Washington, 1911
1-03 publications: Annual report of the Chief of Engineers: “Removal of the Wreck of the Battleship ‘MAINE’”, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1911; “Final Report of Removal Wreck of Battleship  ‘MAINE’ from Harbor of Habana, Cuba,” U.S. House of Representatives, 63rd Congress, 2nd Session, Document No. 480. Washington, 1914
     
Photographs: Havana harbor – raising the U.S. Maine: 1910 – 1912 [official U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photographs ?]
     
1-04 [Dec., 1910]
    #5, 9-13, 15-26, 28, 30-31: n.d.
    #32: 8 December 1910
    #33-46: n.d.
    #47: 4 December 1910
    #48-50: n.d.
1-05 [Dec., 1910]
    #51-53, 55-75, n.d.
1-06 [Dec., 1910]
    #76-87: n.d.
    #88-90: 27 December 1910
    #91-92: 28 December 1910
    #93: n.d.
    #94-97: 29 December 1910
    #98: n.d.
    #99-100: 29 December 1910
1-07 [1910-1911]
    #101-106, 108-125: n.d.
2-01 [1910-1911]
    #126-150: n.d.
2-02 [1911]
    #151-175: n.d.
2-03 n.d.
    #176-187; #189-190; #192-193; #195-200
2-04 n.d.
    #201-219; #221-225
2-05 [1911]
    #227; #229-237: n.d.
    #239-241; #243-244; #246-248; # 250: 4 June 1911
    #249: 5 June 1911
2-06 1911
    #267: 4 June 1911
    #251-254; #256; #258; #264; #266; #268-269: 5 June 1911
    #260-263: 6 June 1911
    #271-272: 12 June 1911
    #274-275: 16 June 1911
2-07 1911
    #285-290: 12 June 1911
    #277-282; #284; #291-294: 16 June 1911
    #295-300: 21 June 1911
3-01 July, 1911
    #308-311: 15 July 1911
    #312-323: 18 July 1911
    #302-306: 21 June 1911
    #324-325: 22 July 1911
3-02 July, 1911
    #346-350: 7 July 1911
    #344-345:  11 July 1911
    #327: 22 July 1911
    # 329-330; #336-338; #340-341: 23 July 1911
    #331-333: 24 July 1911
    #326; #342-343: 25 July 1911
    #334: 26 July 1911
3-03 July – October, 1911
    #353: 28 July 1911
    #359-360; #364-366: 1 August 1911
    #354-358; #361-363: 2 August 1911
    #370-372: 3 August 1911
    #391-393: 26 August 1911
    #395; #397-398: 6 September 1911
    #448: 24 October 1911
4-02 #II-XIV; #XVI-XVIII location: 26 November 1911
    views of wreck after it has been raised
3-04 December, 1911 – February, 1912
    #500: 29 December 1911
    #501-503: 12 January 1912
    #504-510: 18 January 1912
    #511-512: 25 January 1912
    #513-517: 26 January 1912
    #518-521: 27 January 1912
    #522-524: 31 January 1912
    #525: 10 February 1912
3-05 February, 1912
    #526-534: 10 February 1912
    #535-542: 11 February 1912
    #543-544; #546-550: 12 February 1912
3-06 February – March, 1912
    #551: 12 February 1912
    #552: 21 February 1912
    #553-557: 22 February 1912
    #558-559; #561-563: 25 February 1912
    #564: 26 February 1912
    #566-567: 27 February 1912
    #568-569: 28 February 1912
    #570-571: 1 March 1912
    #572-573: 14 March 1912
3-07 March – April, 1912
    #576-579; #581; #583; #585-587: 16 March 1912
    #588: 24 March 1912
    #589-592: 7 April 1912
    #593-594: 8 April 1912
4-10 Harris Brothers Company Photo, Havana
    #743; #748; #753-754: Cutting Up the Maine, n.d.
    #746: Interior of U.S.S. Maine, n.d.
    #751-752: Dismembering the Maine, n.d.
4-03 n.d. no numbers  [early in work]  [9 photographs]
     
