Ross/Beatty Family
Submitted by Deborah Brown Musgrove
Contributing to this story is descendant Jerry Poole

Sarah Elizabeth Ross-Beatty, was born to Jessee Ross (b. Jun. 9, 1794) and Mary G. Byrum (b. 1799 in Wake County, North Carolina). The Ross family moved around the United States, including Kentucky. It is in Kentucky that Sarah Elizabeth Ross is born (1823). Sometime between 1830 and 1840, the Ross family moved into Arkansas. Their first stop was in old Crawford County. Crawford County area was where Sarah meet and eventually married a man by the name of David W. Beatty (b. Aug. 1, 1812 in Virginia). The couple married 1845 (circa). Like most young couples in Arkansas at this time, land and children were needed.

Sarah gave birth to six sons and four daughters: Milburn(b. 1844 in Arkansas); Bryum Benjamin( Oct. 1845); Mary Elizabeth (b. Apr. 30, 1847); Jesse (b. 1849); Jasper Newton (b. 1854); Margarite (b. 1856) Jane (b. 1859); and Greenbury (b. Apr. 25, 1867 in Winfield, [Scott County] Arkansas). Sarah and husband lived in Scott County during the War Between the States (Civil War.) The only child born outside of old Crawford/Sebastian County was Greenbury.

The couple along with their son Bryum ran a grist mill. Later Sarah's husband would run a gin/mill in Bloomer, Arkansas prior to his death. Her parents moved to California after 1845, in part due to the "California Gold Rush." The Ross family made their home in Sonoma County, California and Jesse began a very successful merchant store. His net worth in land and his store, made him a very rich man for that time period.

Sarah's father became ill in the early 1870s and death soon followed. She and David left Arkansas for California in 1874 via an oxen pulled wagon to Kanasas City, Missouri and then onward via train.[see Beatty/Hukill letter] There was a dispute over Jessee's property between Sarah Elizabeth and her two brothers, Milburn and Bryum. In fact, the dispute became so heated that the Ross and Beatty sides of the family took sides. This was to eventually leave Mary Elizabeth Beatty-Hukill and her three daughters(who moved out there because of economic hardship in Sebastian County) in dire straits. In fact, the children were starving and sick, but neither side would help the young mother. Family oral history attributes this fate due inpart to her brother Jasper, "stirring up the pot." When all is said and done, greed appeared to be the main culprit of the feud.

In 1879, having exhausted the courts over the dispute, Sarah and her husband David, returned to Sebastian County. Their daughter Mary Elizabeth's husband, James S. Hukill died in 1876, just months after their fourth daughter was born. Mary remarried a short time later and herself was killed in Colorado just a few months after remarrying, leaving four young daughters under the age of 6. The girls were returned to Arkansas by Mary's new husband and Sarah and David petition the courts for guardianship of the girls. However, Sarah and David only care for two of the girls, even though they received all four of the girls' father's pension. A letter from Ethel Beatty McGraw dated April 27, 1981, speaks of this.[do not have this letter in my possession]

Sarah outlived her husband David by three years. David was buried at Morris Cemetery in Bloomer, Arkansas. Now that David was gone, Sarah went to live with her son Bryum in Jenny Lind, Arkansas and she remained there until her death on April 23, 1887. Byrum used Birnies Brothers Funeral Home in Fort Smith. Her funeral cost a whopping $25.00 and only Byrum paid on the funeral debt. He finished paying for it on October 1887.

Sarah Elizabeth Ross-Beatty is buried at Steep Hill Cemetery in an unmarked grave. While there is some speculations as to a certain grave on the south side of the graveyard with the initials "E.BE," on it as her, there is another Beatty by the name of Eddie Beatty who is also buried in this cemetery.

We as descendants of Sarah Elizabeth Ross-Beatty will never really know, but her DNA runs deep in our veins.