fourth child of D. Lee and Bettie Ross was Charles Brewster Ross
who was born July 4, 1875. Brewster married Martha Elizabeth 'Mattie'
McKenzie on February 23, 1901 and they had seven children. Brewster
owned and operated a general store that he eventually sold to his
brother-in-law, I.M. Akers, and it is still standing today. He then
a stave mill and later carried mail in Patrick County. Brewster
built a home for his family at Buffalo Ridge in Patrick County,
and later moved his family to Martinsville in 1931 where they lived
on Oakdale Street.
children were Claude Buren Ross, born December 28, 1901; Conrad
Lee Ross, born January 28, 1903; Carita Brown Ross, born April 6,
1906; Lillian McKenzie Ross, born November 3, 1910; Louise Erie
Ross, born June 23, 1913; Guy Warren Ross, born March 25, 1917;
and Elizabeth Quay 'Betsy' Ross, born February 29, 1920.
Ross married Mary Thelma Tatum on April 18, 1936 and had two children,
Thelma Jean Ross who married Thomas Calvin Matthews and Paul Buren
Ross, my husband. Buren was a “pioneer” in antique furniture,
particularly in walnut furniture, as he could look at an old piece
of furniture, tell you what kind of wood it was and could see the
a beautifully finished piece. He was known from one end of the county
to the other, as he worked for Cash Produce Company and sold to
stores across the local counties including Rockingham County, North
Carolina. Buren loved to tell stories of the people and families
whom he had met, and people today still remember him as a kind hearted
and interesting person.
'Con' Ross served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. But the stories
he, too, could tell! He 'knew' timber, owned much timberland and
was asked to appraise land for many people in the timber business.
Con never married and lived in the Ross home on Oakdale Street in
Martinsville until his death.
'Rita' Ross married Broaddus Fleming Gravely and they lived in Axton.
After Broaddus’ death, Rita moved into her home on Letcher
Court in Martinsville. Broaddus was a salesman for Rupert Beer and
Rita taught school at Axton Elementary for forty years, and in the
same classroom! She was a no-nonsense type of person but her students
remember her vividly and many kept in touch with her over the years.
She would not let a student go hungry when they didn’t have
lunch or money to buy lunch, as she made certain each of her students
was happy and well fed. She kept newspaper clippings on her students
and these were found by her sister, Betsy, when she died. Rita and
Broaddus did not have children of their own, but counted her students
as her children, along with her two nieces and two nephews. (The
story is told that Rita was not named for months after she was born,
as she was called 'Baby'. A shoe salesman came to the Ross store
and said that if Mr. and Mrs. Ross would name their little girl
Carita Brown Ross he would give her shoes for the rest of her life.
Rita was so named, but the salesman was never heard from again!)