Mississippi River Flood, 1937   [captions on back]
4-04 #13: 7 February – Illinois Central Railroad and Lake Pontchartrain
  #11, 26, 29: 10 February
    Airline Highway Bridge; temporary wave wash fence; wave wash along levee
  #25, 27, 28, 31: 11 February
    low section of levee; temporary wave wash fence; wave wash
  #4, 5, 9, 12: 15 February
    Bonnet Carré Spillway; I.C.R.R. trestle
  #20, 22, 24: 18 February
    Deer Park – Point Breeze Levee being protected; section toping near Brabston
  #19: 19 February
    sand boil near LSU
  #6, 7: 22 February
    replacing needles; looking toward weir structure
  #30: 26 February
    minor wave wash taken care of by sacking
  #3, 10: 28 February
    Lakeside of weir structure; Airline Highway
  #18: 1 March 1936 [sic]
    landside view of new Rodney Cut-off levee
  #21, 23: 2 March
    Black Hawk Plantation looking upstream [Red River]; section below Deer Park
  #16: 9 March
    taken from I.C.R.R. trestle looking toward Lake Pontchartrain
  #14, 15, 17: 11 March
    Bonnet Carré Spillway
  #8: 20 March
    sand deposits along Y. & M.V.R.R. trestle a week after spillway closed
4-05 “Highway Maintenance” [Memphis Engineer District photographs]
  #6625: 29 January – Cairo, Illinois
  #6737: 31 January – Caruthersville, Missouri
  #6741: 1 February – Point Pleasant, Missouri
  #6743: 1 February – New Madrid, Missouri
  #6745: 5 February – St. John’s Levee, Missouri
  #6748: 5 February – St. John’s Levee, Missouri
  #6751: 6 February – Hickman, Kentucky
  #6753: 6 February – Hickman, Kentucky
  #6760: 8 February – Hickman, Kentucky
  #6773: 9 February –Dundee, Mississippi
  #10349: 28 January – Sanos, Missouri
  #10365: 4 February – Birds Point, Missouri
  #10390: 17 February – Lower St. Francis Levee District
  #10391: 17 February – Lower St. Francis Levee District
  #10485: 14 February – sub levee sand boils north of Jeffries, Mississippi
4-06 Turbulence
  #6697: 27 January – Birds Point, New Madrid Floodway
  #6701: 27 January – Birds Point, New Madrid Floodway
  #6705, 6708: 3 February – Birds Point, New Madrid Floodway
  #6707: 3 February - Birds Point, New Madrid Floodway
  #6711: 6 February –Birds Point, New Madrid Floodway
  #6780: 9 February – Memphis, Tennessee
  #6781: 9 February – Memphis, Tennessee
  #10397: 14 February – Battle Axe Spur Levee, Arkansas
  #10368: 14 February – Battle Axe Spur Levee, Arkansas
4-07 Protected Areas
  #6720: 29 January – Cairo, Illinois
  #6734: 31 January – Caruthersville, Missouri
  #6754: 6 February – Hickman, Kentucky
  #6758: 6 February – Hickman, Kentucky
  #10364: 4 February –Greenfield Bend, Missouri Levee
  #10460: 12 February – New Madrid, Missouri
4-08 Unprotected areas
  #6776: 9 February – Memphis, Tennessee: Wolf River backwater in vicinity of Thomas Street bridge on U.S. Highway 51
  #10357: 29 January – Birds Point - New Madrid, Missouri
  #10363: 4 February – Greenfield Bend, Missouri
  #10439: 12 February – Miston, Tennessee
4-09 Miscellaneous
  #6700: 27 January – Birds Point - New Madrid, Missouri setback levee
  #6709: 3 February - Birds Point – New Madrid, Missouri looking into floodway
  #6733: 31 January – Caruthersville, Missouri: Ward Avenue on riverside of seawall
  #6761: 10 February – Memphis Engineering Reservation: view from top of district office
  #6766: 10 February – Memphis Engineering Reservation: view of District Office from river
  #10366: 14 February – Peters Landing, Arkansas: radio equipment and personnel on quarter boat
  #10381: 10 February – Memphis, Tennessee: Nonconnah Creek backwater
  #10386: 10 February – Memphis, Tennessee: Wolf River backwater
  #10421: 4 February – vicinity of Cairo, Illinois
  #10431: 4 February – Mound City, Illinois
  #10437: 5 February – Mounds, Illinois
  #10484: 14 February – Memphis, Tennessee: Engineer’s Reservation (aerial view)
  #10486: 14 February – Memphis, Tennessee: Engineer’s Reservation (aerial view)
   
4-10 Index to Photographs; Chart: Hydrograph Flood Period
     
Box 5  
Rolled photographs:
  #1. U.S.S. Maine Havana Photo, #9938, n.d. [2 copies]
  #2. Wreck of the U.S.S. Maine - 7 June 1911
  #3. 16 June 1911, No.D
  #4 16 June 1911, No.B
     
Flood Control
5-05 Morganza Floodway Studies, Part A: 9 April 1938