Rocket Man – Warren B. Ferris

Patent drawing of a rocket by Warren Ferris

Drawing from a patent received by Warren B. Ferris for a rocket

Warren B. Ferris (1879-1951) may be the most inventive descendent of Jeffrey Ferris, or at the very least, the most inventive across several different fields of endeavor. From the Joseph line, he was the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Jeffrey.

Warren holds patents in three different fields.

Attachment for brickmaking-machines

Warren made bricks. He made a lot of bricks. He made a lot of money making a lot of bricks.


The Clay-worker, Volumes 51-52

The Warren B Ferris Brick Company of Columbus Ohio has been incorporated with $60,000 capital stock by Warren B Ferris, Robert E Kelly, Fred C Lafountain, Harry H Wilson and Edna H Ferris. The company will handle the brick business which has been conducted from offices in the Columbus Savings and Trust building by Warren B Ferris and will sell the products of several large brick plants in the Hocking Valley.

His attention would turn to the air, and even further with his third patent of the five.
Design for a rocket ship model

Port Arthur News – February 18

, 1929

George W. Haldeman, pilot of the “American Girl.” In which Ruth Elder and Haldeman attempted to span the Atlantic Ocean, has accepted a position as technical adviser of the Seaboard Alrways, Inc., according to information given out here today by Warren B. Ferris, president The company expects to open a airmail, passenger and air express route between New York and Kansas City, using the newly invented radio lock control system, officials of the company said.

Evening Independent (Newspaper) – August 22, 1929, Massillon, Ohio

A daily airplane passenger service between Columbus and Havana, Cuba, connecting up with major railroad lines along the route have been announced here by Warren B Ferris president of the Seaboard Airways Inc. The project is now in the stage of negotiations with five of the biggest railroad companies, Mr Ferris said, and if consummated the deal will make possible 11 hour service between Port Columbus and Havana rail connections with five stopping points between the two terminals and fare at the rate of 12 cents a plane mile. The airways corporation already has ordered 14 all metal monoplanes with a capacity of 20 passengers each but the date of inaugurating service is indefinite, Mr Ferris said. However the first plane will be ready Nov 15 and the contract calls for an additional plane every three weeks thereafter until the order is completed. According to the schedule a plane would leave Port Columbus at 8 am and arrive at Havana miles away at 7 pm in the same day. Railroads covering the northern and Great Lakes territories would be linked up with the Columbus airport bringing Havana or southbound passengers here by sleeper so they could transfer to a plane without any delay. The Havana bound planes would stop at Cincinnati, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Key West making connections with other railroads at these points.

He then turned to electronics and obtained these two patents:
Fluorescent device for games

This invention relates to fluorescent devices for games and has for its object to provide a new and improved device of this description. … The use of the fluorescent devices produces a startling effect and very greatly increases the interest in this game and in any other games where the fluorescent devices are used.

Fluorescent device

This invention relates to fluorescent devices and the method of making them and has for its object to provide a new and improved material of this description. The invention has a further object to provide a fluorescent device which shall have a very high brilliance when ultra-violet light is directed upon it. The invention has as a further object to provide a fluorescent device consisting of a plastic material impregnated with fluorescent material and formed into sheets or molded form and applying thereto a backing of white non-fluorescent material.

Not to mention land speculation. Miami Beach in 1925, just before the boom collapsed.
Miami Millions, the land boom of 1925

El Retiro (designed by Walter C. DeGarmo) on Belle Isle was sold by Warren B. Ferris to a group of Chicago capitalists for $1,250,000, one of the largest individual sales on the beach. The group planned to put a hotel on the six acres, but it proved to be one of those late blooming developments that never got off the blueprints.

Warren Bigelow Ferris

Warren B Ferris

Warren had two children with his wife, Edna Walton Ferris, Zelman Ferris (1903-1974) and a daughter, Warrenette Edna, (1915-1971).


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  1. This is my Great Grandfather. We have only be able to trace the Ferris line back to Edward C Ferris and Fanny Ward. Can you please share the tree? Thanks! Also Warrens Father Frank C Ferris had almost as many patents as WB did. Warren learned the brick trade from his father.

    1. I am the great grand daughter of Warren B. the daughter of Bob Hagerman (who died this year) whose mother was Warrenette. I have recently come into possession of many of Warren B’s original blueprints, original patents, photos, etc. Please contact me, would like to share more.

      1. Hey Cousin Christy! This is Larry’s Son Brett. I was sad to hear of Bob’s passing. Last I saw him was when He and your mother came to Columbus for the Buckeye Michigan game when they were ranked 1 and 2 in the country. He loved his Buckeyes! Please email if your contact info. Look forward to talking with you.

        Brett Ferris

      2. Christy, Uncle Larry here! I’m planning a trip west next spring/summer and would like to include you in it. Would that be possible? My brother, your uncle Warren is well om his way to 92 years of age. I’ve been out to visit him twice in the past month. He is not doing all that well, but considering his age he’s hanging in there!

  2. I found your tree and unfortunately you got things wrong with Warrens line. Warrens father Frank C Ferris parents are Edward C Ferris and Fanny Ward not the “Rev. Charles Grandison Ferris, Jr.” I am having a hard time finding who Edward C Ferris decedents are. Edward and Fanny were both from the New England area so they most likely are still related in some fashion. Here is just a small sample about Frank from a book about Ohio Businessmen.


    Frank C. Ferris is engaged in manufacturing mortar for brick-work and plastering at 632 Galloway avenue, Columbus, Ohio. He was born in Marysville, Union county, Ohio, on the nth of November, 1854, and is a son of Edward and Fanny Ward Ferris, both of whom were natives of Connecticut, in which place they spent their childhood days. They were married in 1831, and in 1833 began their long journey westward, moving in wagons to Ohio and locating near Lancaster, Fairfield county, Ohio. Here they remained for a while and then moved to Pleasant Valley, Madison county, this state, in the year 1840, where the father engaged in the shoemaking business until 1853, when they moved to Marysville, Union county

    1. On Family Search, the 1860 census seems to support this article. United States Census, 1860. I cannot locate a Frank C. Ferris as the son of Edward and Fanny.

      1. If you look in the 1860 Census you will find Frank and “Fanni” in Paris Union Ohio. Living with a Rollin Lee. Edward was Franks father who passed in the 1850’s. Franks Mother was Fanny Ward Ferris. Edward and Fanny had 3 kids in total Frank being the youngest. Frank learned the brick trade from his older brother Elbert. In 1870 you will also find Fanny and Frank in Paris union Ohio and then in 1880 you will see Frank has married Emma Bigelow and that Warren B is born. I am not saying he is not related some how to Jeffrey Ferris but the tree you have is wrong. Frank did not die until well after the 1930’s in Georgia. The Frank that is listed in this tree was born in 1820’s. He would have been 120 years old when he died. Way too old. Feel free to contact me if you would like more proof or to share notes. I still am not sure who Edwards Father is and would like to figure it out! Thanks – Brett

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