GEORGE A. ROSS, a well-to-do farmer of this county, residing on section 2, township 21, Funk's Grove Township,
is a native of Saratoga County, N. Y., and was born April 19, 1828. His father, John B. Ross, is a native of New
Jersey, and the paternal grandfather of our subject was born in Scotland. The latter came to the United States
prior to the Revolutionary War, and was a soldier in the same on the side of the colonists, and spent the last
years of his life in New Jersey. The father of our subject, early in life, learned the trade of a blacksmith in
New Jersey, and after following the same in that State for a time removed to Schenectady, N. Y. He labored at his
trade in the latter county for a few years and then went to Niagara County, same State, and settled in the town
of Royalton, where he still continued at blacksmithing, and where he made his home until his death, in July, 1883.
The maiden name of his wife was Eliza Stewart, and she was born near Schenectady, N. Y., and departed this life in 1830. There were but two children born of this union, our subject and his sister, Mary Elizabeth, who married Charles Jackson, and is living at Royalton, N. Y.
George A. Ross was only a year and ten months old when his mother died, and was reared to manhood under the care of a step-mother. At fourteen years of age he commenced working in his father's blacksmith-shop, attending school part of the time. He continued to work in the shop until he was twenty years old, when his father assisted him to start a shop of his own at Jeddo, Orleans Co., N. Y. This he conducted with partial success for fourteen months, when he sold it with the intention of going to California. His many relatives and friends, however, talked him out of the notion, and he came to Illinois instead.
This was in the fall of 1852, and on arrival in this State he first located at Decatur; remaining there during the winter he returned East, and then came back to Illinois. He was there employed on railroad work for a short time, and then became section foreman for the Illinois Central Railroad, and moved his residence to Hudson, Ill. We next hear of him at Heyworth, this county, where he was in the employ of the railroad company at that place until 1856. During that year he abandoned railroading, and for six years farmed on rented land. By this time he had economized sufficiently to enable him to purchase a tract of land, which he did and began farming on his own property. He bought his present farm in the fall of 1861. There was a small frame house on the place when he bought it, which in 1866 gave way to the substantial residence in which our subject now resides. In 1876 he erected a commodious barn on his place. He has 251 acres of land in a body and also nine acres of timber, and is meeting with success in the prosecution of his calling.
Mr. Ross and Miss Ellen Jackson were married Nov. 27, 1853. She was born in Batavia, Genesee Co., N. Y., July 5, 1838. Her father, Charles Jackson, was a native of New York State, and her mother, Julia Phillo, was also born in that State. Charles Jackson was a carpenter by trade, and spent the latter years of his life in Orleans County, N. Y., his demise occurring in 1874. His wife is still living, and resides in Orleans County, N. Y., with her brother. Mr. Ross cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Winfield Scott, and has voted for the success of the Republican party ever since its birth. On the thirtieth anniversary of the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Ross they were agreeably surprised by their neighbors and friends, who took possession of their house and setting the table prepared a sumptuous repast. After the meal Mr. and Mrs. Ross were the recipients of a beautiful silver pitcher. They will long remember the pleasant countenances whom they met in their home on that occasion.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 672. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.