MONTGOMERY COUNTY TENNESSEE
James Ross is the author of the "Life
and Times of Elder Reuben Ross," published in 1882 after his
death. Elder J. M. Pendleton, a prominent clergyman,
provided an introduction and notes for the book's publication. He also
provided, in an Appendix, this "Brief Sketch of the Author."
"James Ross, the writer of this forgoing
"Recollections," was born September 3, 1801. He was a bright boy,
and his merry voice was sweet as music to his parents. His
father, knowing the value of education by the lack of it, resolved
that, if possible, his son should know its worth by its possession.
There were many obstacles in the way of the accomplishment of the
father's purpose, but in the good providence of God it was
accomplished. After enjoying the limited advantages of Primary
Schools, James was, through the kindness of a friend, placed in an
Institution of high grade, in which much attention was given to
classical studies. He diligently improved his opportunities and
acquired quite a reputation as a Latin and Greek scholar. He
taught these languages for forty years, and there are, no doubt, many
now living who are indebted to him for their first love of classical
He was very happy in his marriage,
having gained the heart and hand of Miss Barker, daughter of Charles
Barker, Esq., whose residence was not far from Clarksville. She
was a woman of sprightly intellect, liberal education, attractive
person, elegant manners, and sincere piety. She was a worthy wife
of her worthy husband. They had seven children, four of whom are
believed to be dead (the writer thus expresses himself, not being
certain). Two sons are living, one of whom is Dr. John W. Ross,
of the Unites States Navy, who so generously utilized his medical
knowledge and experience in the Yellow Fever epidemic at Memphis a few
years ago. The only surviving daughter is Mrs. Dudley, of Logan County,
Kentucky, for whose gratification the forgoing pages are written.
The death of Mrs. Ross preceded that of
her husband. For some years he trod the path of life uncheered by
her presence and her smiles. He never forgot his happy married
life, and did not believe that the grave contained more precious dust
than that of his loved one. After her death he seemed, if
possible, more closely drawn to his children and was specially
gratified to see in them a reproduction of the virtues conspicuous in
The reader will think it strange the Mr.
James Ross never made a public profession of religion. He was
considered by those who know him a believer in Christ - he was in
principle a Baptist - but his ideal of what a Christian professor
should be was so high as to deter him from making "the good
profession," lest he should dishonor it. He doubtless took a
mistaken view of the matter.
He died after a short illness in March,
1878, in the 77th year of his age. His robust and manly form fell
under the stroke of mortality, and no one more worthy to be called an
accomplished gentleman survives him. Patient in his last illness,
yet suffering much, he sighed for rest. His last words were
"Requiescat in pace," of which he gave the translation, - "Let him rest
His funeral sermon was preached by A. D.
Sears, D. D., and they buried him by the wife of his love."
Prof. James Ross was a lifelong
educator, teaching for many years at the Masonic College and Stewart
College in Clarksville. He is also the father of General Reuben
Ross, who lost his life in the Civil War.