From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 891
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   One of the finest farms in Victoria township, Rice county, is the property of O A Ross.  For fourteen years he has been a prominent factor in the business interests of Rice county and has borne his part in its work of improvement and upbuilding.  He was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, July 30, 1834, and is a son of Moses A Ross, a native also of Fayette county.  His father, Robert Ross, was a member of an old and prominent Highland Scotch family, the owners of Ross Castle.  After coming to the United States Robert Ross served with distinction in the war of the Revolution, loyally aiding the colonists in their struggle for independence.  He was a captain in General Wayne’s Legion in the fight with the Indians, and was one of the forlorn hope of twenty men in the capture of Stony Point, July 15, 1779.  His death occurred in Pennsylvania.  One uncle of our subject, Robert Ross, was a soldier in the war of 1812.  He served under General Jackson and was killed at the battle of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The father of our subject, Moses Ross, married Isabella Gilmore, a native of Canada and a daughter of Hugh and Mrs (Coulter) Gilmore, also natives of Canada and of Scotch-Irish descent.  Mr and Mrs Ross became the parents of eleven children, namely:  Alexis, Hugh G, Robert, Moses, James, Lorenzo, Oliver A, Jane, Louisa, Clementina and Clara.  The Ross family removed to Iowa in 1853, locating in Allamakee county, where the father followed the occupation of farming.  His death occurred at the age of seventy-four years, honored and respected by all who knew him and his wife departed this life at the age of sixty-eight years.

   O A Ross, the subject of this review, spent the first eighteen years of his life on a Pennsylvania farm and acquired his education in the common schools.  He then accompanied his parents on their removal to Iowa.  During the war of the Rebellion, his patriotic spirit was aroused, and at the call of President Lincoln for seventy-five thousand more men he enlisted for service in the Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in which he served with distinction until honorably discharged on account of disability.  After his army experience was ended he returned to the quiet pursuits of the farm.  In 1887 he bought a home in the Sunflower state, purchasing a farm in Victoria township, Rice county, where he now has a pleasant home and is surrounded with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.  He has always lived in Geneseo.  His place comprises two hundred and eighty acres and is situated on section 11, near the town of Geneseo.  The fields are under a high state of cultivation and a glance at the well improved place will indicate to the passerby the careful supervision of a progressive owner.

   In 1864 Mr Ross was united in marriage with Louisa M Blum, who was born in Prussia, Germany, near the river Rhine, November 19, 1845, a daughter of Franz Henry and Anna G (Essers) Blum.  The father was born, reared and educated in Prussia, but on account of political trouble was obliged to flee from the country and accordingly came to the United States, taking up his abode in Toledo, Ohio.  He was a painter by occupation and was a member of the Lutheran church.  His wife was called to the home beyond in Allamakee county, Iowa, in 1883, at the age of seventy-one years.  They were the parents of five children:  Julius, who went overland to California, where he became a man of prominence, at one time serving as mayor of Petaluma, but he is now deceased; Augustus, a resident of Omaha, Nebraska; Mrs Ross; Charles, of Allamakee county, Iowa; Mrs Augusta Ross, a resident of Geneseo, Kansas.  The union of our subject has been blessed with three children, - Harry, who married Anna Reynolds and is engaged in the transfer business at Hutchinson, Kansas; and Gillmore, who married Addie Tyson and is engaged in the transfer business in Geneseo, Kansas.  They have one son, Albert Frank, and the daughter of the family, Emily G, died in her twentieth year.  Mr Ross has erected a good residence in the town of Geneseo, which is tastefully furnished and where hospitality reigns supreme.  He owns forty acres adjoining the town on the west, known as Hill’s addition.  In his social relations he is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.  In politics he is a Republican, but has neither time nor inclination to seek office.  His energies are largely devoted to his business interests, and he is a man of excellent business and executive ability, who carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.