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Click for photo of John W. Ross and wife

    JOHN WILSON ROSS (deceased) was prominent for many years among the upbuilders of Troy's commercial interests. He took a notable part in the development and improvement of the little city which he had elected to make his home. As a man of public spirit throughout his active career, this aid and influence could be counted upon in favor of any practical measures for the moral or material benefit of the community. He was born June 6, 1820, at Zanesville, Ohio, of Scotch-Irish parentage, his grandfather Ross coming direct from Scotland, the grandfather John Wilson direct from Ireland. He was about twelve years of age when his parents died in New Carlisle, this State. His early manhood was spent in that village, where he learned the tailor's trade under Mr. Moorhead, with whom he made his home. At the age of twenty-one he came to Troy, Miami County, in which city his subsequent life was spent.

    Mr. Ross was married in 1846 to Frances Elizabeth Louthan, in the parlors of the Hatfield House, Troy, Ohio, which was then called the "Washington Inn," the family residence of her sister, Mrs. Sarah Hatfield. Mrs. Ross was a native of Winchester, Virginia, born September 2, 1826, and accompanied her parents to Miami County in childhood. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ross removed to New Carlisle, Ohio. Five children were born into their household: Charles, Anna, Ella, Sadie and Howard. They subsequently, in 1867, came back to Troy to rear their children, and purchased the home now occupied by Mrs. Ross, who survives her husband, at No. 29 South Walnut Street, which has been her home for almost half a century. After his return to Troy Mr. Ross engaged in the nursery business, and for long afterwards the firm of J. W. Ross & Co. was the leading one in that line of industry in this section of Ohio.

    Mrs. Ross has been an active woman all her life. She was one of the founders of the Altrurian Club of Troy. Her library is well filled with the best and choicest of standard works; her love for and knowledge of history made her a valuable club worker. She has always conducted her own business affairs, in which she has shown great ability and has in various other ways shown herself to be possessed of remarkable ability. After her husband's death, and when the children were all in homes of their own, between sixty and seventy years old, she took up Chautauqua work, was graduated and passed through the Golden Gate at Chautauqua in the class of 1886. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were ideal parents; the love and welfare of the home was their mutual abiding though t. The following is a brief record of their children: Charles, the first-born, who died in June, 1908-known as a loving, loyal, devoted son, brother, husband, father and friend-married Seba Wagner, one of Troy's sweet singers, in 1883, and they had five children. Wilson, Harriet, George, Howard and Anna. To their home in 1902 a crushing sorrow came in the drowning of their son George. The grandson, J. Wilson Ross, named after the subject of this sketch, is now one of the leading young men of Troy , both as regards business and social activities. He is employed as cashier by the Hobart Electric Manufacturing Company, the leading industry of Troy, and is well known and highly esteemed for his sterling qualities.

    Anna Ross was married in 1872 to F. P. Brechbill, who died in 1898. He was a prominent groceryman of Troy. She has a daughter, Frances P., who is the wife of John K. DeFreese, assistant cashier of the Troy National Bank.

    Ella Ross was married in 1876 to Dr. W. Tenney, now of Cincinnati, Ohio. She has three children: Wilson Ross, well renown in the newspaper world; Charles, promising young lawyer, now in the Philippines; and Helen.

    Sadie was married in 1879 to Dr. John Gahagan Senour, by whom she has had two children-Lillie Mahala and Laura Beall.

    Howard is single and resides in Montana.

    The subject of this sketch was an old Democrat and a man of sturdy virtues. Although not a member of the Presbyterian Church, he was one of its most ardent supporters, working untiringly for the good of the church in every possible way. He was both a Mason and an Odd Fellow. His loyalty to Troy was evident in a marked degree; never failing to stand for the business interests of the different mercantile enterprises, expressing himself at all times to the effect that loyalty in patronizing home trade and allowing home merchants to make the profit by ordering through them, was certainly the most substantial way to show one's loyalty to one's home town.

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