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  John Ross Family

John Ross

Mary Hoover Hall

  • Born: September 25, 1835; Pennsylvania
  • Died: July 1, 1920; Osseo, Wisconsin
  • Parents: John Hall and Nancy Passmore

Married: June 5, 1856; Clearfield County, Pennsylvania


  • Stella Abagail Ross
  • George Lewis Ross
  • Joseph Warren Ross
  • Isabella Caroline Ross
  • John Lynn Ross
  • Ellis Irvin Ross
  • Edwin Ross
  • Lucy Irene Ross
  • Alberta Adella Ross
  • Alonzo Beverly Ross
  • Verne LeRoy Ross
  • Iva May Ross


Ross Family circa 1906
First Row: Ivy*, Belle, John, Mary, Stella
Middle Row: Lucy, Lynn, Ellis, Edwin, Alberta
Back Row: Joseph, George, Verne, Alonzo
*Ivy was not present when this photo was taken--another photo of her was pasted in to this photograph.


Click here for a PDF file of a photo from John and Mary's 50th wedding anniversary. All of the children and their families, except for Ivy, were present for this photo.

John Ross was born March 30, 1835 in Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of six children of George Ross and Abigail Hullibaugh. He grew up in Ferguson Township, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania where his father was a farmer. On June 5, 1856, he married Mary Hoover Hall. Mary Hoover Hall was born September 25, 1835 in Pennsylvania. She was the fifth of eight children born to John Hall and Nancy Passmore.

They lived in Bell Township, where John was a timber maker. A timber maker’s job was to square the logs after the lumberjack felled the trees. In 1865, they left Pennsylvania and moved north. Albert Hom, grandson of John and Mary, reported that the family traveled on the Ohio River to the Mississippi River. They went north and landed at Brownsville, Minnesota. The topography of Brownsville (on the Mississippi River at the mouth of Wildcat Creek) made it a natural landing place. From Brownsville, they moved north to Forest Mound, Minnesota. They stayed in Forest Mound until the fall of 1870, when the family moved to Trempealeau County, Wisconsin and homesteaded in an area that would later become the village of Osseo.

John’s homestead application reports that he homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 18, town 24, range 7 west. He fenced 3 sides of his land and built a 16x24 house with a kitchen addition and a log barn. He farmed 60 acres, growing wheat, oats, corn and rye. He also built a gristmill to grind feed for cattle and horses. Farmers came from miles around, as it was the only gristmill in the entire area. The power to run the mill was obtained by damming up King’s Creek. In 1891, John and Mary’s son George took over operation of the mill and farm. John and Mary moved into town. The mill was destroyed by a flood in 1900 and was not rebuilt. John died on July 18, 1917 at the age of 82. He is buried in Osseo. Mary died July 1, 1920 at the age of 84. She is buried in Osseo.

Mary Hall and John Ross had 12 children: Stella Abigail (born 1857), George Lewis (born 1858), Joseph Warren (born 1859), Isabella Caroline (born 1861), John Lynn (born 1864), Ellis Irvin (born 1866), Edwin (born 1868—my great grandfather and apparently the only child without a middle name), Lucy Irene (born 1871), Alberta Adella (born 1872), Alonzo Beverly (born 1874), Verne LeRoy (born 1877) and Iva May (born 1879). At the time they left Pennsylvania and sailed to Minnesota, they had 5 children under the age of eight.