History of the Ross Family of Mossy Point


I believe that at one time either Dawn Cemetery or the general area was called Mossy Point. That is how my Dad and also Milton McEuen referred to it when they took me to visit the cemetery on September 23, 1980. I remember the date because it was my son's 5th birthday.

Lee Ross was the son of John W. Ross, who was the son of Martin Van Buren Ross and his wife Mary (last name unknown). John W. was born about 1824 in North Carolina and died January 2, 1911 in Faulkner County in the home of his daughter Sarah J. "Sadie" Ross Petty, the wife of George T. Petty. We have never been able to find a grave for John W. Ross in Faulkner County and feel that he is possibly buried in Dawn Cemetery. The Pettys are buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery, Faulkner County, Arkansas. Lee Ross' mother was Hannah Caroline Lane, who was born May 2, 1825, in Monroe County, TN and died May 4, 1897, in Searcy, AR. Hannah Caroline Lane married John W. Ross on September 7, 1845. Hannah Caroline Lane was the daughter of Curtis Lane and his wife, Hannah. Possibly Hannah's last name was Murry.

John W. Ross and his wife Caroline had a son, John Henry Ross, born April 17, 1859, near Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia. That same month the Ross family traveled with ox-team and wagon from their home near Dalton to what then was Independence County, Arkansas, and is now known as Wolf Bayou.

They traveled with the baby, John Henry, and their other children: Lee, Myra James, Harriett, William, Mary and Martha. Later in Arkansas four other children were born: Kate, Sadie, Detrick and Columbus.

John W. was a pioneer of that section of Arkansas. He purchased wooded land and cleared most of it, using his oxen to haul away timber and break the sod. He did most of his trading at Batesville. As the years passed, he gave individual attention to the further development of the land.

At the time of the Civil War John W. Ross served during the last two years of the hostilities, with the Confederate Army being on duty mostly West of the Mississippi River. After the War, he constructed a grist mill about 20 miles from Batesville and operated this with horse power. Patrons came to him from several miles away. Later he built a mill on Big Creek, which he operated with machinery he made mostly by hand. He operated his gristmill with horse power. On one occasion, he ran the mill both day and night for three weeks without stopping. He carried on general farming and stock raising. Thus, he led a busy and useful life.

In 1878, John W. moved to White County, Arkansas , purchasing land, later selling it and settling in Beebe. In 1889, he became a resident of Searcy. His last days were spent in Faulkner County. He lived there with his daughter, Sadie, Mrs. George Petty. He departed this life on January 1, 1911, at the age of 87 years. He had long survived his wife, who had died in 1894 at the age of 65 years. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in which Mr. Ross was a local minister. He also belonged to the mason fraternity and gave his political allegiance to the Democratic Party.

Children of John W. Ross and Hannah Caroline Lane are:


1 . Leander Fountain "Lee" Ross, born January 11, 1845 in Bradley County, TN and died April 28, 1923, at Searcy, Arkansas. Lee was married to Rebecca P. "Becky" Holland, daughter of Jesse Green Holland and Frances C. Hudson who came from Dickson County, TN. Rebecca Holland was born February 10, 1848, and died in 1909. Lee married his second wife, Mrs. Eva Arnold, on August 26, 1913. Lee and Eva Arnold had no children. Lee Ross and Rebecca Holland are buried in Dawn Cemetery, White County, AR.

2 . Myra (Mirah) Ross was born in 1847 in TN, and married Joseph R. Hastings, a marshal at one time at Beebe, Arkansas. He was murdered and is probably the J.R. Hastings buried in the Beebe Cemetery. He had only one arm as a result of a sawmill accident.

3. James "Jim" Ross was born in 1849 in TN, and married Hulda (last name unknown).

4. Harriett Ross was born 1851 in TN, and married John Nick Cannon. The Cannons moved to Hunt County, Texas.

5. William Ross was born in 1853 in TN and married Narcissa Cannon.

6. Mary F. Ross was born in 1855 in TN, and married James V. Lowery. The Lowerys lived in Lonoke County, Arkansas.

7. Martha M. Ross was born in 1857 in TN and married John W. Holland

8. John Henry Ross was born April 17, 1959, near Dalton, Whitfield County GA, and died November 15, 1938 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is buried there. He was married first on April 19, 1880, at Searcy, Arkansas, to Frances R. "Fannie" Pruitt, who was born in 1859 in Arkansas and died in 1897 in White County, Arkansas. John Henry Ross then married Angeline Wortham, who was born December 16, 1867, and died January 12, 1925. Angeline Wortham Ross is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, White County, Arkansas. John Henry Ross and Fannie Pruitt were the parents of six children. He and Angeline Wortham had no children.

