b. 1838 – Iowa Territory
Ross settled in Milam County in 1839. Despite his early ambitions to be an Indian fighter, he recognized the value of education and enrolled at Baylor University in Independence, but later transferred to Wesleyan University in Alabama. He joined the U. S. Army the summer before his junior year as leader of a band of Indian auxiliaries from the Brazos Reservation and was in the Confederate Army in the Waco Company, which was part of the Sixth Texas Cavalry. When his men surrendered in Mississippi in 1865, Ross was on furlough.
During Reconstruction, Ross farmed near Waco and served as McLennan County sheriff. He helped write the Constitution of 1876, where he gained a reputation for skill and honesty and was elected Texas Senator in 1880.
In 1886, friends and supporters persuaded Ross to run for governor. He served two terms and later became president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University).