Ross Oak

Historical Period: Republic of Texas (1836-1845)
Historical Topic: Frontier Settlements
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: McLennan
Public Access: No

In 1839, one of Texas' great pioneers, Shapley Prince Ross, supposedly camped with his family under this ancient live oak, in what is now the city of Waco. Ross, his wife, and two young sons were traveling to Texas in company with several families from Missouri, to find a homesite in the new republic.

They crossed the Brazos River at a ford near the site of a deserted Waco Indian village. Since the Indians of this area were known to be hostile, the group did not stay long but continued on toward Austin. At Sterling C. Robertson's colony at Nashville, Ross established his first home.

The Rosses stayed at Nashville but a short time and then moved to the Little River, near the present town of Cameron. In 1845, they moved to Austin, where Ross was appointed captain of a Ranger Company. As a Ranger, he distinguished himself for keeping peace with the Indians.

In 1849, when Waco Village was being developed as a new townsite, one of the developers, Jacob de Cordova, offered Ross four free city lots, a franchise to establish a ferry across the Brazos, and an opportunity to purchase additional land at less than half price.

Captain Ross accepted the offer and moved his family to Waco, and may have camped again under this same oak until his first house was built. Captain Ross was the first postmaster of Waco Village, and his daughter Kate was the first white child born there.

The owner of this tree does not allow public visitors.