Born in South Carolina in about 1787, James Jeffres Ross was a member of the ""Old Three Hundred."" He arrived in Stephen F. Austin's colony in late 1822 or early 1823, moving onto the league granted him near Eagle Lake in Colorado County. In 1828 he moved to the S. A. Anderson League and built a home about one mile southwest of this site. Col. Ross, as he was known, soon assumed a position of leadership as captain of the militia of the Colorado District. He was a delegate to the second convention at San Felipe in 1833 and was one of those appointed in 1834 to help obtain Austin's release from imprisonment in Mexico. He helped establish a stage line and a stop that became the town of Fayetteville. An important figure during the early years of settlement in this part of the state, Ross was a successful farmer, rancher, trader, and merchant. Ross Prairie and Ross Creek, both in this vicinity, bear his name. He was killed by angry neighbors in January 1835 for sheltering Indians at his home and was buried in nearby Ross Cemetery. His home, which came to be known as the Ross/Martinek House, was owned by Czech immigrant Joseph Martinek and his descendants for nearly seventy years.