History of Ross, Edgar County, Il
From: Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of Edgar County
Edited by: H. Van Sellar.
Munsell Publishing Company
Chicago 1905

The Town of Ross, west of Prairie and one of the northern tier of townships, is the only town in the county which is identical in area with that of a government or congressional township. It comprises Township 16 North, Range 12 West of the Third P. M., and contains 23,040 acres of land, all substantially belonging to the fine, rich prairie of the “Corn Belt” of Illinois. The McKees, Hoults, Lowreys, Chrismans, Bacon, Smith, Bonner, Ross, Gaines, Varner, Hartley and Wyatts were the first settlers of the town. It is crossed by the Cairo, Vincennes & Chicago and the Indiana, Decatur & Western Railroad, the junction being at Chrisman, a thrifty and beautiful little city of 1,500 inhabitants, with blocks of stores, a number of industrial plants, two grain elevators two banks (one State and one National), a building and loan association, a handsome school building, four churches, two lUmber yards and all the other elements of civilization and human comfort found in larger cities, including electric light plant, telephone service, etc. This town is now building a highway of broken and crushed stone, from a quarry and with a machine belonging to the town, and is also constructing gravel roads. The wealth of the town is not surpassed in this part of Illinois.

Settlement was made within the limits of what is now Ross Township by William Trimble, who came from Kentucky and located near where the City of Chrisman now is. During the next few years Frank Lowry, Horatio Blanchard, John Somerville, Enos Martin, Augustus Wyatt, Thomas Holden, Joshua Van Fleet, Joseph Mann and Abram Smith came and settled in the neighborhood. The lands were so nearly all prairie that people, coming west from the States where timber abounded, were reluctant to settle down in this treeless waste, as it seemed to them. In 1844 Elijah Bacon and Joseph Conover came from New York and, prior to 1850, the Hoults (William, Matthew and Eugenio), the Wyatts, Jacobs (Shelby and William) and Nathan Hartley had removed here from Western Virginia; John McKee had come from Kentucky; Calvin Reynolds, Charles Clark, Robert Swank, Johnson Ross, James Gaines and Benjamin Dixon had located here from other States. These people came with money, took up large tracts of prairie, and created wealth, organized society and made this part of Edgar County as fine as any in Illinois. Eugenio Hoult, James Gaines, Samuel McKee and Benjamin Dixon are the survivors of these early settlers.

TOWN OFFICERS.- George W. Fair, Supervisor; P. A. Scott, Town Clerk; J. H. Nuckles, Assessor; C. A. Smith, Collector; T. J. Hedrick, J. B. Hannah, Justices of the Peace; J. T. Crawford, George Henness, Constables; B. W. James, C. E. Brown, W. B. Swank, Commissioners of Highways.


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