Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas Page: 178 of 372
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BI O GR APH T CAL
county. During the late war he was appointed
major of the frontier forces of Texast in which
capacity lihe won the gratitude of the State. Indeed,
so familiar was he with the geography of
western and northwestern Texas, and so well acquainted
with all the modes and maneuvers of
Indian warfare, that no better man could have
been found for the responsible position.
After the late war he settled down on his farm,
beautifully situated on South Bosque, eight miles
from Waco, and endeavored to cultivate and improve
it, to the exclusion of all other pursuits.
But his accurate knowledge of nearly all the lands
in Milam land district, and his extraordinary
memory of the topography of all the surveys which
he himself had made were so often appealed to,
and so numerous were the demands upon him as
a surveyor, that he was generally engaged in surveying.
1873 he was elected by a large majority to
the State Senate froni the district composed of the
counties of McLennan, Bosque, Coryell, Hamilton,
Comanche and Brown, and during the years 1874
and 1875 was an able and influential member of
that body. So great is his reputation for intelligence,
honesty and a thorough knowledge of our
land system that, in a great many instances, he
has been selected sole arbitrator, in preference to
a suit at law. He is now in fine health and spirits.
All who know him esteem himi for his noble
heart, sterling integrity and honorable career.
7t O 88, CAPTAIN SHAPLEY P. It is difficult
to give even a cursory sketch of a
life so full of activity and adventure-to
represent fairly in a few lines a character
so varied in experience and of so. many good
qualities. tie was born in Jefferson county, Kentucky,
near Louisville, in 1811. Seven years afterward
his father and family removed to Jackson,
Lincoln county, Missouri, before lie had acquired
any attachment for the place of his nativity, At
the age of nineteen he took upon himself the responsibilities
of a husband, and' married Miss Falkner,
a young lady living in St. Charles county,
Missouri. In early manhood he regarded the privations
of frontier life as so many luxuries instead
of hardships. He was by nature locomotive; he believed
in change of air for health, change of location
for success, change of society for improvement.
His temperament and taste combined to make hima
pioneer, and his vigor of manhood was spent in
blazing the way for civilization. In 1834 he selected
six men of similar taste as himnself, craving
for a more active life, and with their families took
up their abode on an Indian reservation in Iowa,
on the Des Moines river. This reservation was then
owned by the Sioux and Fox tribes, 'with Black
Hawk as their leader, though the United States
Government recognized Keokuk as their chief. From
this chief he received permission to enter with his
friends. They immediately constructed houses and.
cleared the grounds, and it was not long before.
the " Ross settlement" was known throughout that,
country. Very soon, however, the Government purchased
from these Indians a strip of land fifty miles
wide, and extending above and below, and including
the "Ross settlement." This strip of land was
then thrown open to immigration, and was soon
thickly settled. He secured twelve sections of'
land, and on a part of it improved a comfortable
It was here that Colonel Peter Ross was born
in 1836, and General Sul Ross in the year 1838,
two sons of whom a fatuher should be justly proud.
Both of them, for their intelligence, bravery and
honorable deportment, are well known and highly
appreciated as citizens and as soldiers.
In the fall -of the year 1838 he rented out his.
farm, placed his other interests in the hands of
agents, and went with his family to St. Charles
county, Missouri. While 'there he met several
meii anxious to see Texas, who persuaded him to
accompany them on a tour of inspection, and, with
their families, came to this State.
They arrived at a point on the Brazos river
called Nashville, in the spring of the year 1839,
and expected to go on to Austin; but learning that'
the necessaries of life were held at exorbitant.
prices there, and their supply of money becomning
low, they abandoned the thought bf going farther
west. With their rifles, these pioneers procured
bountiful supplies of buffalo and bear and deer,;
and lived well in camp, and their horses fared well
upon the grass of the prairies.
Captain Ross about that time took the oath of
allegiance to the Republic of Texas, and no longer
thought of 'returning to his northern home. The
oath was administered by Neil McLennan, for
whom a county was afterward named.
Mr. Daniel Monroe, who owned a league of land
near Cameron, formed the acquaintance of these"new
comers," :and offered them special inducements
to settle on his land. Thisl: they did, each
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Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas, book, 1880; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5827/m1/178/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .