Randolph  County,  Indiana

William  A.  Ross

            The name of William A. Ross, the present popular postmaster at Modoc, needs no introduction to the people of Nettle Creek township, of which he is the oldest native born citizen and where his entire life has been spent. He has lived to see and take part in the great transformation of this township from the wilderness epoch to the present time when it ranks with the leading agricultural sections of the great Hoosier commonwealth. He talks most interestingly of the early days here and his mind is a storehouse for valuable historical facts. His life has been such that he has kept unsullied the good name of this worthy old family and he is highly respected by all who know him.
            Mr. Ross was born three miles northwest of Modoc, in Nettle Creek township, Randolph county, September 17, 1848. He is a son of Thomas F. and Eunice (Brown) Ross. The mother was born and reared in Wayne county, Indiana. The father was a native of Kentucky and his father brought him to this locality in a very early day and here he grew to manhood, The family located near the present town of Huntsville. Thomas Ross worked hard assisting his father develop the home farm from the wilderness, and he spent his life successfully engaged in general farming, and at his death October 11, 1882, he owned two hundred and ten acres in Nettle Creek township. He was one of ten children, six sons and four daughters, all now deceased, with the exception of Wesley D., of Dunkirk, Indiana; and Elijah P., of Greenville, Ohio. The death of Mrs. Eunice Ross occurred December 4, 1909.
            William A. Ross was reared on the home farm and received his education in the rural schools. He has been a farmer the major portion of his life and has been successful in his work. Besides the common schools he attended high school at Bluntsville, Indiana, also at Indianapolis and the Normal school at Winchester. Thus well qualified for life's serious duties, he began teaching in 1869 and he followed teaching and farming for a period of twenty-one years, during which time his services were in great demand and he ranked among the county's most popular educators. Thus by farming in the summer and teaching in the winter time he was a very busy man in his earlier career. In 1882 he was elected township trustee for one term of two years and in 1894 was elected to the same office for a term of six years. On November 24, 1906, he was appointed postmaster at Modoc under President Roosevelt, which office he still holds. He has been township assessor and land appraiser at different times. As a public servant he has discharged every duty assigned him in a manner that has reflected much credit on himself and to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned, being always very faithful in the trusts reposed in him.
            Mr. Ross has been very successful in a business way and he now owns considerable valuable city property in Modoc, including the post office building, which is one of the best in the village.
            In 1872 Mr. Ross was married to America Howell, who died in 1876, leaving one child, Francis Omer Ross, who is now in the wholesale business in Cleveland, Ohio. On December 2, 1882, our subject married Rhoda I. Lamb, of Randolph county, and a daughter of Restore and Mary Lamb, who established themselves on a farm here in an early day, but are now living in Kansas with their youngest son. Mrs. Ross was one of three children. To Mr. Ross and his second wife four children were born, namely: Mrs. Ethel Jordan, who lives two miles southwest of Modoc, has four children, Wilbur, Flava, Graydon and Crystal; Mrs. Mary Bessie Swain, of Modoc, has three children, Galen, Ruth and Albert; Willis A., in the wholesale business, lives in Cleveland. Ohio; Mrs. Nettie Victoria Hutchens, of Losantville, has one son, Charles. The second wife of William A. Ross died January 23, 1910, and for some time he has been making his home with his daughter, Mrs. Swain.
            Politically. Mr. Ross is a Republican and has long been active in the ranks. He is a member of the United Brethren church. Fraternally he holds membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is secretary of both the local lodges. He is also secretary of the Modoc Natural Gas & Oil Company, of which he is a large stock holder. Personally Mr. Ross is a pleasant gentleman to meet, enjoys exceptionally fine health for one of his years, and does not appear to be over fifty years of age. He is one of the leading citizens of Modoc and Nettle Creek township.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson

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