Funeral Museum, Folk Art Collection, 1880 Rockfalls Hearse

Folk art carving detail  at Ferguson Funeral Home

Ferguson Funeral Home Museum                     Robert B. Ferguson, Jr. F.D., Owner

Ferguson Funeral Home Museum
Featuring American Folk Art, Hand Carved Artifacts,
and an 1880  Rockfalls Horse-Drawn Hearse
Mon-Friday 9-5, Evenings and Weekends by Appointment


A B.P.O.E. Tale

James Patrick OwensAs with all traditions, there is always a good story that emerges from the past.  And so there exists a tale of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks Lodge that illuminates the early generations of the Ferguson family in Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

Association with the B.P.O.E. first began with J. Patrick Owens, the second owner of the funeral home.  Owens was instrumental in forming the Scottdale Elks Lodge #777 in 1902.  He was so active that he was named the Charter Exalted Ruler.  Soon thereafter his partner William Ferguson was inducted and many renowned businessmen of the community sought membership in the organization.  However, once Mr. Owens retired and the Ferguson Funeral Home was passed onto William Ferguson, the same privilege of membership was not passed on to William’s sons, George and John.

Membership Denied

Wil FergusonBoth George and John longed to be members of the Elks Lodge, especially because of their father’s many accomplishments.  However, during each of the evening meetings whenever the names of George and John Ferguson came up to vote, they were declined membership.  For some reason it seemed as though there was an effort to prevent their membership.  Through the years, the tale suggested in explanation has been that their father William enjoyed the privacy and camaraderie at the Lodge to such a degree that he did not wish to share it with his sons.  Eventually George and John gave up on their quest to gain membership in the B.P.O.E. and never again applied.  However, the Ferguson sons were not the only members of the community limited from becoming members of the lodge.  For decades thereafter, very few members were accepted.

Upon William’s death in 1951, the story continued to unfold.  Members of the Elks Memorial Committee contacted the Ferguson family to conduct a memorial service for William at the Ferguson’s home.  But because of refusal of the Lodge to admit George and John, the efforts of the Elks Memorial Committee were also refused.  Instead the memorial service was held at the Lodge.

Family Ties to the Elks Restored

Future generations of the Ferguson family would repair whatever rift might have been created between their family and the Lodge.  The current third and fourth generations, Bob Ferguson and Rob Ferguson, Jr., hold membership at B.P.O.E.  In fact, Rob is active in the Lodge’s billiard league, golf league, and chairs the Drug Awareness Committee.


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