Biography - John Ross

JOHN T. ROSS. The subject of this sketch is a gentleman of acute business ability and at present is the successful representative of the Safety Homestead Association of St. Louis. This association has a capital stock of $50,000,000 and is well known and very popular throughout this State.
Mr. Ross was born in Hamilton, Ohio, August 4, 1830. His parents were Amos and Lydia (Williams) Ross, who in the early part of this century emigrated from New Jersey to Hamilton. Mr. Ross, Sr., felled the lumber that he used in the construction of his home, which was built on the clearing made by himself. He was a contractor in brick and also owned and operated a sawmill. In the year 1860, he moved with his sons, H. S. and J. T. Ross, from Hamilton, Ohio, to Illinois, and there remained until the time of his death, which occurred some ten years later, when at the age of seventy-nine years. He left a wife and five children, the former dying two years after the decease of her husband. Of the children: Henry S. died in 1877; Ann became the wife of David E. Beatty, and is now deceased; Charlotte, wife of Joseph Coukling, resides in Jerseyville; Louis W. is the well-known Chancellor of the Law Department at Iowa City, Iowa, and one of the most prominent attorneys in that State.
The gentleman with whose name we introduce this sketch received his education in Ohio. After completing his school course he engaged in the industry of farming and stock-raising, first in Ohio, but in 1860 removed to Illinois, and followed that vocation until the year 1877. His next change in business was after moving to Litchfield, where he acted as agent for several manufacturers of agricultural implements, and after four years in this line he took a position with John P. Manny, manufacturer of reapers and mowers at Rockford, Ill., of whose interests he had sole charge in the State of Illinois for seven years, and until his appointment as Postmaster under President Harrison. He filled that position acceptably and honorably for three years, resigning on account of ill health, since which time he has been compelled to engage in active out-door pursuits.
The wife of our subject was Rebecca Alexander in her maiden days, and a native of Middletown, Ohio. The result of their union is a family of whom the parents may feel justly proud, each of their children showing more than ordinary capabilities, and as the sons approach manhood they fill positions demanding both brains and executive ability: Henry T., the eldest son, acted as Assistant-Postmaster during his father's term of office, and fills the same capacity with his successor, E. C. Thorpe; Frank T. is occupied as a druggist and is a well-known member of the Knights of Pythias.
The Ross family can trace its direct ancestry to the year 1756. The grandfather of the present family was born in Westfield, N. J., in 1787, and there received his education and married Miss Lydia Williams, whose father was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Ezekiel Ross, the great-grandfather, was born in the same place as his son in 1756. He served seven years as a Revolutionary soldier, and in his old age moved to the home of his son Amos, in Ohio, where he died in the year 1845. The Ross family have been strict Presbyterians for five generations, and those of the family who settled in Illinois can boast of being Americans in the eighth degree. Stanch, true, sterling characteristics must ever be the result of so many generations of brave men and eminent citizens, and the members of this last generation have reason to be proud of the stock from which they sprang.
The subject of this sketch is a man of keen intelligence, good business qualifications and is capable of conducting successfully any enterprise with which he chooses to connect himself. A respected citizen, a true and loyal Republican, a man of progressive ideas and fine principles, he surely enbodies the highest type of American citizenship.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 405-406.

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