Former Longtime Texarkana Mayor Bobby Ferguson Passes Away at 84
Former Texarkana, Arkansas Mayor Bobby Ferguson has died at the age of 84 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Ferguson was Mayor on the Arkansas side of town for 18 years stretching from 1974 until 1992. Prior to being Mayor, Ferguson spent six years on the city's Board of Directors.
Ferguson was known for his hard work promoting the city during his tenure, frequently traveling to Little Rock and Washington to meet with elected officials on behalf of his beloved city.
Those trips had big results including obtaining more than $70 million in both state and federal funding for local facilities such as the Bi-State Justice Center, Millwood Water Treatment Plant, and the Texas Wastewater Treatment Plant on South State Line.
Mayor Ferguson accomplished many things in his long stint as a leader in Texarkana, Arkansas. That included the re-location of the Four States Fair and Rodeo from Spring Lake Park on the Texas side to its current location off of Four States Fair Parkway.
He also secured some $15 million in housing bonds that resulted in more than 300 new homes for low income families in the city. Ferguson is credited with starting the Senior Citizens RSVP program, the Dial-a-Truck initiative, and was very involved in the local 911 start up.
During his terms in office, the city won the Keep America Beautiful Award for two years in a row and also won the Take Pride in America Award. In appreciation of his many years of service to the community, the Board of Directors named the Bobby Ferguson Park near Interstate 30 in his honor.
Ferguson also spent time on the Miller County Quorum Court, the Texarkana, Arkansas School Board and other committees.
Bobby Ferguson, known as "Fergy" from childhood, was born on August 29, 1934 in Stamps, Ark. His family later moved to Texarkana, Ark., where his family owned Fergy's Photos on Broad Street. After graduating from Arkansas High, he attended Texarkana Community College and Oklahoma Baptist University before being called to military service.
After returning from active duty, Ferguson worked as a pharmaceutical salesman for more than 44 years and with his friend Jerry Shipp ran Porky's Restaurant and later a food service for many years.
Mayor Ferguson's grandson, Andrew Ferguson, who works for Townsquare Media in Texarkana, says he was like a second dad to him.
"He lived next door to us. And when I was younger, when my parents were working, he would always pick me up from school and spend a lot of time with me, which included time at his home and frequent trips to the park."
The younger Ferguson says he remembered trips to the fairgrounds where his grandfather worked selling his BBQ, and that he would help his grandfather out from time to time. He says he helped his grandfather even more as he got older. He also remembers going door to door assisted with Ferguson's final campaign in 2006.
Mayor Ferguson left his mark on the city and we thank him for his many years of service to our community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
The family will be receiving friends Thursday night from 6-8PM at East Funeral Home, with funeral services planned for Friday at 2PM at the East Funeral Home Chapel.