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 David Edward Ross

David Edward Ross

Brookston, White County, Indiana, USA
Death 28 Jun 1943 (aged 71)
Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA
Burial West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 11668625 · View Source
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David E. Ross, president of Purdue University board of trustees, engineer, inventor, manufacturer, farmer, financier and philanthropist and one of the states best known citizens, died at the Home Hospital at 12:10 Monday morning after a years' illness. He was stricken with paralysis Thursday July 16, 1942 at his home on South Seventh street, Lafayette, just about the time he was to have presided at a summer meeting and banquet of the National Chemurgic Council at Purdue. He had invited the officers and directors of the council and about 40 representative Indiana farmers to be his guests a the meeting. Instead he was taken to the local hospital where his condition was pronounced critical.
The funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 at Central Presbyterian church. Dr. W. R. Graham officiating.
The remains are at Bradshaw's. Further details of the funeral and burial are yet to be decided upon.

It was announced that burial would take place on a knoll overlooking the Purdue Housing research campus and airport. Two of Mr. Ross's many benefactions to the University, this place of burial having been selected because it was Mr. Ross's wish that he be buried there.

Mr. Ross had been a member of the Purdue University board of Trustees since 1921 and president of the board the last 16 years. He was widely recognized for his loyal devotion to his alma mater and became its greatest benefactor through generous gifts of money, land, buildings and equipment.

Born on a farm near Brookston, Aug 25, 1871 of a pioneer family, Mr. Ross attended the rural grade and high schools there. In 1893 he was graduated from the school of electrical engineering at Purdue University, but returned to the home farm in White county. While there he conceived the idea of a steering gear for automobiles and trucks which later brought him fame and fortune. He patented the device and associated with his uncles the late David L. and William Ross began its manufacture.

Since 1908 he had been president of general manger of the Ross Gear & Tool company, although the last several years he had served as chairman of the board. Mr. Ross also had other inventions to his credit, notably a rotary plow and highway traffic markers. Both of which he presented to Purdue Research Foundation, of which he was on of the organizers and a director. He also was active in the business life of this community and the state. Mr. Ross brought to the board of trustees his practical views on farming and industry and these viewpoints coupled with a keen business since and high idealism made him an outstanding board member. His deep seated interest in the University was manifested in countless ways, not only by material gifts of great value, but by almost daily contact with the University during the long period he served on the board.

It was Mr. Ross who conceived the idea of the Ross-Ade stadium at Purdue which stands today as one of the many campus monuments to his forethought and generosity. He with George Ade, illustrious author and playwright and long time friend, bought the land for the Ross-Ade recreational field and contributed liberally toward construction. His gifts also made possible the Purdue airport; the Purdue housing research campus; the University's civil engineering camp, 11 miles southwest of the city; and a large amount on the new gymnasium and field house.
In addition to his many gifts to the University and
personal time, thought and energy devoted to University problems, Mr. Ross found time to aid many promising students, helping them develop new products and then establish businesses for themselves. A large number of successful industrialist of today owe their successes to his guidance and help in getting started.

In 1938 the love and esteem alumni and friends held for Mr. Ross was manifested in the presentation of a beautifully bound book of letters from alumni clubs over the world. The presentation of the book was a highlight of the gala week program. No man had won a higher place in the hearts of Purdue men than Mr. Ross because of his strong support of the institution. He was noted for his brief and pointed statements in any discussion.
Finding time for service in civil life, he was for eight years a member of the Lafayette city council and was chairman of the Tippecanoe county tax adjustment board, also an active worker in the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He was a director of the Indiana Chemurgic Council and had served as president of the National Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.

He held membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Sigma XI honorary research fraternity and Sigma PI Sigma, honorary physics society.
Mr. Ross never married and he is survived only by a sister Mrs. Mary G. Stidham of Oakland California. Another sister, Ellen B. Kneale, preceded him in death. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. George Henderson Ross.
(Published in the Lafayette, Indiana Journal & Courier Newspaper June 28, 1943)

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  • Created by: L. A. C. (Terry)
  • Added: 3 Sep 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11668625
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for David Edward Ross (25 Aug 1871–28 Jun 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11668625, citing Purdue University Campus, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by L. A. C. (Terry) (contributor 46486104) .