Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum: 1-35 and University Parks Drive | PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702-2570 | (254) 750-8631
Ranger Hall of Fame
The HALL OF FAME is the State designated memorial of the Texas Ranger service, commemorating the service and sacrifices of 30 Texas Rangers who gave their lives in the line of duty or made significant contributions to development of the service.
Ross was born September 27, 1838 at Bentonsport, Iowa Territory. In
1839 his family migrated to Texas, first settling in Milam County. By
1849 the family had settled at Waco. Sul Ross attended Baylor University
at Independence, Texas and graduated from Wesleyan University, Florence,
Alabama in 1859.
In the summer of 1858, Ross signed on with the
U. S. Army as the leader of a band of Indian auxiliaries from the Brazos
Indian Reservation. His skill and courage were noted by the regular
army officers, but he nearly lost his life in October 1858 during a
battle with Comanches at the Wichita Village near Rush Springs, Oklahoma.
Recovering from his wounds, he returned to college and graduated the
Ross joined the Texas Rangers in 1860, first
serving as a lieutenant and later as a captain. He was empowered by
Sam Houston to raise a company of men to serve in Young County and the
surrounding area. He showed the same skill and courage as a Ranger captain
as he had shown earlier with the army. In December of 1860 he and his
company pursued a Comanche raiding party that ended in the battle of
Pease River in which Cynthia Ann Parker, who had been captured by the
Comanche some 20 years earlier, was rescued. Ross resigned from the
Rangers at the beginning of the Civil War.
Ross enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861.
He was soon promoted to the rank of major of the 6th Texas Calvary,
and in May 1862 he was promoted to colonel. He was promoted to brigadier-general
as a reward for his skill in covering the retreat of Gen. Earl Van Dorn
from Corinth, Mississippi in 1863. He commanded a brigade in Wheeler's
cavalry, Army of Tennessee, and later was in command of the Texas Calvary,
Army of the West.
Returning to Texas after the war, he took up
farming. He served as sheriff of McLennan County from 1873 - 1875, He
was a member of the 1875 state constitutional convention, served as
a state senator from 1881 - 1886 and as governor of Texas from 1887
- 1891. It was during his term in office that the new state capitol
building was completed. Following his last term in office he was appointed
president of the struggling Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas
(now Texas A & M University), an office he held until his death
on January 3, 1898, in College Station.
Suggestions for further reading:
Ross Family Papers, Texas Collection,
Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Homer L. Kerr, editor, Fighting with Ross'
Texas Calvary Brigade, C. S. A., Hillsboro, TX: Hill Jr. College
W. C. Nunn, editor, Ten More Texans in
Gray, Hillsboro, TX: Hill Jr. College Press, 1980; Amelia W.
Williams and Eugene C. Barker, The writings of Sam Houston, Austin:
Pemberton Press, 1970, vol. VIII
The New Handbook of Texas, Austin:
Texas State historical Commission, 1996, vol. 5
Rossiter Johnson, editor, Twentieth Century
Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Boston: The Biographical
Society, 1904, vol. IX