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John Nelson Ross


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/8/2010 at 18:17:01

John Nelson Ross, who follows farming on section 13, Des Moines township, was born in Champaign county, Ohio, November 15, 1848. His paternal grandfather, John William Ross, was a native of Scotland but decided to establish his home in the new world and spent his last days either in Pennsylvania or Ohio. His son, John Williamson Ross, father of John Nelson Ross, was born in Ohio, near Cincinnati, following the removal of his parents from Pennsylvania. The grandparents of our subject were among the early settlers of Ohio and members of the family fought in the Indian wars, while one Captain John Ross was a soldier in the revolutionary war. John W Ross developed a farm in the northern part of Champaign county, Ohio, where he had 120 aces of land. All around him were Indians and wild animals haunted the forests, while wild game of all kinds was plentiful. With a comrade, Sol. Remley, he left Cincinnati and on horseback made his way northward to Champaign county, where they purchased and built log houses upon their farms, which adjoined. Mr Ross then returned to Cincinnati, where he was married, after which he took his bride to the home which he had prepared. Remly also did the same, and they reared their families in Champaign county. Unto Mr and Mrs Ross were born twelve children, of whom our subject was the sixth in order in birth. Eight of the children are still living, the youngest being fifty-six years of age. The oldest, Marcellus D, was a member of the First Ohio Volunteer Infantry from 1861 until 1865 and was wounded in the leg at the battle of Chickamauga, while serving under General Rosecrans. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Christina Wambaugh and was a native of Pennsylvania.
On the old family homestead in Champaign county, Ohio, John N Ross was reared and in the pursuit of his education he attended the public schools and also a normal school in St Paris, Ohio. He continued his education after arriving in Iowa and was graduated form the Boone County Normal school with the class of 1889 under Superintendent Ashton. When twelve years of age he began teaching in the rural schools of the Buckeye state. In 1870 he removed to Boone, Iowa, where he began teaching under Superintendent L W Fisk and was actively identified with the educational interests of the city until 1894. Within that period, about the year 1890he was a candidate for the position of county superintendent of schools. For the past twenty-five years he has written for the local papers, thus further identifying himself with the life of the community.
In 1872, in Boone county, Mr Ross was united in marriage to Miss Esther Ann Smith, a daughter of Charles H and Margaret Rebecca (Paxton) Smith, who were early settlers of Coshocton county, Ohio. The Paxtonís came from Ireland. In 1854 Mr Smith removed with his family by wagon to the west, settling in Boone county. Following his marriage MR Ross settled upon a farm but continued to engage in school teaching. Through the summer months he would cultivate his farm until his boys were old enough to work, after which he taught through both the summer and winter months. Unto Mr and Mrs Ross were born seven children: Euphemia now the wife of J W Cutler of Boone county, Charles H who married Laura bass and is living on the home farm, John W who married Maggie Otterbein and is residing in Boone, Walter C who married Grace Bas and is living in Estherville, Iowa, Francis Mahlon who married Ada Wilson and lies in Des Moines township, Boone county, Mabel E the wife of R J Stark of Grant township, Boone county, and Otto Glenn who married Bessie May Pardee and lies in Des Moines township, Boone county.
John N Ross and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, identified with Bethel Chapel. Mr Ross has been very active in church work for a long period having been class leader and a teacher of the Bible class. He has been lifelong republican since casting his first presidential vote for U s Grant and for sixteen years he has filled the office of assessor. Fraternally he is a Woodman of the World, having been connected with the amp for sixteen years. His interests are broad and varied, and his is a well rounded character because of the nature of his active, which have recognized not only his opportunities for attaining success but also his obligations in citizenship and his duties to his fellowmen.

1914 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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