9. Sarah J. "Sadie" Ross was born February 18, 1861, in Arkansas, and died April 16, 1911. She married George T. Petty, who was born January 9, 1856, and died January 22, 1920. Both of the Pettys are buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Faulkner County, Arkansas.

10. Detrick M. Ross was born in 1864 in Arkansas. He married Henrietta Rose, born 1866 and died 1938. She is buried at Antioch Cemetery, White County, Arkansas.

11. Susan Kate Ross was born 1866 in Arkansas and married John Martin, a Presbyterian minister, after a three-day courtship. They lived in the Austin, Arkansas, area.

12. Columbus Dee Ross was born May 1868 in Arkansas and was married first to Mary Lou Cranford on January 13, 1887, in White County, Arkansas, and second to Lula Cora "Sidney" Exum Cranford on April 7, 1919, in White County, Arkansas. Sidney Cranford Ross was born February 21, 1885, and died November 10, 1973, and is buried at Weir Cemetery. Columbus Ross is buried at Antioch Cemetery, White County, Arkansas .


Lee Ross and Rebecca Holland were parents of a total of 18 children, including three sets of twins. Several of these children died as infants or young children. Names for only 9 of these 18 children are known. Only 6 children lived to grow up and have families.

Children of Leander Fountain "Lee" Ross and Rebecca P. "Becky" Holland were:

1. Julia Melinda Angeline Rebecca Ross was born December 26, 1866 at Batesville, Independence County, Arkansas, and died April 12, 1846, in White County, AR. She was married on March 12, 1882, to John Robert Pruitt, who was born August 7, 1860, and died May 8, 1934. John Robert was the son and youngest child of Jeremiah Pruitt and Polly Ann Bond, who moved to White County in the late 1850s from Georgia. They are both buried at Antioch Cemetery, White County, AR. They were the parents of 13 children.

2. Charles William "Charlie" Ross was born November 28, 1869, and died April 5, 1947. He married Laura Upshaw Epps. She was born January 6, 1877, and died February 24, 1964. They are buried in Smyrna Cemetery, White County, AR.

3. Narcissa Ross was born in 1871 in Arkansas and died in 1932. She was married in 1880 to Archibald "Arch" McEuen, who was born in 1884 and died in 1937. They are buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery, White County, AR. They were the parents of 18 children.

4. Andrew Jackson "Jackie'" Ross was born in 1875 in Arkansas and never married.

5.John M. Ross was born in August 1879 in Arkansas.

6. Elishos Lockard Ross was born in February 1882 in Arkansas and died in Hollywood, California. He was married first to Zoda H. Scott in 1903 and second to Phoebe Wages.

7. Lille Ross was born on December 24, 1889, in Arkansas and died on September 20, 1925. She married Frank Floyd in 1906. Frank Floyd was born December 23, 1884, and died May 16, 1938. His nickname was " Pel" Floyd. The Floyds are buried in Gum Springs Cemetery, White County, Arkansas.

8. Littie Ross was born on December 24, 1889, in Arkansas. She was Lillie's twin and died as an infant.

9. Florence Binnie Ross (she was called Binnie by family members ) was born September 16, 1891 White County, AR. died October 28, 1962 and married Thomas Milam Gay in 1907. Thomas Gay was born March 5, 1881 and died October 28, 1962. They both are buried in Center Hill Baptist Cemetery, Center Hill, White County, Arkansas.

We feel, but have no proof that possibly, Polly Ann Bond is burried in the Dawn Cemetery. Jeremiah Pruitt died during the Civil War and is buried in Columbus MS. Jeremiah and Polly Ann originally bought land in this area of Dawn Cemetery. John Robert Pruitt and Frances R. Pruitt, wife of John Henry Ross, were both children of Jeremiah Pruitt and Polly Ann Bond. It is very likely that Frances R. Pruitt Ross, 1st wife of John Henry Ross is buried at Dawn Cemetery. We also feel that most likely John W. Ross and Hannah Caroline Ross are buried at Dawn Cemetery. Very likely Littie Ross, daughter of Lee and Rebecca and the other children of Lee and Rebecca Ross whose names are unknown, but died young are also buried at Dawn Cemetery.


