John Sylvester Ross, member of Parliament for Dundas, is a son of Michael Ross, a soldier in the second war with the United States (1812-15), and afterwards Captain of militia, and grandson of Jacob Ross, a United Empire Loyalist, who was an old scout, and had charge of an especial duty under Sir John Johnson, for which he received thanks and the offer of a command, but declined, and received a large land grant in recognition of his valuable services.
The subject of this notice was born in the township of Osnabruck, county of Stormont, Canada, July 16, 1821. He was educated at the district schools, and by a private tutor; was engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1861, and is now a miller and produce broker, and a successful business operator.
Mr. Ross was a municipal councilor for ten years; was for some time reeve, justice of the peace, and clerk of the Division Court, and has been chairman of the high school board for the last sixteen or seventeen years. He is a commissioner in B.R. and president of the Iroquois Milling Company.
Since 1861 Mr. Ross has been almost constantly in either the Provincial Legislature of Canada, or the Dominion Parliament. In that year he was elected to the Province of Canada Legislature for the county of Dundas; was re-elected in 1863, and by acclamation to the Dominion Parliament in 1867; was defeated in 1872, and once more elected in 1878, his politics being Liberal Conservative. He is a strong member on that side of the House; is a thinking and positive man, very decided in his views, and independent in his action.
Mr. Ross early espoused the cause of Confederation, and, as is seen by the Confederation debates, he was a strong advocate of that Act. He spoke earnestly and powerfully against the bankrupt law, and has, we believe, seen no reason to change his views on that subject; is a firm, unflinching advocate of protection to Canadian industries; is in favor of limiting the rates of interest; is opposed to the building and managing of railways by the Government, and holds that Canada must become thoroughly identified with the mother country in her commercial interests, and receive Imperial encouragement in so doing, otherwise, the tendency, he fears will be to weaken the connection.
December 3, 1845, Mr. Ross married Charlotte, second daughter of Peter Carman, of Iroquois, and grand-daughter, on the mother’s side, of Peter Shaver, who represented the County of Dundas in the Upper Canada Legislature for sixteen years. They have seven children living, and have lost two.