Raphael H. Ross has been one of the makers of history in Northwest Oklahoma, He founded the flourishing Town of Rosston in Harper County, and when that town was incorporated recently he was honored by election as its mayor.
Throughout his career in Oklahoma Mr. Ross has been more than a passive factor in development. Successful himself, he has made his success count for betterment in a large community. It was in 1912 that he had 160 acres of his land platted as a townsite, and it was named Rosston in his honor. In the same year he took the lead in building enterprise, putting up a group of four modern brick buildings, furnishing quarters for bank, stores and postoffice, and his liberality has been seen in almost every permanent institution of the community. When the town was incorporated in 1916 he was elected the first mayor, and no one could have deserved that office better. Everyone speaks of him as the father of the town, and he has been its leading spirit from the beginning.
Mr. Ross has been identified with Harper County fifteen years. Besides his interest in the Town of Rosston he has an extensive ranch of 4,000 acres, lying immediately adjacent to Rosston. He is of old Virginia ancestry, and was born January 25, 1868, in a log house on a farm in Pleasants County, West Virginia, a son of Cornelius P. and Ambrosine (Harness) Ross, who were natives of the same state. Cornelius P. Ross, who was born in 1836 and is now living retired at the age of eighty in Florida, spent his active years up to the ago of forty as a farmer and afterwards became a merchant. When the Civil war came on he went with the South, and fought in a Virginia regiment under General Longstreet, was present in many important battles including Cedar Creek and Chancellorsville, and was mustered out with the rank and title of an officer of the Confederate army. After the war he represented his home district in the West Virginia Legislature. In 1866 he married Miss Ambrosine Harness, who was a daughter of Solomon and Ann (Usher) Harness, her mother being a relative of the late Admiral Usher of the British Navy. She died at Waverly, West Virginia, in 1905. She was a highly cultured woman and especially devout in her religious duties, being an active worker in the Presbyterian Church. Their three children are still living: Raphael H.; Ora G., now the wife of Richard S. Foley, a farmer at Waverly, West Virginia; Anna R. is the wife of M. C. Hess, a merchant at Rosston, Oklahoma.
Raphael H. Ross completed his literary education in the University of West Virginia at Morgantown, and found ample outlet for his unusual energies and enterprise as a worker in the oil fields of West Virginia. From the East he came to Oklahoma in 1901, and secured a tract of Government land in Harper County. From that first tract as a nucleus hisaa holdings have spread until they now include a ranch of 4,000 acres, well stocked and improved, and he is one of the principal buyers, raisers and shippers of cattle from this section.
Mr. Ross also conducts a large hardware, furniture and implement store in Rosston, and is president of the First National Bank of that town. He was one of the organizers of the Fort Supply Telephone Company, which conducts a line from Woodward to Beaver. Mr. Ross is a thirty-second degree Mason, being affiliated with the consistory at Guthrie.
The history of the little Town of Rosston constantly reflects his liberality. He donated four blocks of land for school purposes and also gave a quarter block for the Congregational Church. He not only gave the land but gave of his means for the building of schools and churches, and in every possible way is exerting his influence toward making this one of the model towns of Northwest Oklahoma.
On November 20, 1906, at Woodward, Oklahoma, Mr. Ross married Miss Annie L. Moore, who was born in Missouri in 1878. They have three sons: Eugene Granville, Leland Rufus and Raphael Herbert.