THE LIFE STORY OF MELVIN ROSS (1842-1920)
Most of this manuscript is in the words of Melvin Ross.
Information after his death in 1920 was added by his daughter Julia Ross Radford Spracher and other family members. This
draft was rewritten in typescript in 1966 by Sarah R. T. Morris. In 2003 Leon Pitman did some light editing and added some
clarifying words in brackets.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
[Andrew] Jackson Ross was born in Guilford Co. North Carolina 15 September 1814 [Another record says 1820]. On 21 Sept., 1838
he married Lear (Leah) Smith in Dyer County, Tennessee. She had been born 30 Nov. 1822 to parents, Richard Smith and Dianah
Braswell. Their home was blessed with a baby boy, James Richard Ross, born on 18 Nov 1839 in Dyer County, Tennessee. Their
second son, Melvin Ross, was born 24 Sep 1842, also in Dyer County, Tennessee.
When Richard was three and Melvin a one year old, their father, [Andrew] Jackson Ross, was killed when thrown from a load
of timber, while coming down out of the Tennessee Mountains in 1843. This left Leah Smith Ross a mother and widow, along with
her two small sons, to mourn his loss.
In 1846 Leah Smith Ross remarried to John Whitlock Radford. They had two small girls [Nancy Jane and Catherine] while living
in Iowa, and they took these four children and crossed the plains with teams of oxen. They lost their eighteen month old baby
girl [Catherine], born 10 Dec 1848, on the 25th June 1850. They buried her somewhere along the Platte River in Nebraska, and
continued on their hard journey across the plains.
It is believed that Leah and her family crossed the plains with Captain Bennett[See Rebecca Freeman's correction of this information
at the end of this document], along with her brother Will Smith and his family Her parents, Richard and Dianah Smith, travelled
with them also. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in late summer or early fall of 1850. James Richard was ten years old
and Melvin eight at this time [Nancy Jane was three years old]. There were many pioneers that had left their homes and come
to Utah for their religion in the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Leah Smith Ross Radford and her
family saw many hardships, trials and troubles.
Leah had a baby boy [John Franklin] on 10 Dec 1850, four months after they arrived in Utah. She was the mother of nine children,
five boys and four girls. Leah Smith Ross Radford died at the home of one of her daughters, Ellen Lovell, at the Shelton Ward,
now Ririe, Idaho in 1894 at the age of seventy two years.
James Richard Ross was born 18 Nov 1838 at Dyer County, Tennessee [Or 18 Nov 1839 at Gibson, Tennessee]. He married Susan
Potter, who was born 3 July 1843. They were married on 18 Nov 1862 at Provo, Utah County, Utah [Or 18 Nov 1861]. (They were
married the same day as his brother Melvin, only in different places). James Richard died 4 Aug 1902 and Susan died in 1910.
Melvin Ross was born 24 Sep 1842 at Dyer County, Tennessee. He was baptised at 8 years of age in 1850. When he was a man of
20 he married Julia Elizabeth Smith in her father's home on 18 Nov 1862 [Or 18
Nov 1861] in Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah. She was baptised at Heber City, Utah.
[Melvin Ross' life story in his own words, with information added after 1920 by Julia Spracher]
Our first child was Sarah Lavina [Lovina] Ross, Born 27 Mar 1863 at Heber City, Utah. She married at the age of 14 to John
Holden. They had one child, a girl named [Sarah] Jane Holden. It is believed that John Holden was poisoned at a salon [saloon]
in Utah. He died in 1878 or 1879, when Jane was a day or two old. Sarah Lovina remarried to William Morgan at Lemington [Leamington],
Millard County, Utah, in 1880. She had thirteen children. They spent most of their lives in Neeley, Power County, Idaho. He
[William] died 10 Feb 1946 at Ammon, Bonneville, Idaho. She [Lovina] died 10 Jan 1919 at Neeley, Power, Idaho.
Our second child was Francis Marion Ross born 18 April 1865, at Deseret, Millard County, Utah. He stayed with his grandmother
[Leah Radford] after his mother's death [in 1878]. He married his first wife, Ellen Gurley, in about 1884. They were separated
in 1891 at Joseph City, Sevier, Utah. There were no children by his first wife. He married Alvira [Elvina] Ann Peterson at
Beaver City, Beaver County, Utah, in 1892. They had nine children, six boys and three girls. Alvira [Elvina] was born 23 Aug
1870 at Beaver City, Beaver, Utah. She died 20 Feb 1946 at Salt Lake City, Utah. He died 29 March 1949 at Salt Lake City,
Utah. He has only four sons living at this time[?].
