CHARLES ROSS, the well known lawyer and democrat of Lillington, has cause to take pride in the quality of his immediate ancestry and his connections by marriage. Blood does tell; there is no earthly doubt about it.
Mr. Ross' parents are Romulus and Ellen (McCulloch) Ross, and they are living at Asheboro, Randolph County, this state. His father was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, in 1851, and in early life moved to Randolph County. The family ancestors came from Maryland and before the Revolutionary war settled at Guilford Court House, Guilford County. They were of substantial Scotch stock, and their descendants have inherited the racial traits in a marked degree. Romulus Ross has been one of the representative men of Randolph County for many years, having served his county and district in the State Senate and as sheriff of the county.
Charles Ross is a thoroughly educated man and well prepared to complete any undertaking which he assumes. His earlier education was pursued in Asheboro schools and at the University of North Carolina. He studied law in Columbian University (now George Washington University), at the national capital, receiving his professional degree, and license to practice in 1912. For some years previously he had engaged in the lumber business, and in 1906 established his residence at Lillington. Since beginning his practice there in 1912 he has become one of the leading lawyers in that section of the state.
A number of years before commencing practice Mr. Ross had become well known as a democratic leader. In the session of 1901 he represented Randolph County in the Lower House of the General Assembly, and in 1910 he was again elected a member of that body from Harnett County. For the campaign in the general election of 1916 he was chosen chairman of the Democratic County Executive Committee, and in that capacity brought his county over from the republican columns to the democracy. Both as a manager and a legislator he has deserved and received high credit from leaders and people.
Mr. Ross married Miss Frances Reid McKay, daughter of the late Rev. Neill McKay, D. D., and Margaret (Murchison) McKay, the latter of whom is living at the old McKay residence in Summerville. Mr. and Mrs. Ross have six children—Charles Reid, Neill McKay, Frances Ramsey, Romulus Rudolph, Margaret Murchison, and Robert Page Ross.
DR. NEILL MCKAY, the father of Mrs. Ross, was one of the state’s most notable characters as a minister and a promoter of education. There are few men identified with the progress of North Carolina who have wielded so deep and widespread an influence as the deceased; for he not only poured his spirit and the inspiration of his fine character into the church of his choice, thus influencing for good those of all ages and classes, but fathered with his wisdom and his material assistance the famous Summerville Academy for Boys, which in the many years of its life, sent forth some of the choicest spirits of North Carolina. In his active years Doctor McKay was the leading character in the Fayetteville Presbytery, and the extension of its usefulness is largely due to his ceaseless efforts, forethought and patient leadership. As his home was at old Summerville, it is natural that he should become interested in the Academy or preparatory school for boys; and to become interested in a project, or an institution, invariably resulted in earnest and practical work for its advancement. So that, as the years passed, the good and distinguished doctor became first respected, then honored and finally revered for his faithful brooding and his continuous generosity in behalf of the institution to which he had given his soul, and through which he had started so many of the young generation along the pats of legitimate and Christian honor. The chief patron of the Summerville Academy could not have financially supported it as he did had he not been a successful man of business affairs. For many years he was associated with his brother, Dr. John W. McKay, a physician, but extensively engaged in the turpentine and naval stores industries. This combination in one character of business ability, deep scholarship, intellectual keenness and sustained morality and spiritual elevation, constituted almost a unique personality.
Mrs. McKay was born at Manchester, Cumberland County, North Carolina, and is the daughter of the late Duncan Murchison, who with his sons was one of the wealthiest and most prominent business men of North Carolina. The headquarters of their interests were at Wilmington. The Murchisons have always occupied a very prominent place in the commercial and industrial development of the Cape Fear section of North Carolina.
History of North Carolina: North Carolina Biography, vol V, p. 298, Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1919.