Ross Street

This 1913 street likely honors Judge Erskine Mayo Ross (1845-1928), one of the founders of Glendale, as it was named on a tract owned by his cousins. Ross was born in Culpeper County, VA. He was too young to enlist in the Civil War, yet as a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, he was called up to fight as a Confederate. After graduating in law, he came to Los Angeles in 1868 at the behest of his uncle Cameron Erskine Thom, the influential attorney and future L.A. mayor. Ross passed the CA bar, joined his uncle’s practice, and in 1871 purchased – for $1, from Thom – part of Rancho San Rafael, where he would later establish his “Rossmoyne” ranch. In 1887, Ross and Thom led a small group of men in establishing the town of Glendale on the rancho. None of this is to downplay Judge Ross’s significance on the bench: after serving as a CA Supreme Court justice and a U.S. district judge, in 1895 he was nominated by Grover Cleveland to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he remained for thirty years. Ross wed Inez Hannah Bettis (1853-1907) in 1874 and they had one son, Robert. In 1909, the widowed judge married Ida Hancock, the richest woman in L.A. Hancock Park’s Rossmore Avenue owes its name to their late-life union.