A Sequential History of How Tanglewood Came to Be – Part Three
James had two older sons who had reached their majority; George and James. George had bought one of the first steam engines. He was going to do thrashing and run a sawmill, using the engine as power. This venture was unsuccessful. His father had co-signed the note. Since he had sold the Ohio farm on contract, proceeds from the sale was attached and in court, so the first payment was given to the lender. The family had left for Iowa, fully expecting to receive the payment, as it was recounted in the following memoir written by his youngest son, Robert. This explains why the family had such a hard time the first year.
As the money came in from the Ohio farm, James bought more Iowa land and gave to his children. He was considered a good businessman. The land James gave to his two daughters, Mary and Jane, is still owned (1969) by two granddaughters of Jane Laughlin Ferguson, namely Mrs. Twedt and Mrs. Mills, who still live in Marshalltown, Iowa.