ROSS, TEXAS. Ross is on Farm Road 3149 eleven miles north of Waco in northern McLennan County. It became a stop on the Houston and Texas Central Railway in the early 1870s, when that company extended its track north from Waco. A post office, named in honor of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, was established there in 1880, with Charles E. Kingsbury as postmaster. In 1882 the Texas Central extended its track from Ross northwest to Albany; during the same year the Missouri, Kansas and Texas laid track from Hillsboro to Taylor, passing a mile or two east of Ross. By 1884 the Ross community had a steam gristmill and cotton gin, a general store, two churches, a school, and fifty residents. In 1897 Ross became the focus of a common school district, which expanded in 1914, when the Woodland and Bluff Springs schools were consolidated into it. The Ross district was in turn consolidated with the West Independent School District in 1976. In spite of the availability of rail service, Ross did not develop as a large commercial center. In the late 1920s its population was reported as twenty-five. The Houston and Texas Central abandoned a part of its track between Ross and Waco in 1929, leaving only the Missouri, Kansas and Texas tracks on the east side of the community and the Texas Central tracks to the north. Ross received a boost in the 1960s, when U.S. Highway 81 was made into Interstate Highway 35. The new highway brought more business to the community, and population estimates rose to 100 by the mid-1960s. Perhaps because the business center had shifted toward the highway and the railroad on the east, Ross did not seem to suffer when the Texas Central abandoned its remaining track on the west side in 1967. By 1980 residents had voted to incorporate, and the population was reported at 231; by the late 1980s the number of residents was estimated at 261. In 1990 the population was 188, and in 2000 it was 228.
Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). William Robert Poage, McLennan County Before 1980 (Waco: Texian, 1981). Vertical File, Texas Collection, Baylor University.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "ROSS, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlr44), accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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