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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
Walter G. Ross

No resident of the Victoria district of Alberta is better known nor more highly esteemed than Walter G. Ross, who for over forty years has been intimately connected with the development and upbuilding of Fort Saskatchewan, enduring all of the hardships and dangers of pioneer life and sharing in many of its exciting episodes. He was born in Ottawa, Ontario, June 5, 1853, a son of Patrick and Elizabeth (Gordon) Ross, both of whom are deceased. The mother was a native of Scotland and the father was born in India, being of Scotch parentage. They had a family of seven children, 'of whom six survive, Anna being the firstborn. Frances married John Forbes and they reside in Vancouver, British Columbia. The others are: Walter C., of this review; William, a native of the capital city of the Dominion; John B., whose home is in Vancouver, British Columbia; and George, who is living in Prince Rupert, in that province.

William Ross, brother of Walter G. Ross, was born June 1, 1855, and when twenty years of age he came west to Alberta. In 1877 he entered a homestead in the province and proved up on his claim, engaging in general farming for six years, when he also took up stock raising, being thus occupied until 1900. He then turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, opening a general store at Star, near the town of Lamont, in the Victoria district, which he conducted for five years, being associated with his brother Walter. He has since been a resident of Fort Saskatchewan, although he has made frequent business trips to the other provinces of the Dominion, and makes his home with the subject of this review, with whom he is still associated in business, their attention now being devoted to real estate operations. He is numbered among the substantial business men and leading citizens of his community and is highly respected by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

It was in 1873 that Walter G. Ross came to Alberta, at which time he was a member of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, and was stationed at the old Hudson's Bay fort at Edmonton until the expiration of his three-year term of service. In 1877 he located at Fort Saskatchewan, being one of the earliest settlers in this locality, and the country was at that time inhabited chiefly by the redskins. For about sixteen years he engaged in trading with the Indians, with whom he always maintained friendly relations, acquiring a valuable fund of knowledge in regard to their language and customs. From 1884 until 1896 he served as postmaster of the town and in 1880 he had taken up a government claim. On his withdrawal from public office he joined his brother William in the conduct of a general store at Star, Alberta, of which they remained the owners until 1900. They then entered the real estate and insurance business in Fort Saskatchewan and for twenty-two years have continued therein, gradually increasing the scope of their operations. The prosperity which they now enjoy is well merited, for it has been gained through hard work and fail, dealing, and their labors have also been of material advantage to the locality in which they reside.

Mr. Ross' public spirit finds expression in his service as a member of the town council, in which capacity he is doing everything in his power to promote the welfare of his town, standing at all times for constructive measures and progressive methods. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, with which his brother is is also affiliated, and both participated in the work of quelling the rebellion of 1885. They have manifested in their lives the sterling qualities of the Scotch race—thrift, integrity and steadfastness of purpose—and have made the name of Ross an honored one in the district in which they have so long resided.


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