Philinda House wrote a tribute to Mr. Ferris in which she said that Mr. Ferris loved to use a hoe and have a good garden. "I used to wonder sometimes," she said, "how he could go from the Institute to the garden and not need to change his clothes, but he did, and he raised fine vegetables, also beautiful dahlias and gladioli. I do not remember any other flowers except nasturtiums.
"The garden he carefully fenced in, because of dogs, and I was always afraid that someone would disturb the absolute rows that he kept.
"One day when the garden had been newly spaded, Mr. Ferris said if I would go to the garden he would show me where I could plant nasturtiums. When he reached the place, he stopped and picked up some little thing."
"Who spaded this ground?" he asked.
Mrs. House replied, "A boy from the Institute."
"My God," Ferris exclaimed, "this is Nellie's wedding ring which Carleton lost 18 years ago."
Ferris slipped the ring on his little finger and wore it there for a long time.