Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick

LAWRENCE S. ROSS (1838-1898)

Indian fighter and agent Shapley Prince had a son named Lawrence, born to Catherine Fulkerson Ross on September 27, 1838 in the tiny village of Bentonsport, in Iowa Territory.

In 1846 Catherine and her small son moved to Austin, Texas and the lad grew up as a Texan. Lawrence entered Baylor University in Waco.

He signed on with the US Army in 1858 as the leader of a band of Indian auxiliaries from the Brazos Indian Reservation. His skill and courage were noteworthy, but unfortunately he was severely wounded in October, 1858 during a battle with Comanches at the Wichita Village near Rush Springs, OK. Recovering from wounds, he returned to college at Wesleyan University in Florence, Alabama and graduated in the spring of 1859.

In 1859 he married Elizabeth Tinsley and returned to Texas. Lawrence joined the Texas Rangers in 1860 and like his father, fought Comanche Indians along the Pease River.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Lawrence resigned from the Texas Rangers and enlisted in the Confederate Army. He was soon promoted to Major of the 6th Texas Cavalry, became Colonel in 1862, and Brigadier General in 1864. In all, he fought in 135 battles, mostly in Mississippi and Georgia.

From 1873-1875 Lawrence Ross was sheriff of McLennan County. From 1881-1883 he served in the Texas State Senate, where he was chair of the Committee on Finance. Ross was the 18th governor of Texas, serving from 1887-1891.

As governor, the new state capitol building was completed. He approved new regulations on railroads, and supported the prohibition of alcohol.

The native of Bentonsport, Lawrence S. Ross, is in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

(Information from Iowa Biographical Dictionary, New York: Somerset Publishing, 1996)

- -
Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick