George Ross was born in Strasbourg, France to George and Emma Therese Holland Ross of Baden-Baden, Germany. Having immigrated to the United States in 1852 via the Port of New Orleans, the Ross family settled in Mobile, Alabama.
George Jr.’s tenacious spirit was evident early on when he snuck out of his home and joined the Confederate Army in Baldwin County. He was a large youth at the age of 14, so he was able to convince the Army he was 18. However, George was captured and imprisoned in Elmira, NY until the end of the war. In 1867, George was married to Amanda Cook who took ill and passed away despite the care provided by Dr. J. Collier. Having met Dr. Collier’s daughter during the care of his ailing wife, the widowed George was married to Rehamer Collier in 1870.
George and Rehamer were the parents of fourteen children, eleven of which survived childhood. With a growing family to support, Mr. Ross built a 40–50-foot lugger and began harvesting seafood in waters off the Alabama and Mississippi coastlines. Over time, hurricanes were taking their toll on the industry, so the Ross’s found themselves frequently traveling between Bayou Le Batre, AL and Biloxi in search of abundant catches and work. By the 1890’s, Biloxi was rapidly growing toward her status of Seafood Capital of the World leading the entirety of the Ross family to make their final journey in Biloxi aboard the “ORA MAE” in 1896 and set down their roots. On the southeast corner of Pine and 1st Street on Point Cadet, they built their home, a grocery store and horse stable and became “Biloxians”.
Over the years, George would continue to build and captain more boats including the “DAISY”, “SOPHIE”, and the “COPPERSMITH”. His civic involvements included the “Gulf Coast Shrimper and Oystermen’s Association”, “Biloxi Businessmen’s Association” and member of the Church of the Redeemer. He and Rehamer spent many years together building the Ross legacy which includes many influential members of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Seafood Industry and several members of Royalty in the Shrimp and Seafood Festivals- eight generations of fishermen and seven kings/queens!
After sixty years in the in the trade, Mr. George Ross, Jr. passed away and Rehamer followed two weeks later. The Biloxi Gulf Coast is forever indebted to them for giving us the vast Ross family that continues to bring honor to the Seafood Industry.