Our third child was Don Carlos Ross born [18 July] 1867 at Oak Creek, [Oak City, Millard County], Utah. He stayed with his
grandmother [Leah Radford] after his own mother's death [in 1878]. He married Alvira Ann Mackey at Richfield, Sevier, Utah
in Oct of 1888. They had seven children (three boys and four girls). He died 27 Oct 1918 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She died 5
June 1942 at Sevier, Utah. There are only three children living at the present[?].
Our forth child was James Melvin Ross born 16 Jan 1869 at Kanosh, Millard County, Utah. He also stayed with his grandmother
Radford after the death of his own mother [in 1878]. He married Elizabeth Hallett in Oct 1891. Elizabeth died in Pocatello,
Bannock, Idaho (date unknown). He died 25 July 1936 or 1937 at Sevier, Utah. They had six children (two boys and four girls).
There are five living at present[?].
Our fifth child was Mary Ester (Easter) Ross, born 8 March 1873 at Oak Creek, [Oak City, Millard], Utah. She married Hyrum
Weld Stott in the Salt Lake Temple 27 May 1896. They were endowed and sealed the same day they were married. They had four
sons, all living at present[?]. Hyrum died in Felt, Teton County, Idaho. Mary Esther Ross died 2 April 1950 in Blackfoot,
Bingham, Idaho. She lived with [her maternal grandparents] Silas and Elizabeth Smith when she was six years old [after her
mother's death in 1878], then
she lived with Frankland [Franklin] and Zan Smith until she married Hyrum Stott.
Our sixth child was Silas Asel[Asahel] Ross, born 17 Jun 1875 at Kanosh, Millard, Utah. He also lived with his grandmother
Radford after his own mother's death [in 1878]. He was never married. He died at the age of 21 in 1895 at Sevier, Utah.
Our seventh child was Emma Ross born 7 Mar 1878 at Leamington, Millard, Utah. My brother-in-law, William Smith, and his wife
took baby Emma after her mother's death. She died at the age of three years. She took diphtheria and passed away at Leamington,
Millard County in 1881.
James Richard and I, Melvin, were married on the same day, but in different places. We didn't even know the other was married
that day until it was all over. James was married at Provo, Utah, and I was married at Heber City, Wasatch, Utah. We were
out on our own at a very early age because [our stepfather] Mr. John Whitlock Radford was very strict. When I finally married
I knew how to take care of my family.
When our 4th child was a small baby I had to join the army and help fight the Black Hawk War. This was a terrible war, a regular
manslaughter. It was a bloody battle and many men were killed in it. But not only did the fighting kill our men, a terrible
sickness broke out in the army camp, and it killed many good fighters. I was very sick for a long time and I lay on my bed
for many weeks, and I was so weak I couldnt even sit up. I had to stay in that camp until I was able to get up and walk by
myself. After I gained some of my strength back I was able to go home to my family. But there for awhile I was sure I was
going to die, but still had my faith and I kept praying that I would get better so I could go home to my family. I think it
was my faith that kept me alive. I was very glad to be back among my loved ones, and I'm sure they were glad to see me again,
after so long. The war had lasted for better than two years. We were forced to fight to saves our lives and our families from
being destroyed. It was a long time to be away from our loved ones, but it was through our good faith that we all had in our
Heavenly Father and the inspiration we gained from the true Prophet of God that we had to lead us through all that trouble.
The Mormons had many hardships but they stayed with their religion and the Lord, and they won.
James Melvin was three years old when I got home from the Black Hawk War in 1872. Then we had three more children, Mary Ester
(Esther), Silas Asel,[Asahel] and Emma, the baby. After I got back Julia, our children, and myself, lived in the Provo Valley,
and in Payson and in Cedar Springs, Utah. We moved from place to place trying to find work and a place to make ourselves a
home. Then we went back to Leamington, Millard, Utah. On the trip back to Leamington, Julia met with an accident. She was
thrown between the wagon box and the rear wheel just before our seventh child was born. We lived in Leamington for awhile
and it was there that our last child, baby Emma, was born. Julia never did fully recover from her accident and it resulted
in her death in 1878 shortly after Emma's birth.
After Julia passed away my family helped me take care of my seven children. My mother and [her husband] John Whitlock Radford
took my four boys, Joe[Francis Marion] who was 12, Don, who was 10, Jim who was 8, and Silas who was 4. Silas and Elizabeth
Smith [Julia's parents] took Mary Ester when she was only six. Then Mary lived with Frankland [Franklin] and Zan Smith until
she married Hyrum Weld Stott. My brother-in-law, William Smith and his wife took baby Emma and when she was 3 she took diphtheria
and passed away at Leamington, Utah in the year of 1881. I was so grateful for all of them, especially my mother. She was
so sweet and kind to everyone, and she made everybody welcome at her home at all times. She loved her family and all her grandchildren
very much. She was a very sincere religious person. She raised her children in the L. D. S. Church, and she was loved by everyone
who knew her.
I, Melvin Ross, remarried to Mary Ellen Hadden on 18 July 1879 at Leamington, Millard, Utah. We saw many hardships because
work was scarce and wages were very small. My wife and I moved from place to place, all over the state of Utah. Everybody
was on the move, trying to find a place to make a home. Many pioneers were scattered all over Utah, from Salt Lake Valley
south, east and west. I and my wife, Ellen Ross,
were in every little town in the southern part of the state of Utah.
Our First child, Effie Ross, was born 5 April 1880 at Parawan, Iron County, Utah. She married Charles Workman 20 Dec 1897.
They had seven children, then later separated. She was baptised 6 July 1907. She remarried to James C. Sweet at Logan, Cache,
Utah in 1916. She died 4 Oct 1954 at Bremerton, Washington. She was endowed and sealed 17 July 1957 in the Idaho Falls Temple.
Our second child was Julia Elizabeth Ross, born 14 Jan 1883, at Neeley, Power, Idaho. She married John William Radford 11
Dec 1900 at Rudy, (now Rigby, Jefferson County), Idaho. He died 21 Jan 1949 at Ririe, Jefferson, Idaho. She was baptised 26
Nov 1949. She was endowed 13 Sep 1950. She remarried John Robert Spracher 10 Mar 1951. He died 11 Dec 1957 at their home in
Ririe, Jefferson, Idaho. He was buried at the Ririe cemetery. She was sealed to her husband 7 Aug 1958 in the Idaho Falls
Temple [and] one daughter by her first marriage, Sadie Genevie (Geneva) Radford.
Our third child was Ruben Ross, born 10 Mar 1885, at Leamington, Millard, Utah. He married Sadie Ann Hardie at Richfield,
Sevier, Utah, 19 June 1907. They had nine children. Ruben died 2 Sep 1957 in a rest home in Idaho Falls, Bonneville, Idaho.
He was buried at the Ririe-Shelton cemetery.
Our forth child was Delora Ross, born 23 March 1887 at Joseph, Sevier, Utah. She married Robert Morgan at Shelton Ward (Ririe),
Idaho by Bishop John Howard. She was baptised 4 Sep 1904. She was endowed and sealed 10 Apr 1905 at the Logan, Utah, Temple.
She had three sons and lost them all, one at three years old and the other two. They separated and she remarried William W.
Swain at Rexburg, Madison,
Our fifth child was Andrew Jackson Ross, born 26 April 1889 at Joseph, Sevier, Utah. He married Maud Ella Radford 6 Jan 1907
at Rudy (now Rigby), Jefferson, Idaho. He was baptised 2 April 1921. He died 9 Jan 1950 in Idaho Falls, Bonneville, Idaho
of a heart attack. They had three children. They lost two of the three. They were endowed and sealed 24 Feb 1955 in the Idaho
Falls Temple. His wife Maud Ella Radford Ross died 20 Sep 1960 at Idaho Falls, Idaho. One son is still living.
Our sixth child was Edith Ross, born 9 July 1892 at Joseph Sevier, Utah. She married Edward Brown at Poplar (near Ririe) Idaho
26 Nov 1906. She was baptized 6 July by Russell King Homer. She had four children (two boys and two girls). Her husband Edward
Brown died 6 May 1956 at Rigby, Idaho.
