Jonathan Ferrin was born in New Hampshire on February 28, 1826. In the late 1850s he was a merchant in Sauk Rapids, and occasionally tended to banking matters. He married Nancy E. Gilman, daughter of Hon. Charles A. Gilman on June 21, 1864. He served in the House of Representatives from January 5 to March 4, 1864 in the sixth legislature for the fourth district. He died on June 19, 1866.
Ferrin endorsed the notes of the American Bank to provide a circulating medium in a remotely populated area of Minnesota in the late 1850s. The back of these notes has a postal circular date stamp from Sauk Rapids, Minnesota Territory.