Levi and Mary Ross came to Champaign County from Kanawha County, Virginia (now West Virginia) between 1827 and 1832 and settled on this farm.
Levi Ross was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia on February 16, 1792, son of Jonathan and Martha Brown Ross. He married Mary Ruffner between 1820 and 1827. Mary was born in Virginia on February 20, 1802. The Rosses had at least nine children and possibly as many as thirteen. Their most famous son, Marion was born on the farm.
Marion Andrew Ross was born October 9, 1832. He was a student at Antioch College and was a musician. He enlisted in the Union Army on April 15, 1861. He was a Sergeant Major in Company B of the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ross participated in the ill fated Andrews Raid. The raid brought the first Union soldiers into north Georgia, lasted just seven hours and involved the only locomotive chase of the Civil War. These links have more information about Andrews Raid and Ross' part in the Great Locomotive Chase. (Some may have seen the 1956 Disney movie "The Great Locomotive Chase" based on these events.)
From the State Library of Ohio website, "Ross enlisted with a group of other Ohioans volunteered to be part of a secret mission deep into Confederate territory to disrupt transportation and communication lines in 1862. The group purchased tickets and boarded a train just north of Marietta, Georgia on the morning of April 12, 1862. When the train stopped at the town of Big Shanty for breakfast, the soldiers separated the engine, called The General, the coal tender, and three boxcars from the rest of the train. With the Confederate crew in pursuit, Andrew's Raiders headed toward Chattanooga, tearing up track and cutting telegraph lines. The Confederates picked up a new engine, The Texas, at the next railroad station and continued to pursue the Raiders. Although they released two of the boxcars and tried to set fire to a bridge, it soon became clear that the Raiders would never make it to Chattanooga. They abandoned The General about half way to Chattanooga. Andrew's Raiders fled on foot, but all 21 were captured within a week. Eight of them were hanged and the rest sent to Confederate prison camps." Ross was executed in mid June 1862 for his part in the raid. He is buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery in Tennessee.
Levi Ross died on November 25, 1863. Mary died March 10, 1865. The Rosses are buried at Honey Creek Cemetery in Christiansburg. The farm was inherited by their son, Marine Ruffner Ross (1835-1886), whose name appears on the property in the 1875 Champaign County Atlas.
A large group of Diggers arrived for the 9:00 am start, and everyone was excited to see what finds might come to light. As we hit the fields we had to contend with tall pasture grass, corn stubble, a few cows and their...pies. The group exploring the tile factory site gathered around Jared Shank who dug an 1881 Indian Head cent stuck in some asphalt. Others were finding Wheat cents and other relics around the old home site.
Jared then asked who had found coins or anything else interesting that morning. Several members reported finding Wheat cents, a pocket spill of a 1939 Walking Liberty half, 1940 Jefferson nickel, two Wheats and two 1943 steel cents was discovered near the tile factory site. By this point almost everyone was itching to discover what the coin was, in my pocket, still in the clod of dirt. We did a reveal and it turned out to be an 1810s silver Spanish half reale!
While nothing turned up that we could attribute as belonging to the Ross family, it was still a fun day full of great people and friends, detecting and history seeking.