Sources for some of my information include:

Cemetery Records

Census Records

Family Information: Much of the information was supplied by Lee Ross' grandaughter, a daughter of Julia Ross and John Robert Pruitt, Florence Pruitt McCall (born December 28, 1889 and died December 20, 1985).

Census of Arkansas Confederate Veterans of 1911

Hannah Caroline Lane Ross' Obituary

Correspondence with descendants of six of the children of John W. Ross and Caroline Lane.

Information exchange with three descendants of Lee Ross.


This is the information from the Census of Arkansas Confederate Veterans of 1911:

Ross, Lee of Searcy, Ark. was born Jan 11, 1845 at Cleveland, Bradley Co. Tenn. the son of John W. Ross of NC, who was the son of Martin Van Buren Ross of NC. Maiden name of subject's mother was Carline Lane, dau. of Curtis Lane, who lived in Cleveland, Bradley Co., Tenn. He states his mother and father came from Scotland. He was educated in a private school at Whitfield, GA., was a farmer, Democrat and M.E. South. Was Second Sgt. Co.I, Smith Regt., Shelby Brigade, enlisted in Jan. 1863, captured and paroled in July 1864. Married Rebecca Holland, dau. of Green and Francis Hudson Holland at Wolf Bayou, Van Buren, Ark.


1. Julia Ross Antioch, Ark.

2. Charley Ross Searcy, Ark.

3. N. Ross Brundige, Ark.

4. E.L. Ross Searcy, Ark.

5. Lilie Ross Searcy, Ark.

6. Bennie Ross Searcy, Ark.

Certified by Dave M. Hallemon, Assessor of White Co., Ark., Jan. 15 1912.

The information from the Veterans Census is exactly as it was given. All research indicates that there was a generation or more before Lee Ross' family connected to those who came from Scotland to America.


Obituary of Mrs. John W. Ross, written by: Henry T. Gregory, Arkansas Methodist, Oct 20, 1897 (page 15 Column 1-2).

Hannah C. Ross, (whose maiden name was Lane) was born in Monroe County, Tennessee, May 2, 1825. Professed religion in 1840, and joined the Methodist Church. Was married to Rev. J.W. Ross, Sept. 7, 1845. Moved to Arkansas in 1859. Departed this life in Searcy, White County, May 4 1897, being 72 years and 2 days old at the time of her death. She died suddenly: went to bed in usual health, but died some time during the night. It was a terrible shock to her husband and children. She was a true and devoted Christian, a kind wife and a loving mother. I have known the family over 30 years. Their house was always the home of the preacher. Many preachers who read these lines will remember to have been fed, warmed and comforted at that home. She loved her church and was always there when it was so she could be. Owing to failing eyesight for several years she could not attend Church regularly, but lived in sweet communion with her God. Brother Ross, while he misses his loved companion, bows in humble submission to the will of God. He seems to be waiting for the Lord to say, "It is enough, come up higher. "To the husband and children I would say, be faithful "even unto death," then you will meet to part no more.

The 1850 Census of Bradley County, TN for Martin Ross age 50, Mary 50, Emeline 16, Thomas 14, William 12, Mary 10, Nancy 9, NC NC, Br-1020-422

The 1850 Census of Bradley County, TN for Curtis Lane and his family. He is listed as age 40 with Hanner 38, James 21, Matilda 18, Lucinda 16, Thomas 14, John, 11, Joseph 9, Nancy 7, Gideon 4, Franklin 2, Wilburn 4/12, NC T, Br-978-416.

The Bradley County, TN 1850 Census for John W. Ross: John W. Ross, Caroline H. 25, , Fountain L. 5, Mirah M 3, James 1, T T, Br-218-307.

The 1880 Census for White County Arkansas, Gray Township: Lee Ross born 1845 TN, Rebecca born 1848 TN, Julia born 1866 AR, Charles born 1869 AR, Narcissa born 1872 AR, A. Jackson born 1875 AR, John born 1879 AR.