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Biography of Hon. Joshua Ross

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The subject of this sketch was born in 1833, at Wills Valley, Alabama, the son of Andrew Ross, and nephew of the celebrated John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokees for forty years. His mother was Susan Lowry, daughter of Major George Lawry, a prominent Cherokee. Joshua came to the nation with his parents in 1836, and was educated partly at Fairfield and Park Hill Missions and Reilly’s Chapel, after which he proceeded to Ozark Institute, Arkansas, graduating in 1855 at the Male Academy, Tahlequah, and at Emory and Henry College, Virginia, in 1860. For his education at the last named institution he is indebted to Major George M. Murrell, of Park Hill, Indian Territory, who sent him thither and defrayed his collegiate expenses. Joshua commenced life as a teacher in the Female Seminary at Park Hill, in 1861, but the war broke out in six months afterward, and he went to Fort Gibson and clerked in the sutler’s store until the close. Here he married Miss Muskogg Yargee, daughter of Milly McQueen, of the McGibbery and Francis family and a grand-daughter of the Big Warrior, by whom he has five children living, viz: Rosa (now Mrs. Miles), Susie, Joshua Ewing, John Yargee and Jennie Pocahontas. Mr. Ross first held office as member of the Grand Council of the Five Tribes, held at Okmulgee, Creek Nation. In this capacity he was appointed on five occasions as a representative. In 1874 Mr. Ross was elected Secretary of the Indian International Fair Association, held annually at Muskogee. He continued in this office until last year, when he became president of the institution. (The post of President was formerly filled by F. E. Severs, R. L. Owen, Leo E. Bennett, P. N. Blackstone and J. A. Foreman respectively). Mr. Ross has been for some time attending to pension and bounty claims, as an accommodation for the people. In April 1891, he engaged in partnership with W. F. Seaver, opening a law office in the courthouse building at Muskogee. As an instance of the perseverance and energy of Mr. Ross, he won the annual bonus premium given by the Journal of Agriculture in 1873 for the largest number of subscriptions sent in, he having gained by a large majority, despite the fact that he was living in a thinly populated country, and was compelled to ride an immense distance to accomplish his purpose. Mr. Ross is a highly educated man. While attending Emory College he came within one of winning the medal for oratory and elocution; and at the Male College, Tahlequah, carried off the first honors of his class. He is at present writing a history of his cousin, W. P. Ross, and publishing his speeches in book form, the proceeds of the sale to be used in erecting a monument to the memory of that illustrious citizen.

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