Julia, Effie, Ruben and Andrew Jackson were all sealed to their parents, Melvin and Mary Ellen Ross, 20 Nov 1959 in the Idaho
Falls Temple. Mary Ellen Hadden Ross was baptized 15 Nov 1925 and she died 19 Dec 1925 at Filer (Twin Falls County) Idaho,
and brought back and buried at Ririe, Jefferson, Idaho. Melvin and Mary Ellen Hadden Ross were endowed and sealed 9 Dec 1941
in the temple at Logan, Utah.
History as told by Melvin Ross
After we moved back to Utah I worked all over southern Utah. I worked at all kinds of jobs. The times were hard and jobs scarce
and hard to find. The wages were very small. Many times I worked 10 hours a day for a dollar a day. It was hard to make a
living but we did it. Everything was cheap. Flour was $0.50 for a 50 lb bag and butter was $0.15 a pound and eggs were $0.10
a dozen. Potatoes were $0.25 a sack. All of the food was cheap and clothing was cheap. They had too be because of the small
wages we were receiving. I had a hard time making a living for my wife, our six children and myself. I worked a year for my
cousin, Andrew Ross. I herded sheep all summer and fed the cattle and sheep during the winter, and got $30 a month for my
work. This was in 1885. In the spring of 1886 one of my cousins, Thomas Ross, came to me and said, "Melvin, if you will
come and work for me, I will give you $40 a month", and of course I said, "yes". I moved my family across the
river to his farm, and I worked there for two years. Thomas said there was cows here on the ranch and if I would milk them
I could have all the milk and butter and cream I wanted. He said he would feed the cows and get me some chickens and a few
brood sows that we could both have our meat for the winter, and we did. Ellen helped milk the cows and she made enough butter
for both families. She sent them butter and eggs all the time. She raised a big garden and sent them garden produce and the
two families got along just fine and I took care of the farm and he was a wonderful man to work for.
Then my four boys and I decided to work in the timber. My oldest son Joe [Francis Marion] was married and they lived in a
part of the house on Thomas Ross's farm. The four boys decided it would be better if we all worked together, so I got a contract
in Tintick [Tintic, Juab County, Utah] for getting out cordwood for the Tintic mine. I took my family and moved out there.
The three older boys, Joe, Don and Jim and myself worked all summer getting out cordwood. We lived in tents right out in the
cedars and the sagebrush. There was only cedars for shade. It was very hot and dry. There was not water at all, so we had
to haul it in 50 gallon barrels. There were so many big blue bellied lizards, almost as many as there were sagebrush and there
were a lot of blow snakes. Ellen cooked over a camp fire all summer long right out in the hot sun, and she never made as much
as one complaint. She seemed to enjoy cooking on a campfire. She made all her own bread, cakes, pies and she cooked them in
a dutch oven.
We got through hauling the cordwood late in the fall. I moved my family to Sandquine [Santaquin, Utah County] for the winter.
There we found a better job and made more money. We took out timber to make railroad ties for railroad companies. The three
older boys went back to southern Utah, to work that winter, and they came back in the spring to work with me. We moved up
into the mountains as soon as the snow would permit it, in May of 1890. We worked till late that fall, then my son, Jim, found
a sawmill up Fish Creek Canyon. So we bought the mill, and Joe, Don, and Jim all moved up there with me. We had some work
to do before we could start sawing lumber. Jim and I worked on the mill. Joe and Don went to work in the timber cutting sawable
logs and hauling them back down to the mill. Silas was there, too. I took the mill over, we
hired a man to help me at the mill and the four boys did all the cutting and hauling of the logs to the mill. Joe and
Don hauled and delivered and sold all the lumber that we cut down to Canash (Kanosh) and Joseph. We did very well the four
years that we had the mill. Jim didn't like the mill work so he went to work at the Kimberly Mine and paid his part of the
There were all kinds of pine nuts and wild fruit everywhere and some of the best fishing in the country. Don used to go fishing
every Sunday and he would take Julia and Ruben with him. Sometimes they would be gone all day, but Don would bring back two
or three strings of mountain trout, enough for every one, then we would all have a fish dinner on Monday. Julia and Ruben
really enjoyed going fishing with their brother Don, and you couldn't tell they weren't full brothers and sister after they
had grown up together.
We moved down from the sawmill in the late fall of 1897, and we decided to return to Idaho to see my aged mother and other
relatives. So Don and I got our teams and wagons ready for the trip. Joe and his family were already up there. They had left
early in the fall.
The weather was cold and stormy and there was eight of us in our one wagon. The roads were rough, muddy and slick. It rained
on us two or three days at a time. The team was so leg weary that we could only travel a few miles a day. We were on the road
for three weeks. The roads and weather were bad all the way. We were so crowded up in the wagon that we were like sardines
in a can. The roads were dirt all the way from Joseph to Neeley, Idaho. It was a 500 mile trip. I had a barrel full of water
tied on the side of the wagon and bales of hay tied to the back of the wagon for the horses because there were stretches of
land where there wasn't any feed or water. We went through the mountains on a road that wasn't any more than a cow trail.
For all of the inconveniences we had there wasn't much trouble between the children, they seemed to take it all in good faith,
and it was peaceful, even when the six of them had to sleep in the wagon when it was stormy weather.
One night Ellen and I made our bed on the ground and it started to rain during the night. I had a canvas tied to the wagon
wheels down over the bed so the rain wouldn't come in but it blowed and snowed so hard that the canvas came right down over
our bed and we got very wet.
We were out in the desert and we ran out of hay and water, and it was so dark we couldn't tell where we were. I gave the horses
what little feed and water there was left, then we all had a sandwich and some cookies. The children were all tired, cold
and sleepy, so they all cuddled up in the wagon and went to sleep. Then we made our bed on the ground again and got covered
with snow again. That was our second night like that. Then a storm came up that lasted for three days and we would have laid
over if we hadn't been out of feed and water for the horses. On the third day, just before dark, we came to a ranch and dairy
set-up. They were wonderful people and they had us stay in one of their cabins that night and they put our horses in their
barn. It sure seemed good to get out of that wagon and the storm. We got our bed dried out by the stove in the cabin that
night. The lady of the house cooked a big pot of potatoes and brought them and a big bowl of bread and milk and gravy over
to us in the cabin, for our supper, and we were all cold and hungry and we enjoyed that hot supper very much. In the morning
she sent us out a big plate of ham, another of biscuits, and big platter of fried eggs. They gave us all the hay they could
tie on the back of the wagon, nearly a sack of oats, a sack of potatoes, two big loaves of home made bread, a pound of butter,
21 dozen eggs, a gallon jug of milk and nice big cake. When I tried to pay for it he said, "Oh, I should say not. You
are more than welcome to what little we have done for you, and we were glad we could do you a friendly turn. I was stranded
on this road myself once, and I know what it means to be out on that desert in one of those bad storms. You have a long road
ahead of you before you come to the next town, and we want you to take this food along so the children will have something
to nibble on. We will never miss what we have given you good people; We wish you lots of luck and we hope we will meet you
again some day." He also said, "I would like to steal that girl." I asked him which one, and he said, "that
one," referring to Julia" and I said, "oh gosh, we couldnt get along without her. I asked Julia if she wanted
to stay and she said, "No!".
When we finally reached my daughter's, Sarah Lavina Morgan's, we stayed there and visited them for about 10 days, then we
came on to Shelton.We found where my nephew Frank Ryset lived and we visited them for a few days. While I was there I found
out that my dear old mother had passed away two or three years before we came to see her. It was
December 4 and winter was coming on so we just stayed. I had a brother, James Richard Ross and a [half] brother Daniel
H. Radford and three half sisters (Nancy Jane Radford Morgan, Ellen Lovell, and Dianah Woolsey) and
a lot of other relatives that I visited.
We settled down in Poplar, Idaho for the winter. We enjoyed sleigh riding and visiting all our relatives. We made Idaho [our
home] from 1897 on. Don, Ruben and I took up dry farms just south of Willow Creek on the foot hills. We lived there for two
or three years. It was so hot and dry that we lost most of our crops, so we sold out to Willard Moore. Then my two sons went
back to Utah for a while. When they came back Don built himself a home near the Great Feeder Headgates, where he and his son
Willie worked for several Years. Ruben, Andrew and myself all worked together and we did a lot of river work for Willard Moore
on the Great Feeder Head-gates. We did a lot of work on the Anderson dam for Hyrum Frue.
I built a house on my son-in-laws and my daughter Julia's place northwest of Ririe. We lived there for eight years, then we
moved down to my daughter Edith Brown's place, where we lived for several years. After I was passed the stage where I could
work I planted and took care of gardens just to keep me busy. I had a wonderful garden during the summer of 1920.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Melvin Ross and his wife Ellen Ross, took their last trip together to American Falls, and within three weeks Melvin Ross was
dead. He died 29 Nov 1920. He was brought back to Ririe, Idaho, where he was buried at the Shelton Cemetery. His beloved wife,
Mary Ellen Hadden Ross passed away at Filer, Twin Falls County, Idaho, 19 Dec 1925 and she also was brought back to Ririe,
Jefferson, Idaho for burial at the Shelton cemetery.
There are only three children of the original 13, living today [1966?]. They are Julia Elizabeth Ross Radford Spracher of
Ririe, Idaho; Delora Ross Swain, Route #2 Rigby, Idaho and Edith Ross Brown, Route #2 Rigby, Idaho. At the time of his death
Melvin Ross had 59 grand children and 253 great grand children.
(Written by Julia Elizabeth Ross (Radford) Spracher, Rigby)
**********(recopied by Sarah R.T.Morris, 1966)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Edited and corrected, 2003, by Leon Pitman, Rebecca Freeman, Monty Montague and James Morgan.
The following commentary was added by Leon Pitman, 2003:
Andrew Jackson Ross, according to my source, was born in Guilford County North Carolina. There is no Guilford [or Guildford],
Tennessee. His parents moved to Tennessee when Andrew was a boy. His ancestors lived in North Carolina.
On page 2 where it says "Our first child was Sarah [Lovina] Ross born...at Heber City." It could not have been
Leamington because there was no Leamington, Utah in 1863. Heber City, I believe is correct because that is where Leah's parents
lived and are buried, as well as most of her brothers. Mel probably did go there at times to work with his Smith cousins and
On page 4 Mel Ross says "I got home from the Black Hawk War in 1872." The Black Hawk War was in 1866. I don't
know what war or battle he fought in but I did not make any changes to this. In our Thomas Morgan History on page 24 the Black
Hawk war is discussed. It does not sound anything like what he says he experienced. There might well have been some Indian
battles in 1872 in towns not on our families' list of homes but I don't know of any such battles at that time.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The following commentary added by Rebecca Freeman, 2003:
1. Melvin's father was Andrew Jackson Ross, not Jackson Ross, though he may have been called Jackson.
2. He was born in Guildford County, North Carolina, not Pottawattamie.
3. Melvin's mother was Rachel Leah Smith, called Leah, not Lear.
4. When the family left to cross the plains, they didn't go to Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio and Mississippi. The Smith and
Ross families lived in Tennessee, north of Alabama. At some times the area was claimed by both Tennessee and Alabama, but
when they were there it was Tennessee. When they left Tennessee they went up the Mississippi River to Nauvoo. The closest
they ever came to Ohio was passing the junction where the Ohio River joined the Mississippi. After leaving
Nauvoo, they crossed the Mississippi River to Sugar Creek Iowa, then they went to Agency, Wapello County, Iowa, then to
Mt. Pisgah, Harrison County, Iowa, then to Shirts, Pottawatamie County Iowa, then on to Utah. There was never time or place
for them to travel to Tennesse, Alabama and Ohio.
5. In 1850 John and Leah and her parents Richard and Diana Smith, three of her brothers, Ephriam, James and William Smith
and Thomas and Rachel Ross and Melvin and Rebecca Ross crossed the plains in the Life Everett's Fifty of the Aaron Johnson
company. They left Kanesville, Iowa 12 June
1850 and arrived in Salt Lake, 12 Sept 1850.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Note added by James Morgan:
Melvin Ross is listed in the 1880 census as a resident of the Utah Terrirorial Prison, a correctional facility used for
non-violent offenders such as polygamists. We have no record that Melvin Ross practiced polygamy. So far as we know his first
wife, Julia, died before he married his second wife, Mary Ellen. Some researchers have wondered if he was jailed for being
a polygamy sympathizer. In any case, we have no record of why Melvin was in prison in 1880 and he does not mention it in his
Below is a picture of Mary Ellen Hadden, second wife of Melvin Ross.