by Diann Marsh, from Eye on Santa Ana, Winter
Ross Street was named after the first family to settle
in what was to become Santa Ana. They arrived here in 1868, after
living for two years in Monterey County, California. A year before,
they had just crossed the plains and deserts of America in an
87 wagon train. Jacob Ross Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth, were accompanied
by their children, and their families.
In the fall of 1867 while in Monterey, Jacob Sr.
had heard that the four Yorba descendants might be willing to
sell their shares of the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. On May
28, 1968, he paid a total of $1750 for the rancho, and
the Ross family moved here from Monterey.
They put up rope corrals for the stock immediately.
The land was cleared on the cactus and mustard plants which stretched
as far as the eye could see. The men then took the wagon to Anaheim
Landing (now Seal Beach) to pick up the redwood lumber to build
their first house.
In 1870, the first crop was planted and life seemed
to settle down. Well, almost. The "natives" were resentful
of the newcomers. The rattlesnakes, rabbits, coyotes, wild pigs,
and hawks, were all a threat to the pioneers' crops, and chickens.
The summers were hot, dry, windy, and dusty. Whenever
families went on all-day trips, a wagonload of men had to go ahead
to clear a trail.
Jacob Ross Sr. sold the land that was to be surveyed
and plotted as the City of Santa Ana to William Spurgeon and Ward
Bradford. The plot totaled 74.27 acres and was sold for $594.
By 1871, Santa Ana was home to approximately 150 residents.
While the rest of the city began to grow, the Ross
family continued to live on their remaining acreage, west and
north of First Street.
The Ross family home, constructed in 1879, still
survives at 1020 N. Baker Street and has been restored by descendants
of the Ross family.