Ross Prairie, Texas
Originally settled in the 1820s by James J. Ross, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, Ross Prairie soon became a center for German and Bohemian immigrants who came in the 1840s. Rev. P. F. Zizelman, a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Texas who visited the area in 1851, reported that there was a large Christian German settlement on the prairie; in 1861 a church was built there with him as minister.
The land in Ross Prairie is flat to gently sloping and surfaced with a sandy loam toplayer with a firm clay subsoil. William P. Smith, one of the original trustees of Rutersville College, wrote in 1851 that Ross Prairie served "to show the vast superiority of Southern States and particularly Texas, over the frozen regions of the North." From 1850 to 1950 Ross Prairie produced excellent yields of cotton and grain, particularly corn. Since the 1950s the cotton has been replaced by improved pasture for cattle and horses, although grain is still produced in lesser amounts.
Due to its close proximity to Fayetteville, Ross Prairie never developed as a business center. The church served as the focal point for socializing. The church and cemetery remained in existence as of 1988. Source: Handbook of Texas Online.
OLD SETTLERS OF ROSS PRAIRIE.
Hinrich Eilers, born Nov. 24, 1820, in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. He came to Texas in 1845, lived at Warrenton two years and then moved to Ross Prairie where he lived continuously until his death Jan. 23, 1899.
H. G. Cook, born March 12, 1824, in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. He came to Fayette County in 1845. He died at his old home in Ross Prairie March 16, 1880.
Dietrich Hattermann came to Ross Prairie from the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg in 1845. He died at his old home.
Henry William Luecke came to Ross Prairie from Westfeld, Hanover, in 1845. He died there two years after his arrival.
Jacob Laferre was born in Germany Sept. 23, 1828. He came to Ross Prairie in 1847. Left for the gold fields in California in 1849, returning to Ross Prairie after an absence of several years, and lived there to the time of his death, Aug. 28, 1901.
John H. Meyer settled in Ross Prairie in 1842. He came from Hanover and lived there until his demise.
John F. Meyer arrived from Hanover in 1850, settling in Ross Prairie and living there to the time of his death.
Henry Kurtz came to Ross Prairie from Germany in 1847. He died at Fayetteville in 1901.
Other old settlers ____ Neimann, ____Neumann, ____ Wacker, ____ Baumbach, ____ Sommer. Anton Sommer, G. Mueller, ____ Doni, August Beyer, ____ Girndt, ____ Zedlitz, and ____ Dirr.
- Fayette County, Her History and Her People, Schulenburg, Texas, 1902