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Walter Ross

Heritage of the High Country
A History of Del Bontia and
surrounding Districts Page 25

Neighbors of the High Country - Walter Ross of Ross Lake

Walter Inkerman Ross was born in 1854 in St. Jean Crystosome, Quebec. He was the eldest of ten children and his father was a Presbyterian clergyman.

He married Grace Graham of St. Catherines, Ontario. She was of Scottish descent and her father was in ship building and lumber dealing. They had three children, Eileen, (who died in infancy), George, and Jack.

In 1894 Grace passed away, and shortly after Walter left the little town at Lake of the Woods, with his two small sons. He settled in the unsheltered plains of the west on the edge of a fourteen hundred acre lake and built a house of field stone with walls four feet thick.

This lake was later called Ross Lake, after Walter Ross. Walter lived in this home and operated a large ranch for many years. He passed away in 1935 at the age of eighty-one years.

The shell of the old stone house is still there on the shore of Ross Lake.

His son Jack was killed in action during the first year of World War 1 at the age of twenty-two.

George Ross Sr. got his Hydroplane Pilots license No. 50 from Newport News, Virginia on June 7, 1916. He too joined the services.

He married Rodney Whitson Ogg, from London, England. They had four children, Grace, who passed away from scarlet fever at the age of eight years; George, Jack, and Walter (Stub).

George Ross Sr. passed away in June of 1956 at the age of sixty-five at Lost River Ranch.

His wife, Rodney, moved to Lethbridge, where she lived until she passed away a few years later.

Their sons George and Jack, then operated several ranches on the Milk River, including Lost River and Flying R. Ranches.

George Ross Jr. passed away.

Walter (Stub) owns and operates the Lethbridge Air Services, and lives in the city with his family.

The large Ross Ranch north of the Milk River was a place where some early homesteaders worked to supplement the earnings from their own places.

The Old Ross Rock House

by Iven Rasmussen

The house built about 1900 was lived in until about 1923, when Mr. Ross moved to a new location east of what is now Milk River.

As a youngster of seven or eight, our family along with the neighbors went with team and wagon or buggy, net fishing in the Ross Lake. The fish were of the sucker family called mullet.

The old Rock house was the main attraction for us kids. It was beginning to fall down at this time, some doors were gone, some hanging by one hinge. The windows were all gone except the frames. The window sills were almost as deep as a chesterfield, set in walls of cement and rock (mostly rock) at least two feet thick.

The outside entrance under the north end was large enough to drive in with a load of supplies. Inside it appeared to have been a storage room and stalls for a four horse team.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup