Pike Atlases


Was born in the state of New York, in the year 1789. She remained with her parents until the year 1812, when she married Mr. Clarendon Ross, and moved to the state of Massachusetts, where they remained about seven years, during which time Mr. Ross was engaged in mechanical pursuits. In the year 1819, they, in company with the celebrated Ross family, consisting of five brave brothers - Clarendon, Leonard, John, Dr. Henry, and Col. William Ross - all emigrated to the state of Illinois, landing in the town of Alton, where the women remained, while the men explored the country, in search of a place to locate. They finally settled in Pike county, where the town of Atlas was laid out. Atlas was the first county seat of Pike county, and the first improvements made in Pike county were made there. Here they pitched their tents and built their log cabins, and in the spring of 1820 they moved their wives and families from Alton to their new homes.
They were about the first white settlers in Pike county at this time. Clarendon and his wife were the parents of one child, a son, which was born in Massachusetts.
Immediately after their settlement in Atlas, Mr. Ross engaged in clearing land and preparing to commence farming; but in the fall of the same year, he took sick and died, leaving Mrs. Ross in limited circumstances, with one child to provide and care for. Mrs. Ross remained with the Ross family, who were very kind to her. She remained a widow until the year 1823, when she married Leonard Ross, a younger brother of her first husband. He was born in Connecticut in the year 1792. Leonard and his wife then settled on a farm that he had improved, where they engaged in farming and stock raising, and prospered well, until the year 1836, when Mr. Ross contracted a disease that terminated in death.

Few (if any) families have done more to improve this country than Leonard Ross and his wife. For many years they kept open house for all new emigrants until they could provide homes for themselves, and by this course of benevolence, they were the means of inducing many to remain and make improvements in Pike county. At the death of her second husband, Mrs. Ross was left in comfortable circumstances. Mr. Ross had been a man of untiring industry and close application to business, and had bought up large tracts of good land that became valuable as the country improved.
For many years after the death of her last husband, Mrs. Ross remained in Atlas township; but for the last twenty years she has lived in the town of Barry, and still resides there, in the full enjoyment of her own homestead, with all the comforts of this world that are necessary for her enjoyment.
She is now in the 83d year of her age, and her health is more than ordinarily good for one of her age. She is possessed of a very clear mind and retentive memory, and relates many instances of privation and suffering endured by the early settlers. Although Mrs. Ross has not been favored with a family of her own children, she has been a mother to the children of others, and has raised and educated a number of them in a manner that has made good citizens of them. Mrs. Ross has an adopted daughter - Miss Roby Gray, - now living with her, and she bestows upon her all the love and affection of a mother. Miss Gray is a promising young lady, and is very warmly attached to her adopted mother.