Warren Angus Ferris

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Warren Angus Ferris (December 25, 1810 in Glens Falls, New York - February 8, 1873) was a trapper and fur trader in the Rocky Mountains during the early 1830s. In 1834, Ferris acted as a clerk for the American Fur Company in a journey to the mountains of western Wyoming. Out of curiosity, Ferris found Indian guides and made a side journey into what is today Yellowstone National Park. In a journal that he kept during that time, later published as Life in the Rocky Mountains, Ferris gave one of the first descriptions of the geysers of the Yellowstone region.

From the surface of a rocky plain or table, burst forth columns of water of various dimensions, projected high in the air, accompanied by loud explosions, and sulphurous vapors, which were highly disagreeable to the smell. ...The largest of these wonderful fountains, projects a column of boiling water several feet in diameter, to the height of more than one hundred and fifty feet. ...These explosions and discharges occur at intervals of about two hours.... (Breining, p. 70)

In the 1830s Ferris traveled to Texas where he became the official surveyor for Nacogdoches County. In 1839 Ferris surveyed at the Three Forks of the Trinity River deciding the lines and direction of streets for today's Dallas County. Ferris entered and surveyed this land prior to John Neely Bryan, the commonly accepted founder of Dallas. As payment for his surveying services, Ferris was granted the land upon which now lies most of downtown Dallas. At his death, no family members came forward to claim this land and it was then reclaimed by local government. Several of his descendants, many still in Texas, have attempted to regain legal possession of this valuable land, but all attempts have failed.


  • Breining, Greg, Super Volcano: The Ticking Time Bomb beneath Yellowstone National Park (St. Paul, MN: Voyageur Press, 2007). Popularized scientific look at the Yellowstone area's geological and historical past and potential future. ISBN 978-0-7603-2925-2
  • Pederson, Lyman C., Jr. "Warren Angus Ferris", featured in "Trappers of the Far West", Leroy R. Hafen, editor. 1972, Arthur H. Clark Company, reprint University of Nebraska Press, October 1983. ISBN 0-8032-7218-9