A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


Robert M. Ross, a retired farmer of McCune, living in Osage township, is one of the old settlers of southeastern Kansas, where his years have been spent in useful activity since 1866, having come here soon after the war, in which he performed a full share of patriotic service and sacrifice. He was living in Mercer county, Illinois, at the beginning of the rebellion, and in August, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Second Illinois Infantry, his first captain being Thomas Likely and second Daniel Sedgewick, and the regiment being under Colonel McMurtry. They were in camp at Knoxville, Illinois, and then sent to Peoria, Illinois, where they were engaged in guarding railroad during the winter; after some service in Kentucky and Tennessee they participated in the great campaign which began with the battle of Lookout Mountain, and at the battle of Resaca Mr. Ross was wounded in the left leg. This proved a dangerous wound, gangrene setting in so that the case came nearly to the point of amputation. He was detained for a long time in various hospitals, at Louisville, at Jeffersonville, Indiana, and at Mound City, Illinois, and was finally honorably discharged on account of disability.

This honored veteran was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, near Zanesville, November 20, 1833, so that he has already passed the seventieth milestone of his career, during which he has been found true and faithful to all the duties and responsibilities of such a long life. He was a son of Samuel and Mary (McClellan) Ross, his father a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and of Scotch ancestry that traced back to the old highland chiefs. The mother, a daughter of Robert McClellan, was a relative of General McClellan of Civil war fame. The parents were married in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, thence moved to Muskingum county, Ohio, and from there to Adams county, Illinois, locating near Quincy. The father, who died at the age of eighty, was a farmer, and in politics originally adhered to the Democracy but after the war became a Republican. The mother also lived to be eighty years old, and they were members of the United Presbyterian church. The three children were Jane, Mattie and Robert.

Mr. Robert Ross was reared on the old Ohio homestead, attending the schools there, and later he went to Johnson county, Kansas, and to Mercer county, Illinois, in the "year of famine," where he lived till after the war. He was married in 1866, in January, to Miss Jane E. Marshall, who has been his faithful wife and helpmate for the past thirty-eight years. She was born in Ohio, where she lived until six years old, and then went to Hancock county and to Henderson county, Illinois. She was a daughter of Samuel and Martha Marshall, and her mother was a sister of Professor S. C. Marshall, now president of Tarkio College, Tarkio, Missouri. Her parents both died at Kirkwood, Warren county, Illinois, her father, who was a farmer, a Republican and a member of the United Presbyterian church, at the age of seventy-five, and her mother at the same age. There were six children in the Marshall family: Jane E., Martha, Anna, Bell, John, and one that died young.

In 1866 Mr. Ross started for Kansas with team and wagon, camping out at night, and was four weeks on the road. He took a claim in this county, and for his first home built a box house fourteen by twenty feet. He continued with unabated energy to improve his place from year to year, adding better buildings, until he had one of the best farms in Osage township, situated five miles northwest of McCune, and it forms a very valuable asset for Mr. and Mrs. Ross in their declining years.

Mr. and Mrs. Ross have had eight children born to them, a daughter, Martha, dying at the age of eleven and another in infancy. Those living are: Alice Thompson; Anna Gilbert; James, who operates the home farm; Olive, at home; Emma Hamilton; Charles, who is also on the farm. Mr. Ross has the honor of being a true and original Republican, having voted for John C. Fremont in 1856, and all his sons are following in his footsteps politically. He served a number of years on the school board. He is a member of Osage Post, No. 156, G. A. R., and he and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian church.