LAWRENCE SULLIVAN ROSS was born in Bentonsport, Iowa. His family moved to Texas in 1839, ultimately settling in Waco. Ross attended Baylor University in Waco and graduated from Wesleyan University in Florence, Alabama in 1859. Appointed a Captain in the Texas Rangers in 1859, he fought against the Comanche Indians. He was appointed aide-de-camp and commissioned a Colonel of Texas troops by Governor Sam Houston. He entered the Confederate Army as a private and rose to the rank of Brigadier-General-the youngest Brigadier-General in the Confederate Army. In 1873 he was elected Sheriff of McLennan County. He was also a member of the Texas Senate in the early 1880s. During his two terms as governor, Texas prospered, resulting in significant railroad construction, tax reduction, and promotion of immigration. In addition, the federal government paid Texas roughly $1 million in arrears for expenses incurred by the state in defending its borders. Finally, during Ross’s administration the citizens of Texas defeated a constitutional amendment to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages. After leaving office, Ross became president of the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College in Bryan, a position that he held until his death. He died in College Station and is buried in Waco.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 9. New York: James T. White & Company.